Virtual Events: Engagement
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a lot of hype around virtual events, but they are not easy to execute correctly. Keeping a virtual audience engaged is easier said than done, this can be the biggest downfall when it comes to virtual events. It is very easy for an attendee to just log out and never return again. This is why it is so important to keep your audience engaged and interested. Here are some top tips for keeping your attendees glued to their screens:
Pick the right platform
It is important to ensure you have the correct tools when organising a virtual event, doing so will guarantee that you are set up for success. You need to ensure that your chosen virtual event platform supports attendee engagement. Do your research on what is available in the market and ensure you’re reaching the needs of your clients. Your ideal platform should facilitate live polls, Q&A’s and chat rooms for networking.
Promote engagement pre and post-event
Before your event begins, it is important to promote engagement. You need to get your attendees excited for the sessions. Use social media and E-zine’s to build momentum and get your attendees talking. You can facilitate the communication of your attendees by creating an online forum where they can chat and build excitement. As an event manager, it is good to encourage engagement post-event to get feedback on the webinar. These learnings can be applied to all virtual events.
Use Gamification techniques
Gamification involves applying game design elements into non-game contexts. Introducing gamification techniques into your virtual event is a guaranteed way to boost engagement. Introducing a competitive edge can be done by giving away prizes to the winners and to those who are engaging. Incentivising engagement is a great way to keep your attendees tuned in, they’re sure to have their eyes on the prize as well as their screens!
For a live and “in person” break out session, 60 minutes doesn’t seem too long. But with attendees tuning in from home, it is likely that there will be many distractions around them, and your sessions could quickly become tedious. 60 minutes could start to drag and they will give in to all the distractions. For this reason, it is pivotal that you take the length of your sessions into account, and shorten them accordingly. It will more beneficial to attendees if you have interactive content for a shorter period of time.
Use the right MC
Choosing the correct MC is as important for a virtual event as it is for a live event. The person tasked with this job needs to be in line with the brand and goals of your event. The MC is the individual who moderates the sessions. They’re tasked with keeping the energy of the attendees elevated and ensuring the virtual event flows correctly. It is important that your MC is briefed correctly prior to the event, to ensure you fulfil client expectations.