The increasingly high cost of Audience Response Systems

Do you know the ARS clickers -- yup those clunky devices -- that you purchased for your organizations 10 years ago at a cost of $30,000 or more? For all the other organizations like yours that made this decision, the huge expense was justified by saying “well we will only ever have to pay this huge fee once, and then we can use them forever”. For decades that assumption remained true but it is now changing in a huge way and your organization may suffer from these changes.

We learned recently that one of the biggest names in the Audience Response System world has updated its hardware and software. At first glance, this sounds amazing. Everyone will have access to all the latest goodies, right? NOPE. This huge update is now making every single one of those ARS clickers obsolete and unusable with the new system. This company is now offering a web-based platform, to complement the physical clickers, but customers will be charged a monthly fee in addition to the huge capital expense of purchasing new clickers. For a technology that is over a half-century old, this new plan to extort more money out of customers is unacceptable and it pains us to see it done.

We are well into the digital/mobile era and we don’t see why anyone should purchase these new ARS clickers when there are plenty of native and web-based solutions out there for a fraction of the cost. Take 2Shoes for example. We not only offer Audience Response, but our application makes Audience Response (during the Q&A) simple and we take care of document sharing and surveys as well. Our app is web-based so you will always have the newest features released and don’t have to buy any hardware to do this. For decades, clickers have been great for polling the audience but they truly only do that one thing and at a huge expense and effort. You’d be shocked to hear the stories our users tell us about loosing clickers and having to ship them to all of their events. We’re looking to change this and if you want to learn more about better options feel free to reach out to us here.

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