The success of a virtual event is primarily reflected by how well it engages its audience. After all, it’s easy to be distracted or bored when attending a virtual event if what’s being presented doesn’t catch your attention. When your attendees stop paying attention to the event, it essentially becomes a failure; they’re likely to walk away with a poor impression, and they may avoid attending future events. As such, it is important to figure out how to build better engagement during the virtual events you host to ensure maximum retention and conversion.
Virtual events are constantly evolving, thanks to new trends and technologies. This can make it particularly hard for event managers to keep track of what they need to host and run a successful virtual event. There might be several reasons why your virtual events might be experiencing poor audience engagement, and it’s crucial to identify the potential flaws and fix them before hosting the next event.
Tips to grow your virtual event engagement
While enhancing audience engagement during virtual events is a challenge, there are several ways to go about it – ranging from the use of virtual event engagement tools to the implementation of various activities in the event. Knowing these tricks can help you run successful virtual events.
Experts at reputed digital experience platforms like Viafoura recommend taking a thorough approach to building better engagement during virtual events. Of course, not every technique is suitable for every organization or event. You’ll have to pick the right ones and plan how to incorporate them into your virtual events. Here are a few tips on how you can make your virtual events more engaging.
1. Go multilingual
If you are trying to reach out to a vast audience through your events, try going multilingual by hiring live translators and moderators. Translating your content will help you reach individuals who do not understand English, and it’s also possible to implement real-time translated closed captioning software on virtual event platforms. Even for multilingual attendees, providing content in their native languages makes it more likely that they will attend and follow your events in the future.
2. Have breaks during the event
Virtual events can be much more exhausting than they seem. Screen-time fatigue can take a toll on the attendees’ attention span and cause them to zone out during the event. It would be a good idea to allow breaks in between sessions. If possible, create virtual breakout rooms where the attendees can engage in fun activities like minigames and other activities.
3. Facilitate networking opportunities
Remember, many individuals attend events primarily for social and networking opportunities. After all, such events offer opportunities to connect with subject matter experts. This is also possible during virtual events, but only when you allow one-to-one conversations besides the main event session. Group chats and virtual meetups can be extremely helpful in this regard. Experts highly recommend incorporating a community chat so that the attendees can engage with each other in real-time.
4. Hire entertainment
Depending on the type of virtual event you are hosting, you can also hire suitable entertainment to keep the audience engaged. Professional magicians and comedians are great for keeping virtual events vibrant and lively. In case it is a small and formal event, such as a roundtable discussion, you may hire a sketch artist instead. Sketch artists can take notes during the event in their own creative ways and turn them into works of art. Publishing this art on your social media pages is great for brand exposure and audience engagement.
5. Arrange for social media contests
In the age of social media, it’s extremely easy to host contests for minimal cost and effort. When you host a major virtual event with a large number of attendees, social media contests can be very helpful in gaining more exposure while engaging with the audience. Keep the contests simple but creative, such as requiring the attendees to post pictures of how they attended the event.
Make sure there is a prize for the winner so that the attendees have enough incentive to participate. Ask the participants to use the brand or event hashtag when posting these pictures on social media. These hashtags go a long way in increasing your brand or event’s social media visibility.
6. Choose the right platform
The platform on which you host the event is a crucial factor behind audience engagement too. While some platforms are dull and boring, designed strictly for formal meetings only, others offer plenty of interactive capabilities. Modern virtual event platforms offer a plethora of features like badges, personalized profiles, polling, etc. Choosing the right platform will make it much easier to build audience engagement, with all the necessary tools available at your fingertips.
7. Host themed events
Setting up themed events has been a fun and effective practice for long, even before virtual events gained popularity. You can set up themes based on recent or upcoming calendar holidays or anything that would draw the audience’s interest. Themed events are particularly refreshing and tend to retain the audience’s attention for longer.
8. Include live Q&A sessions
Events are typically more successful when they facilitate two-way communication. After all, many attendees might find it tedious or frustrating to simply sit and listen throughout the duration of the event. Ensure that your event includes real-time interactive sessions where the attendees can voice their opinions or ask questions.
Considering that virtual events are here to stay, it is crucial for business owners and event managers to chalk out how to make these events a success. Remember, a successful virtual event can prove to be a massive boost for your business. It is always a good idea to consult experts on this matter if you are unsure how to go about it.
Hosting virtual events allows businesses to reach out to a vast audience irrespective of geographical boundaries. When your attendees find your events fun and get a good impression of your company, word will spread fast. This shouldn’t be too hard, considering the amazing range of sophisticated virtual event platforms and engagement tools that are now available.