Is there still a place for voting keypads?

November 29, 2019

Is there still a place for voting keypads?

It seems that this is a popular time for people to start doubting the relevancy of the interactive solutions that started “eventtech” all those years ago.

We have heard people state that voting/polling was not really used anymore and should therefore not be a key consideration when selecting on site solutions. Following this, we wrote an article about whether we thought this was the case.

We recently read an online guide to the most common event technology terms where they discussed audience response systems. In this section, the post stated that event apps had replaced the need for separate clickers and this got us thinking: is there still a place for voting keypads in events?


Most people in Spain use a smartphone, with a 2018 study conducted by Hootsuite finding that 87% of people have access to a smart device.

This means that less hardware is required as the majority of the people in the room have access to a device that can be utilised for polling. In principle, this makes the whole process of incorporating interactivity into an event simpler for the event organiser. It also means that the organiser will spend less money on hardware.

Event apps are more than just a polling solution and often integrate a wide number of other features into the solution to add value for the attendee as all the necessary information and tools they will need can be found in one place – on the app!


Voting keypads are based on a simple design that often resembles a telephone keypad. This means that all attendees instantly understand how to use the device making them simple and easy to use. These devices are also perfectly suited to meet the requirements for polling as they were designed specifically for that purpose.

They also do not have any barriers to participation as they are inclusive in the truest sense of the word. It does not matter what device the attendees already own as this will not affect their ability to participate as they are provided with all that they will need.

These systems do not require the attendee to log in, there are not any convoluted journeys to reach the point where the attendees can vote and they are not required to give the solution provider any permissions to allow them to participate.

Therefore polling can happen quickly as the keypads are ready for the attendee to vote as soon as the poll starts with voting often being done in under 10 seconds.


The old British saying ‘horses for courses’ springs to mind as the best solution to use depends upon the type of event, who the client is, who the attendees are and what the requirements are. In light of this, I would say there is definitely still a place for voting keypads. In fact we regularly receive requests for our keypad solution Messenger, which supports this conclusion.

If you are utilising a solution that requires attendees to download an app to their own device in order to participate in polls, it is also important to consider download rates and engagement levels to determine whether these are acceptable to the client. Event apps are still only downloaded by around 50% of delegates and not all those that download it actively use it during an event.