With everything going on right now, it seems like the whole event industry has turned to virtual events as the primary means of event delivery. And with the rise of virtual events and meetups, it is getting a little bit tricky to keep your online participants’ attention. But don’t fret. We have just the ideas for you to keep your online guests as engaged as ever. Read on to see what they are.
#1 Online polls and opinion sharing
Organizing live online polls during a virtual session lets your guests feel more a part of your virtual event. Asking for their opinion shows that you’re genuinely designing an event for them. It also gives you some great insights into how your audience is thinking on a specific topic.
#2 Reward for publicity
When spreading the word about your online event, get your guest list involved. People who have signed up for your cyber engagement are likely to have friends and family that would be interested in your event as well. Incentivize having them invite their contacts to your conference or forum. You will be amply rewarded with guests and valuable insight into your target audience’s connections.
Running up to your online session, get your guests involved in a gamified event involving the use of social platforms. Get them to like, share, invite friends, and take part in a string of online events moderated by your team. For each of these activities, reward points to level up towards the grand prize. Not only will you have them transfixed and excited about the rewards they will receive, but you’ll also be getting some free publicity out of it. Two birds in one stone, if we should say so ourselves.
#4 Use lots of visual aids
Staring at a screen for a good time can spark lethargy and brain fog. However, the case isn’t so when there are visual aids like animations, graphics, and videos. Incorporate these elements as much as possible into your virtual event. Avoid wordy slides and complex graphs as much as possible. Instead, translate the data and critical information into a quick graphic, short video, or animation. This way, you’ll be getting the message across without boring your attendees.
#5 Have breaks and networking sessions
Let your guest mingle and get to know each other during session breaks. Networking is vital when it comes to engagement. Organize games, expertise sharing sessions, online matchmaking, group chats & video calls, and virtual lunches. Humans are communal beings, and having met a few friends at an event would forever stick in their minds. In most cases, they may bond further over your events, so consider this somewhat a long-term investment.
#6 Be active on social media
While you have the event running, assign a team to handle live streaming and social media updates. Although only a handful can attend the actual event, more people are interested in following updates via social media. Anticipate exciting talking points in your event and have them shown live on all of your active social media platforms simultaneously. Build up hype around them as well, have countdowns, live announcements, and teasers.
#7 Share a recording of your event
Let’s face it; not everyone will be able to make it to your event. To counter this, you have two options. You can either have a recording sent to interested parties at a small premium. This injects a sense of value into your content, prompting people to join in future occasions. Or, you can alternately create an online archive of your virtual events and live streams. This way, you will build a loyal following, who could also convert into attendees of your future virtual functions. Make sure that these can be shared so that your followers keep growing your fanbase.
#8 Offer related follow-up materials
Attendees of your virtual event will appreciate having something to take home after a session with you. More if your event is centered around a specific topic with lots of information and shared insights or tips. Have short e-book style summaries of your event, complete with key points and elaborations of them. You can also take down questions during your event and have them answered in short live Q&A session after the event.
#9 Create a community around your event
Please don’t fall into the trap of thinking that it ends right after the actual event is over. Your virtual event still has more to offer even after. Create an online community, a Facebook group, or a dedicated forum for your target audience and automatically add guests to them. These can be a platform for you to share snippets, behind the scenes clips and even promote your future events. Such groups can morph into being a precious, dense target audience if you work it the right way.
#10 Get feedback and suggestions
Always send your guests a feedback form after the event. These, although they seem trivial, can give you an insight into what could have been done better and what people thought of your event. Besides that, the suggestion form is a great place to spawn new ideas based on your audience’s niche preferences. Incentivize these suggestions with event merchandise or coupons for the next event.