Overview of Live Polling


Live Polling is an advanced feature in Guidebook that allows a presenter to conduct live polls through the Guidebook app. It is especially useful for sessions where the presenter would like to engage the audience and display their votes in real-time. It is available on Premium and Branded guide plans.

Live Polling works in a more decentralized fashion where the event organizer first invites the presenters, who then create the content of the poll as well as conduct the poll during their respective session(s). The sections below go into detail how each of the three parties work together to create a great Live Polling experience:

  1. The event organizer
  2. The session presenter
  3. The audience member 

This article also clarifies some very important notes regarding live polling and includes a link to a fascinating case study.

If you are looking to solicit feedback or conduct a survey without the need for real-time audience participation, please consider using forms instead.

1. The Event Organizer

If your guide is included in one of the subscription plans mentioned above, you (as the organizer) will be able to create live polling invitations via Guidebook Builder. Once in Builder, you’ll want to click into your guide, and then choose the “Polls & Surveys” module on your guide homepage. It will display the following screen:

Click the blue “Create new…” button on the top right of your screen and click on the Live Poll option that appears in the drop down menu. 

Here, you’ll want to fill in the name or title of your live poll, and then choose the session to which you would like to link this live poll. Remember, you must link the live poll to a particular session!

Next, you will need to invite your presenter(s) to edit the live poll.  Click on "Add admin" from the right side of the screen, and enter the presenter's email address. You can add as many presenters as you'd like!  Upon adding a presenter, an email will be sent to the specified email address.  The presenter will need to open the email and accept the invite to edit.

Should you wish to edit the poll yourself, you may click on "Edit Poll"; you may also change the live poll name or linked session by tapping on "Edit name or link".

2. The Session Presenter

Part 1: Creating the Poll Questions

Once the organizer has sent out the Live Polling invitations, you (as the presenter/speaker) will receive an email with a link to create the poll. Clicking the link will display the Edit Your Poll page. 

Click the Add New button to add a poll question. An overlay will appear allowing you to enter your question and the different choices. Currently, only multiple choice question types are supported. If you need to create true/false or sliding scale questions, simply enter the values as different choices.

- To add more than two choices (maximum of 10 choices), click the “Add another choice” button.
- To delete a choice, click the “X” button on right side of the choice text field.
- To reorder the choices, drag-and-drop the choice in the desired order.

- To add a sliding scale type question, simply enter numbers as the different choices.

When you are done creating your choices (don’t worry, you can edit these later), click “Create Question” to add the question to your poll.

- To edit a question, click the edit button to the right of the question. 

- To delete a question, click the trash can button to the right of the question.
- To change the order of the poll questions, drag-and-drop the questions into the desired order using the set of vertical lines to the left of the question title.

Note: As soon as an audience member votes for a poll question, the trash can button will be replaced with a reset button. In order to delete a question, you have to first reset all responses, which will erase the votes that have been recorded for that question.

Part 2: Conducting the Live Poll During the Event

The presenter will use two screens to conduct the live poll:

Edit Your Poll page: This is where you control the live poll (it is the same page where you edited the poll questions in Part 1 above). During the presentation, you should load this screen in a browser on a separate tablet or computer. From this separate device, you can navigate and enable/disable voting for each poll question.

Results Page: A presentation page that is optimized for displaying the votes in real-time as they are submitted by the audience. This page is meant to be displayed to the audience on a projection screen, TV, etc. Please note that the results will only show percentages, not the actual vote count. The URL for this page can be found by clicking the “Other Pages” button on the right-hand side of the Poll Edit Page:

Additionally, the “Attendee voting” URL can be shared with audience members who would like to participate but do not have the guide on their device. It is the same screen that attendees will see when they open the poll from the guide. 

To start the presentation, click the blue “Start Presentation” button on the Edit Your Poll page. Depending on the size of your browser window, this button will appear either on the bottom or bottom-right of your browser. Until you start the presentation, audience members will not be able to see any of the poll questions and will instead see the following on their devices:

When you click the “Start Presentation” button, the audience will see the first poll question and its choices automatically, but they cannot yet cast their vote. The top of the screen will tell them that “Voting is not currently active”.

