Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need in order to use Sendsteps?
- Internet [preferably via a wired connection]
- Mobile 3G or 4G connectivity
- Projection screen + beamer + [VGA] cable
- When using Sendsteps on your own: Download the Sendsteps Add-in on the computer you will be using on the day of the event
A standard mobile connection is sufficient to send in via SMS. If participants will also send in via internet then a normal 3G or 4G mobile connection via the telecom provider is sufficient. Participants don’t need a WiFi connection, unless there is no 3G/4G connectivity. If it concerns an international event where participants will have to pay for their 3G/4G connection, only then we advise to also have a WiFi connection available.
Important for internet!:
A stable internet connection is essential to receive reliable results:
- Normal broadband internet [cable or adsl] is more than sufficient [1Mbit up and 1Mbit down]
- A wired connection is strongly recommended [usually more reliable, less influences from external factors] over WiFi.
When using WiFi:
With the use of WiFi it is important that enough devices [smartphones/laptops/tablets] can login to the same WiFi network. The speed of the WiFi is mainly not the problem, but the amount of connections often is. Make sure that enough devices on location can access the WiFi. This means if your audience size is 200 and you prefer to use the WiFi instead of a 3G network, that the WiFi should be able to handle 200 devices. We recommend the Sendsteps computer to be connected with a different WiFi network than the audience.
What is the advantage compared to voting devices?
There is no need anymore to rent or purchase voting machines, because every participant will make use of its own mobile phone. Challenges like explaining [sometimes difficult] voting devices, required deposits, the recharging of batteries or the transport of these devices isn’t necessary anymore.
Next to that, you don’t have to be concerned about the return of the voting devices nor about participants that take the devices home which in the end results in extra costs. Nowadays everybody has a mobile phone and by using this innovative way of responding, you can position yourself as a modern organisation that uses the latest communication tools for audience interaction.
Manual for administrators
Download the PDF manual for administrators here.
In which countries can I use Sendsteps?
Sendsteps can be used worldwide. This applies to sessions that make use of the response methods “web” and “Twitter”. The following applies to sessions that make use of the SMS response method:
Within The Netherlands the shortcode [short phone number] 2255 is available. Besides that, we have a +316-number available which can be used in all countries. In the countries listed below we also provide a local number:
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- South Africa
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
As well as in Belgium and the United States we can provide you with a shortcode [short phone number]. Please contact us if your country is not listed. In just a short period we can activate a phone number within your country.
Is it possible to use Sendsteps on an Apple computer?
Currently this isn’t possible. At the moment Sendsteps only runs under Microsoft Office for Windows. There is work in progress and in 2015 we expect to offer Sendsteps for Apple users.
Are you planning a presentation with an Apple computer, but you still like to use Sendsteps? Then you can use a parallel computer for only Sendsteps question- and answer slides. With help of a switcher, you can change views between the two presentations; your audience won’t notice anything.
If you have an Intel Mac [a Mac released in 2007 or later], you can also take the following steps to still be a able to make use Sendsteps on your Mac computer.
- Parallels Desktop or VMWare Fusion to run Windows and Windows applications in a virtual machine on your Mac; you can use Apple Bootcamp to install Windows side by side with Mac OS X.
All of these configurations are supported by us. If you encounter any issues while using our product, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll be happy to assist you.
Can Sendsteps crash because of too many messages?
An unlimited number of messages can be send in at the same time and via the different response methods. With audience sizes of 3000+ we kindly ask you to contact us, as we need to take additional actions to facilitate your event.
What is an activation code?
This is a code which you’ll need to activate your credit session. This code is asked for upon starting a session. When the session is activated and if your session is in show modus, then it is possible to receive messages submitted by the audience. Your country, phone number, keyword, date and audience size are linked to the activation code. An activationcode is a valid for 1 day [24 hours, from 00:00 until 00:00]. You can request your activation code online via the Sendsteps contactform.
Frequent Sendsteps users can use their own e-address and password; they don’t need an activationcode to be able to start a session. The login onto the Sendsteps Dashboard will then be sufficient.
What is a keyword?
This is the word that the audience will use to start their SMS message with. As such the Sendsteps tool can match the response with the actual presentation. E.g. if the keyword for your session is “Screen”, then all messages that are being send to a Sendsteps number and that start with the word “Screen”, will be forwarded to your presentation. If there is a vote, then every SMS vote will start with this keyword, followed by a space and the answer option [a,b,c etc.].
The same keyword will also be used for respondents that choose to respond via the response website; they will use this word to login and then they get to see the actual question. From here respondents can also use the response website for open reactions or sending questions.
Finally this word is also offered as a hashtag [#], which can be used to send questions or remarks via Twitter.
Upon request we can personalize the keyword by for example applying the company name. For this option an extra cost is calculated.
What is the difference between a free session and a credit session?
Both versions can be used with the same add-in. The difference is that when you start a session you either have to choose whether you would like to start a free or a credit session. With the free session you can test Sendsteps up to 20 people. For a larger audience you will need an activation code to start the session. This activationcode can be obtained via the Sendsteps contactform.
Can I setup Sendsteps slides into our corporate style?
Definitely! These slides you can add yourself via the Sendsteps tool:
- The explanation slide for the audience
- The vote slide with the statement and possible answer options
- The result slide with the results in a graph
- The explanation slide for the audience
- The message slide on which the send messages and remarks will appear.
