Tele-forum events are a specialized conference call application used by political campaigns and advocacy groups to connect with their supporters. The tele-forum initiates robo-calls, offers supporters the opportunity to participate in this unique call, and connects the people that opt-in to the event. Once in the conference, participants have the option to ask a question of the speaker by pressing a button to wait in a queue for a call screener.

The first 3 or 4 minutes of a tele-forum call typically consist of welcome remarks by the speaker while people are joining. Once there is a big enough audience, the speaker starts taking questions from the audience. Callers ask questions and speakers answer them as they do in a typical town hall the networks might televise. The only thing missing from that experience is the crowd reaction. That’s where SageEngage comes in.

A tele-forum system integrated with SageEngage allows any conference participant to Press the 6 button on their phone to register a “Bell” and a 9 button for a “Buzzer”, giving the participants who can’t ask their question an opportunity to make their voice heard to the speaker. In our initial testing with a tele-forum provider, we found a 32% increase in the amount of time participants spend on SageEngage-enabled tele-forums versus plain tele-forums. But that is only first benefit tele-forum organizers realize from enabling SageEngage on their tele-forums.

The audio from each tele-forum is displayed in a SageEngage Visual Analytics Page. After the event, the organizer can view all the standard statistics such as how many conference participants actually voted, how many reactions overall, and what was the sentiment ratio (Positive vs. Negative).


But the page can also be used to literally “see” what words, phrases and overall topics most engaged the audience on their tele-forum. Using the Summary Data graph an organizer can see the top positive and negative moments during the hour long tele-forum. If the organizer clicks on the hot-spot the audio from that time in the call is played black while the second-by-second view of the graph is played back in real time to match the audio. The organizer can watch the real-time reactions to the actual content.

Here is an example of Visual Analytics in action. The telephone town hall was for a well know congressman. The topic is health care.

Did you notice at the 1:20 mark in the video the spike in positive reactions after the congressman says “patient-centered health care”? That seemed to hit a chord with the audience. So did the discussion of balancing the budget and not burdening future generations. Using Visual Analytics the hour-long tele-forum event can be analyzed quickly and efficiently to determine the meaningful spots that engaged the audience either positively or negatively. SageEngage-trained resellers produce reports on the top engaging moments during a call, what was said, how much of the total audience was engaged as well as audience sentiment using this tool.

SageEngage is also constantly innovating. The mission is simple. Facilitate communication between speakers and their audience, regardless of medium or format. We look forward to announcing more innovations in the near future.

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