Live TV Voting with Digital Joy Engage Enhances ‘People’s Choice’ Awards for Student Innovation Competitions

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Executive Summary

Fine Line Productions used Digital Joy Engage cloud application to track the ‘People’s Choice’ awards for two student innovation competitions broadcasted on local PBS markets nationwide.  Over 8000 votes came in via text and online polls between the two competitions, and Digital Joy made it easy to count and sort votes within minutes. This allowed Fine Line to create an air of suspense and excitement in the two competitions, engaging the audience, and the People’s Choice voting was considered a huge success.

Real-Time Interactive Voting a Must

When Dave Drabik, Owner/CEO of Fine Line Productions, was producing the ACC and Georgia Tech InVenture Prize competitions, he knew he needed a live voting mechanism to make the shows work.

We knew we needed real-time voting. We could have done our show live to tape, but then you lose the People’s Choice element – which is a crucial part of what makes the competitions exciting. Going online beforehand is not as attractive. It’s the live interaction that we want, the votes coming down to the last second, the nail-biters.

And when Fine Line went looking for a solution, they went with Digital Joy Engage live polling software.

Digital Joy Makes Live Voting Easy

During the competitions, Hannah Roth ensured the live vote went off without a hitch as the People’s Choice Voting Technician. The time crunch was on during the Georgia Tech show – the audience had 8 minutes to vote, and then Fine Line had to hand the results to the show host. That meant that not only did the votes have to come in accurately – they had to come in fast. Digital Joy polling software helped Roth execute the voting element to make the show successful.

“Setting up our polls on Digital Joy was extremely easy. It takes about 10 minutes to set up every time, and you can edit on the fly. I love that you can create different backgrounds and customize each poll. And for future shows, it’s nice to just take an old poll and go from there rather than starting from scratch. From the standpoint of the show, it’s a great solution.

Votes from Around the Country – and the World

At the ACC InVenture Prize competition, student entrepreneurs are competing for $30,000 in prizes.  The People’s Choice votes come not only from schools in the ACC, but from all over the world.

For Drabik, it was exciting to watch them come together. “You get votes coming in from Puerto Rico, from Turkey. The global voting is fun to see. You also get to watch students get the “phone tree” going. Clemson got the word out, 300 more votes come in. It’s neck and neck until Duke comes in hot on Tuesday. The students are wondering where they are at, it’s changing all the time, it’s exciting – on the back end for us, it’s so much fun to watch.”

Audience Interaction is Key

Audience participation was a key element to making the InVenture Prize competitions work, according to Drabik.

“In live TV competitions, you want the audience to participate and be more engaged. With social media and QR codes, and live voting, the trend is interactive. Other shows and competitions will continue to go this way. Film festivals, and competitions can all benefit from live voting tools.” 

Student Innovation + Interactive Voting Spells Success 

In the end, over 8,000 votes were received, and Fine Line was very pleased with the results.

“We really believe in the InVenture Prize competitions and what they are doing for innovation. These brilliant students are producing new medical devices, computer software, adaptability devices, etc. Think Shark Tank but a more wholesome, academic approach. We love producing these shows, and the People’s Choice element was vital in making them interactive and fun for the audience.”

When it comes to voting software for future competitions, there is only one choice. “We will definitely use Digital Joy next year. In terms of price, service, global reach, and ease of use, it’s a no-brainer.”

To find out more about creating a one-time event with Digital Joy Engage cloud-based polling solution, visit to start a free 30-day trial.

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