6 Creative Ideas To Implement for Virtual Workshops
When the pandemic became a reality in 2020, event organizers all around the world scrambled to bring their events and workshops online. But without the physical experiences and real in-person communication, there was only one big question in everyone’s minds: Was it possible to make virtual events as effective or interesting as an offline one?
The short answer is yes, it’s entirely possible.
The idea for a virtual workshop or event was to be able to build relationships, provide real value, and help attendees achieve their most important goals. Workshop events allow businesses to target a variety of specific audiences in order to gain or maintain their patronage quickly and effectively.
Today, we’re looking at some of the best creative ideas you can apply to your virtual workshop, and maybe help you to find new ways to market your event, find inspiration for activities to conduct, and explore techniques for improving event engagement at an interactive session.
The start of an event, virtual or in person can sometimes be slow and awkward at times. Add to that that virtual events are often attended by people from various countries, meaning cultures play a role too. Virtual events also generally provide less opportunities for team bonding, leading to people becoming less engaged and motivated over time.
This is where the virtual icebreaker comes into play. Having a good icebreaker session at the start of your meeting will help you set the mood and release the tension. Virtual icebreakers can help you to bring your team together and break down the communication barriers between attendees.
Virtual icebreakers can also improve communication among attendees, as well as build up rapport. You can also use the virtual icebreaker session to make your attendees feel involved from the beginning, resulting in bonding, and getting to know each other better.
Breakout sessions have always been an important way to keep event attendees enthusiastic and engaged, something that is more important and crucial when it comes to a virtual environment. Virtual event breakout rooms are one of the ways you can bring your attendees together for meaningful conversations, thought leadership, and professional networking.
The small, structured groupings lead to more natural conversation on focused topics compared to that of the overall workshop event. These sessions allow you to deliver more complex programs to attendees and create unique experiences, as people can partake in hands-on activities or follow smaller keynotes.
Building a virtual breakout room into your session and providing attendees with more tailored engagement experiences will help bring your virtual event to life. Using the right platform for your virtual breakout rooms will make your event even more efficient, enjoyable, and personable for all your attendees.
Virtual sketching is a compelling, engaging, and must-have value-add for virtual meetings and events. Basically, virtual sketching is a powerful, effective and actionable way to share ideas, communicate a message, mobilize a team, inspire your audience and drive real results.
As the power of visualization can often transcend linguistic barriers, there are fewer chances for your audiences to misunderstand images compared to the spoken word which can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunications.
Any visual form of communication helps to tap into the essence of visual learning, leading to a more effective comprehension of ideas, retention of ideas and idea efficiency. This activity is also good for your virtual workshop, as it helps to engage your audience, while providing them with value. Plus, it’s also very shareable on social media overall, which helps to also boost your virtual event for future participants.
Virtual workshops longer than an hour or two can have your audience lose interest easily. This is where these virtual “temperature checks” come into play. Basically, these are a way for your speaker or presenters to check up on your audience and understand how they’re feeling at the moment. Seeking feedback or input from your audience throughout your presentation or session can help to foster inclusivity and boost audience engagement and retention.
This can be done through a simple “How’s everyone feeling now?”, to something more elaborate like making sure that there are dashes of humor or storytelling elements in the dialogue and delivery. It’s good to also include short breaks to help keep attendees’ focus, including intermission activities like stretching, mini-games and quizzes allow audiences to clear their minds and re-charge for the next segment. Again, whenever suitable, lighten the mood with banter.
Further, when you encourage people to speak up during the presentation, it will make it easier for them to speak up later during the Q&A session. If you’re hoping for a higher audience participation rate, these virtual “temperature checks” may just be the thing to help them be more comfortable speaking up.
The novelty of virtual events and virtual workshops have worn off somewhere late in 2020. The term “Zoom-fatigue” had already been coined, and more than a few people started to find themselves getting more careful with the virtual events they accepted. So, how can you keep participants engaged in virtual events, especially when these types of events are starting to feel repetitive?
One of the simplest ways to make a virtual event more engaging is to add interactive elements to the event. Content will always remain one of the most important tools to engage your audience. The way it’s crafted and delivered virtually differs from what you’d see with in-person experiences.
Understanding your audience and giving them what they want is the best way to engage them. Ask yourself questions to determine what your audience needs. You will need to identify the pain points of your attendees and try to make sure your content and its delivery answer their needs.
The more relevant your content is to your audience, the more value it provides and increases their engagement with your event. Since the content will be more relevant for your audience, they are more likely to show up to your virtual event, which decreases your no-show rate.
Audience engagement and what it takes to fully engage your event attendees in a virtual setting had to be redefined when virtual events arrived. Keeping attendees actively engaged throughout the entire experience is instrumental in the overall success of your event, so event engagement became an important metric to track.
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. You can also give 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.
You can also choose to take questions from your audience and initiate a discussion live during the event. 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.
This is a great way to engage your audience; by giving them the power to actively participate throughout the event and initiate discussions live. 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.
There are plenty of creative ideas to use which help to command attention, encourage contributions from everybody, foster team bonding, and help you run a collaborative virtual workshop into something interesting and memorable.
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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