At our sales conference a couple weeks back, a little RF response card was waiting for me in my seat.  My first thought was "cool swag."  As the first session got underway, however, it was evident that I did not in fact get to keep it.  Throughout the conference, the presenters had questions prepared in their slide decks, and a real-time poll was conducted and the results displayed on the slide, all during the presentations.

wwtbam_audience_response The technology is not new, as I have seen it in use on game shows like Who Wants to be a Millionaire for the ask the audience lifeline, and even with the instant response dials ("the People-Meter") used for focus group analysis during the debates.  In the little checking out I did online, it's also evident that many universities are using this technology in the classroom environment.  It's also not limited to RF--infrared and PC plugins are also available, so the audience doesn't have to be single site.

One application that came to mind is in the training department.  The iRules instructor could poll the students to choose the optimal of four solutions, and the response information could be utilized by an iControl application to configure the LTM with each solution in order of popularity, running a little traffic through the virtual, displaying the whole process on the overhead for the students.  Not only does this provide tangible results for the students in realizing the  benefits of optimizing their iRules, but it also displays the power of iControl.

Whatever the application, the technology should be used to enhance the experience, not become the experience.  The task for the presenter is to strike that balance.