All these slides can be setup in your corporate style. The master slide is the slide which is created by you in PowerPoint to ensure that you have a consistent lay-out for your entire presentation. As soon as Sendsteps slides are being added, the Sendsteps tool will automatically copy the lay-out of the master slide. Of course it is also possible to change the lay-out on every individual slide. All adjustments you can process yourself within PowerPoint.
Can I start a presentation that already contains votes?
Yes, this is possible. You can start presentations from the past as often as you want. Once you’ll start a session, you will be automatically asked to keep the results from your previous session. Alternatively you can also delete the results manually by clicking “Delete Results”.
Can I open a presentation from a USB stick?
Yes, this is possible. The Sendsteps tool needs to be installed on the computer that you’d like to use to open the presentation. If this isn’t the case yet, you can easily do so by downloading the tool via sendsteps.com.
Which response methods can my audience make use of?
Responses can be submitted via:
- [Mobile] internet
Obviously new response methods will be added as soon as we consider these as useful, safe and userfriendly.
Can international phones submit responses to a local number?
You cannot offer a local phone number for SMS responses. In that case you’ll have to add the country code to the specific number. This setting you can change yourself via the Sendsteps Dashboard. We can also do this for you if you organize an event that has our technical support included.
If you have an international audience, then people can also react without any problem via the response website and Twitter.
Do participants pay for submitting messages?
The cost of a SMS reply is the usual costs for a text message charged by the provider. No extra fees are involved. It depends per provider which fee will be charged [variable between € 0,00 and € 0,20]. If you would like to know the exact costs, please contact the specific provider.
In The Netherlands, Belgium and the United States, Sendsteps usually uses a shortcode [short phone number]. For this number it depends on the conditions of the provider if an extra fee is charged. Messages sent via [mobile] internet and/or Twitter are free of charge, no fees are charged provided that one has an internet subscription.
Please note: International transaction costs are applicable, if international participants reply to a local phone number. As an alternative these participants can be suggested to reply via the response website or Twitter.
How to instruct my audience to reply via Sendsteps?
When an activation code is used in order to start a session [no matter if you do this yourself, or if our onsite technical support does this for you], then automatically an extra slide will be added to your PowerPoint presentation with on it an explanation for the audience.
On this slide one can read the instructions on how to respond through web, Twitter or SMS [depending on your choice of response method]. Next to that, the explanation text will always be visble at the bottom of each slide.
Are the Sendsteps products case sensitive?
No, this is not the case. Messages written with capital letters or small letter [or a combination] will all be received. This applies to all response methods.
Are audience responses anonymous?
By default all responses via the Sendsteps tool are anonymous.
Optionally this can be changed; respondents will then first identify themselves with their name [via the respons website] or with their telephone number [via SMS] before a question is answered. Respondents who reply via Twitter are never anonymous. These and also the other response methods can, independently from eachother, be switched on- or off. This setting can be changed via the Sendsteps Dashboard. This can also be arranged via our onsite technical support. Click here for more info about data security and server protection.
How many answers can you insert per statement/question?
As many as you want. When you add a statement/question the answer possibilities are limited. When you would like to give more answer possibilities you have to go to the specific slide within the answer box and add more answer possibilities. Please note that it does not become cluttered.
How are votes processed into my presentation?
Votes will only come in once the presentation is in presentation mode and when you are on the voting slide.
The moment a question slide is visible to the audience, the lines to vote will open automatically. At that moment the audience can cast a vote. As soon as you move onto the next slide, then the lines will close for the first slide and will open for the second slide.
You can as well easily ask questions in a row. Once you’ll go from one question slide to another, then then the lines of the first slide will close and the lines of the second slide will open.
How long will it take before results are visible on the screen?
The time between sending a message and the publication of it on the screen takes 1 second. It depends on how long the audience will need to send their message. It helps to kick off with an easy “example question” which then everybody has to answer. As such everybody will understand how to use Sendsteps and it will become easier to answer every consecutive question. Obviously a clear instruction at the beginning of your session, will stimulate pro-active use of the tool and will result in high response rates.
How will the results be displayed?
Every question slide has its own result slide. No matter the used response methods, all the votes will be calculated into the end result. The result is displayed in one graph.
Is a minimum response rate required for showing results?
No, this is not necessary. There is a vote counter on the slide. The counter will go up once the votes start to come in. The presenter can see how many people already voted. With not so many votes yet, the presenter can still motivate the audience to vote. Once the vote counter stops, you know all messages are in. Please note that response rates rarely exceed the 80%.
Can I show vote results at a later stage in my presentation?
Yes, this is possible! You can simply drag the result slides to the preferred position into the presentation.
Are results stored and can I share them afterwards?
Yes, this is possible! When all voting rounds took place and you are finished with your presentation you can save your PowerPoint presentation, like you always do. When you open your PowerPoint presentation the next time, you’ll see that the chart contains all the results of previous voting rounds. You can use these charts, online, via intranet, as an e-mail attachment or in whatever form you prefer. All results can also be found in the Sendsteps Dashboard.
Do I control the process of publishing answers on the screen?
Yes, you can do so. The Sendsteps tool automatically provides you with a “moderator screen”. This screen shows all incoming messages and allows you to make a selection that can then be published on the screen. This way you can filter inappropriate messages.
In addition, you can also let the Sendsteps Sidekick represent the “voice of the audience”. He summarizes all incoming messages and only selects the most valuable remarks to bring forward during your session. As such you will use the full potential of audience interaction. Click here for more information about the Sendsteps Sidekick.