What are audience response systems used for?

Handheld Audience Response System image

You might well have heard of the acronym ‘ARS’ in a business or education setting but have no idea what it stands for or what it is for. An ARS is an audience response system – it allows groups of people in a meeting or workshop to vote using a handheld voting pad. It can be used in a huge variety of settings and it might be the case that it could be hugely valuable for your business. Here are some of the ways that an ARS can be used:

Risk management

Managing business risk is a vital task for any company. However, it’s often the case that analysing and assessing a potential risk is left to one project manager. But whether you’re launching a new service or responding to a challenge with suppliers, this is the kind of thing you need to take seriously and get a number of people involved.

Using an ARS allows you to quickly and effectively poll opinions from a number of senior people in the company without having to use up a significant amount of time.


Whether you’re running a conference or simply speaking at one, an ARS is a great tool for encouraging participation as well as gaining impartial or even anonymous audience feedback. The ability to gather a large number of answers instantly can enliven debate and influence conference talks, engaging the audience and improving the event.

Staff training

Another area where interactivity and audience participation can be hugely beneficial is in staff training – so an ARS can be a fantastic training tool. Whether the training is in the field of health and safety or industry specific guidance, those taking part in the session will be able to easily share ideas and advice.

Additionally those running the session will be able to create interactive quizzes in order to ensure that the information is being retained and learned – this is far quicker and more effective than a paper quiz.