The rise of virtual and hybrid events have been long forthcoming. However, there is still a challenge to create an experience that fully engages online attendees so they see it as a worthwhile use of their time. Keeping an audience captivated and engaged for the duration of a virtual event is not easy.
Even with a stellar lineup of speakers and content, virtual event planners have to make sure that online attendees feel welcomed, appreciated, and engaged throughout the virtual event. So, the question is: how do you keep attendees engaged during virtual events?
Today, we’re looking at a few ways for you to keep your attendees engaged during your virtual events. By improving your virtual event audience engagement, you will be able to take your virtual event to the next level and beyond.
Events are all about the exciting networking opportunities with the people in the room. But while it may seem challenging, virtual events can also make the most of networking as well.
In fact, there are some ways to utilize the virtual tools available at your disposal to create virtual networking sessions. The trick is to always make sure that you give the audience the tools to interact with other people. This can be through chat, one-on-one meetings, or live conversations.
For example, you can set up breakout rooms for attendees to interview the speakers or panellists. This will give the audience a lot of value from the networking sessions, while improving on virtual event’s engagement levels.
Every conference should ideally have a keynote session, as it can help to set the tone by weaving together engaging and inspirational storytelling, helpful insights, and predictions for the future. Not only can these presentations solidify your event’s core theme and messaging, but keynote sessions help to build up a sense of excitement and increase engagement among attendees.
Bringing a keynote speech into the live virtual space is a great way to amplify your speaker’s message and reach a broader audience, and get your attendees talking and sharing about it on the social media space.
Breaking the ice with an online audience can be tough. During your virtual event, live polling is a powerful tool for you to utilize. This is because it gives your audiences a voice and a way to participate in a two-way conversation to drive engagement.
Giving your attendees the chance to vote on topics they are interested in, or to see what questions they want to have answered can help to guide the flow of your event, and allow them to tailor it to their tastes. This is a great way to engage your audience; by giving them the power to actively participate throughout the event.
Further, the data collected from this engagement can help you understand what it is your audience is looking for, and this information can be used to more effectively plan and optimize future events. The key to successful live polling is use the data collected to make sure your audience feels presented and that they are contributing with their valuable input.
Whether you’re looking to take feedback for your business growth, or just to find out what your audience thinks about your event, taking questions from a target audience and initiating a discussion live during a virtual event can be extremely helpful. This gives them space to give feedback on what they are thinking about the big keynote speakers, or the stories that have cropped up during the event.
Ultimately, that boost of interaction with your audience in real-time is invaluable. You can learn a lot from your audience by the questions they ask. The purpose of a highly engaging Q&A session is to expand the online presence and reach and repurpose the content. This strategy aims to connect audiences with those who generate the content to educate and, mainly, create interactions.
When your event is fully virtual, the content becomes vital in keeping your attendees engaged. However, with the rise of recorded sessions, you should also consider offering on-demand content to your attendees and allow them to mix and match their sessions at their own convenience.
Having on-demand content gives more leeway for your attendees to watch or rewatch a session they missed later on. It’s important to give your attendees a place where they can easily search for content related to the event and consume it at their convenience. Doing this can also extend engagement before, during, and after the event.
Running a virtual event will always have the challenge of keeping your attendees’ attention. With the help of event management technology and a little creativity, you can create virtual events that are more than attendees watching a screen. Audience engagement is absolutely key to virtual events. It’s safe to say that engagement is vital in virtual conferences to improve your ROI and help attendees to retain everything they learned.
At Milestone Production, we’re well-versed with plenty of experience in virtual event planning, from the platform we use down to the different ways to improve interaction between virtual attendees. Our solid team will ensure that all your virtual event needs are met, with customisable solutions for events of any size.
Embrace the new norm of virtual events. Go virtual. Go global.
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