Using SMS for Conference Feedback

Magpi started as a mobile data collection system using mobile apps – and that part of Magpi is still going strong after 15 years.  More recently, though, we’ve been gratified to see many users utilizing Magpi to simplify another common activity: getting conference feedback.   Magpi’s iSMS data collection option makes it incredibly easy to let audience members, students, etc, let you know what they think about their class, the presentation, or what they want to have for lunch.

How to create an SMS feedback system

1 – create a free Magpi account at

2 – log into Magpi and click New to create a new form

3 – add your questions to your new form

4 – deploy the form

Deploying your SMS form

In order to have people provide conference feedback by SMS, you’ll need to initiate SMS sessions with each one.  There are two ways to do this, depending on whether you have the phone numbers of the respondents in advance.

IF you have respondents’ phone numbers

If you have a list of all the people that will be providing feedback, just open the form and click the Share tab, then the iSMS sub-tab, as shown in this image (click to enlarge):

iSMS sharing page


Within one minute of clicking “Initiate iSMS Sharing” each respondent will receive the first question prompt on their phones.

This type of sharing can be done using ANY paid Magpi account (Pro or Enterprise). Even free users can test it out, though – but will be limited to entering only a single phone number into the box shown in the image above.

IF you DO NOT have respondents’ phone numbers

Many times we don’t have a handy list of respondents’ phone numbers.  In that case, we’ll need to use “crowdsourcing”, in which the respondents themselves initiate the iSMS session.

To use crowdsourcing, just follow all the steps above to create your form, and go to the Sharing\Interactive SMS page shown above.

Then just scroll a little further to find the crowdsourcing section:
crowdsourcing with iSMS

When checked, his feature – available only to monthly or annual Enterprise users – allows you to specify a “short form name” or keyword.  Then the conference attendees can send a text to Magpi’s built-in number to initiate their session.  Within a minute, each respondent will receive the first question prompt on their phones.

What to do with the data?

As your data comes in from the respondents, you’ll be able to see it on the form’s data tab:

You can then

1 – manually export it (Pro and Enterprise users)

2 – automatically flow it into Excel, Google Sheets, Salesforce, or other software (Enterprise users)

3 – display it with a Magpi Report (Pro and Enterprise users)

Try out a sample crowdsourced form

You can give iSMS a try by texting “join test3” to Magpi SMS number +12025176709.  Within a minute, you’ll receive the first question of a conference feedback test form like the one shown here (responses shown in purple):

And here’s a sample Magpi report (if you send in data, and refresh this page, you’ll see your data reflected in this report within a minute or two):


Magpi iSMS

Magpi’s interactive SMS (iSMS) provides low-cost, high-quality SMS-based data collection from any phone. No app required! iSMS lets you crowdsource data, solicit feedback, or provide guided information.

Test Drive iSMS