Clicking the “Allow Voting” button on the Poll Edit Page will allow the audience to cast their votes. Both the Poll Edit Page and Results View will update in real time as the votes are being cast.

You can navigate through the poll questions by using the left and right arrow keys located at the top right-hand side of the Edit Your Poll page – This will automatically change the question being displayed on an audience member’s device. Once you move on to the next question, the audience will not be able to return to the previous question unless you navigate back to it. In other words, the audience can only see the question that is currently being displaying on the Results Page - they cannot freely navigate to the previous or next question.

When you change questions, you will need to enable voting again for that question before the audience can vote.

When you are done conducting the live poll, simply click the “Stop Presenting” button at the bottom or bottom right hand-corner of the screen, which will then show the Poll Inactive Page on the audience member’s device.

From the Edit Your Poll page, you can also edit, delete, or reset the responses for the question you are viewing by using the respective buttons on the right hand-side of the screen. Resetting the question will remove ALL previously recorded responses, so be careful!

Very importantly, from the Edit Your Poll page, the presenter can download the poll data by clicking on the “Download Poll” button on the right-hand side of your Poll Edit Page. This will generate a downloadable .XLS file of the poll results.

3. The Audience Member

To participate in a poll, first find the poll link in the guide, which is usually located at the bottom of the session details screen for an event.


Simply click the link for the poll and the Voting Page will be displayed. This page is synchronized to the question being presented, meaning you cannot start the poll nor can you freely navigate to the previous or next question. If the presenter has not started the poll, you will see the Poll Inactive Page.

Once the presenter starts the poll, the guide will automatically show the first question and its choices, but you will not be able to vote until the presenter enables voting. Note the banner across the top of the page that says “Voting is not currently active” and the bullet points next to each choice.

After the speaker enables voting, the banner will disappear and the choices will now have a clickable button next to each choice that you can use to vote. Before the vote is actually submitted, a confirmation dialog will appear asking you to confirm your choice. Please vote carefully because once you confirm your vote, you cannot change it.

Important Notes About Live Polling:

This feature is highly dependent on the presenter and the audience having a good internet connection. Please ensure that the venue has a fast and reliable internet connection so that the presenter can control the poll and the attendees can vote. This article provides some pointers in making sure your event has a great wifi experience.

A user’s submitted vote cannot be changed, unless the presenter first resets and then re-enables voting for that question.

If the presenter progresses to the next question before the entire audience has voted, then the audience will no longer be able to vote for that question (unless the presenter navigates back and re-enables voting). 

If a poll question has too many choices or the screen displaying the Results Page does not have high enough resolution, the speaker has to scroll down to show the choices that were cut off. A quick solution is to “shrink” the Results Page in Chrome or Firefox so everything fits without scrolling. To shrink the contents on Windows press Control and dash on press Command and dash on Mac.

For audience members who do not have the event guide on their device, they can still participate in the poll using the web version of the guide on www.guidebook.com/browse/ or the presenter can give out the URL of the Voting Page. The URL is displayed by clicking on the “Other Links” button on the right site of the Poll Edit Page (see Section II).

The presenter can download the poll data by clicking on the “Download Poll” button on the right-hand side of your Poll Edit Page. This will generate a downloadable .XLS file of the poll results (see Section II).

For users seeking access to the poll from a web browser:

There is a specific URL generated in the live poll which you can share with attendees that will allow them to participate in voting. To find this link, click on "Polls & Surveys" in your account and then the "Live Poll" tab. Click on the name of the poll you are conducting and then click on the "Edit Poll" button to arrive at the poll controller's webpage. There is a button called "Other Pages", which will provide an Attendee Voting URL that you can provide to those not using the app on a mobile device.


Want to see how you can use it to engage attendees at your event? Check out Guidebook's guide to Mobile Live Polling (with 4 indispensable tips on using it at your next event).



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