Most event marketers & industry professionals know that it’s not enough to just host the world’s greatest virtual event.
You also have to ensure that your attendees actually engage with it, & are invested in it with all their might.
Ensuring attendee participation & engagement in virtual events is not as easy as it sounds, & requires thorough strategizing & execution.
It’s also of utmost importance to ensure the success of your virtual event, & increase your chances of attaining your ultimate virtual event goal.
Virtual Events, being held online, are highly prone to audience boredom & attention deficiency.
After all, all of us, at some point during attending a virtual event, webinar, or virtual conference, have zoned out & started looking at our phones or elsewhere.
We do this simply because the event going on isn’t interesting enough to hold our attention, & as everyone knows already, internet audiences are fickle to a large extent.
Including proven & effective engagement ideas in your virtual & hybrid events then, is the key to ensuring increased audience participation & greater ROIs.
But how do you make a virtual event engaging & interesting enough to hold your attendees’ attention?
In this article, we give you the top tips to host your most engaging virtual event to date.
Conduct Polling(Live & Pre-Event)
Polling is a great way to achieve audience engagement & interaction in your virtual events.
Polling during events & also before the event is an amazing engagement tool to ensure that your attendees have the option to put forward their views & opinions.
Live polling helps you understand just where your audience is at in terms of virtual event sessions, themes, speakers, networking options, workshops, & other aspects of your virtual event.
It also allows your attendees to feel engaged & connected with your virtual event, which gives them enough incentive to attend your event in its entirety.
Pre-event polling serves a whole other purpose.
With pre-event polling, you can figure out what exactly it is that your attendees want out of your virtual event.
You can ask them a variety of questions; right from the theme of your event to the entertainment options at the event, the choice of speakers, workshop topics, Q&A sessions, gamification options; you can take their opinion on everything.
Your audience will not only feel heard & respected but they will also be curious to see if the virtual event actually consists of all the features & options they checked in the poll.
Thus, polls serve a dual purpose that inevitably increases the rate of audience engagement in your virtual events.
Provide Entertainment Opportunities to Your Attendees
Providing some attractive, eye-catching entertainment options to your attendees is the surefire way to get them to attend & engage with your event.
Think about engaging & awe-worthy magic performances, hilarious stand-up comedy sessions, interactive Q&A sessions with esteemed guests, & singing shows.
All these are examples of entertainment activities you can include in your virtual event to set it apart from the others.
The more lively the entertainment opportunity is, the more likely are your attendees to engage with your event & be excited about it.
You should also promote these special entertainment options well in advance before your virtual event. This allows your virtual event to be easily discovered by potential attendees, & lets them know about all the exciting entertainment options you’ve planned for your audience in the virtual event.
Entertainment options also allow your attendees to relax & enjoy themselves & the company of other attendees in the virtual event.
Your attendees are also more likely to engage with your event after witnessing one
Providing gamification options to your attendees in your virtual event is another interesting way to get their attention & complete focus.
Everybody loves a good game, & everybody also loves winning & showing off the winner’s badge to others.
Keeping this in mind, you should include some exciting, engaging gamification features in your virtual event to keep your attendees engaged & interested.
Games like virtual dartboards, spin-the-wheel contests, car racing, sudoku, puzzles, quizzes, trivia, 2048, tic tac toe, etc. are all examples of games that you can include in your virtual event. These incentivize your attendees to participate in the games in lieu of exciting prizes & leaderboard rankings.
As your attendees become happy, your virtual event engagement will also improve, leading to better statistics for your event overall & increased ROIs.
You can also take advantage of your attendees’ joys of winning games by giving them the option to share their scores & winners’ badges with their friends & family via social media.
This helps get the word out about your event, & also provides you with some organic marketing for your event.
Providing the Audience with Networking Options
It’s no new knowledge that events are hotbeds for new contacts, information exchange, networking, & audience interaction.
Most people attend physical events for the networking opportunity they provide them with.
They can get to meet new people, form meaningful connections with people from their own industry, exchange contact information with someone interesting, or simply make a new friend.
You should provide your audience with similar networking opportunities in your virtual event as well.
Innovative networking features like virtual networking tables, breakout rooms, chat rooms, networking lounges, AI matchmaking, business card exchange, one-on-one audio/video conferencing, group discussions, & more allow your attendees to interact with one another in a secure, engaging environment.
These networking opportunities will help your attendees expand their network & include useful people in it.
They can thus form meaningful connections with them & utilize those to further their careers & gain more opportunities in their respective industries.
Interactive ice-Breaking Sessions
The most pressing problem with virtual events is that the attendees find it difficult to interact & connect with one another. Without a shared connection like a common physical venue or space, attendees don’t get enough time or incentive to connect with each other.
This makes the entire event, even if it’s overflowing with knowledge & entertainment opportunities, somewhat dull and formal.
In order to remove these formalities, you can try things like innovative ice-breaking sessions and activities to help your attendees get acquainted with each other.
These ice-breaking sessions and activities help attendees get familiar with each other and interact with each other more efficiently.
These sessions also help the exhibitors introduce themselves to the attendees, thus creating a mutually beneficial connection & much-needed familiarity.
Ice-breaking sessions help your attendees look forward to the event in a happy mood, thus helping them engage & interact with the event’s specific aspects in a better, more efficient way.
These creative, innovative virtual event engagement strategies will surely help your attendees get familiar with each other and develop more meaningful connections with each other.
This also helps increase your ROI & allows you to reach your event goals & statistics faster.