The Churchill Club is a business and technology forum that plays host to some of the top minds in the industry. Each year, they get together to discuss which ideas they believe will be the least expected and most disruptive of the next five years. They have a history of getting it right, predicting the prevalence of SAAS way back in 1999.

For the 2014 Top Tech Trends event, Poll Everywhere staffers were on hand to help poll the audience on their picks for the top trends of the next five years.

Narrow it down, and vote it up.

The work of narrowing down a top ten list was done before guests arrived. The Churchill Club hosted entrepreneurs, VCs and tech gurus in panel discussions to introduce and discuss each of the top ten trends. They only needed a 10-response, multiple-choice poll, and displayed the results as a bar graph.

The audience vote was ongoing, and it was fun to see the bars on the graph grow as people listened in on the conversation, and voted up the trends they felt would be most disruptive but least anticipated. Participation was high throughout the event, with nearly everyone casting at least one vote.

Machines will continue to innervate, it seems.

The two trends that rose to the top were the acceleration of the rich-poor gap, due to a rapidly diminishing digital divide, and the big winner, “Deus ex machina: Machine learning innervates the tech frontier.” Machine learning has already led to huge developments in software and technology, and the crowd at the Churchill Club believes this is one big idea that will only get bigger.

A simple, multiple-choice bar graph poll made it easy to take the temperature of a tech-savvy audience of hundreds. And now the world knows to watch out for machine innervation.

How can you do this?

Step 1

Narrow down your top ten list before participants arrive. Or, you can first conduct a free response poll, and use the top ten responses from that poll.

Step 2

Create a multiple choice poll using the top 10 list as your poll response options. Instruct audience members to text the code of their chosen response.

Step 3

Display results as a bar graph, and watch the race as bars grow.

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