Prevent a dull and uneventful virtual event experience from driving attendance down. Knowing how to engage your audience and make them feel like an active participant will contribute to a significantly more successful virtual event.
webcastingandvirtualevents.com gathered the following 13 ways to energize your online audience and keep their attention focused on your event content.
How To Make Virtual Events More Engaging
With virtual meetings or events like webinars and conferences, operating outside the box is truly the only solution for keeping your participants tuned in from the beginning till the end. The following are 13 ingenious ways to keep your audience’s interest focused and avoid their premature leaving:
1. Present Compelling Content
When you go virtual, there is increased pressure on your content to attract and keep attention. Convincing attendees to show up for your event requires offering compelling content that captures their interest more than the movie that was just released on Netflix. Read more on leveraging content at webcastingandvirtualevents.com/content-marketing-guide-with-examples/
2. Shout Out Attendees by Name
While no one particularly likes to be called out in the middle of a meeting, it will certainly keep you alert. The same way some influencers single out members of their audience, have experienced speakers mention attendee names in the session.
3. Be Observant of Meeting Length
You might have the impression that because attendees are sitting at in-person events and virtual events, that their session durations shouldn’t change. But, there’s a striking difference between sitting in a two-hour in-person presentation with other engaged attendees, watching a presentation filled with music, performance, and inspiring speeches, and sitting alone in a chair at home.
Virtual sessions can feel longer, and attendees are more likely to click away during the event. Keep your meetings and sessions shorter than normal to keep your attendees focused on the content.
4. Collaborate With Other Creators
If you’re putting on a multiple-day virtual event, collaborate with other creators. This will help diversify the format and better appeal to your audience, keeping them engaged throughout the whole event.
You can do this by having:
- Interactive topic panels
- Case studies from past participants
- Panel-style presentations and interactions
5. Production/Product Quality
The final production and product quality of your virtual event and its content is your opportunity to make a profound impact. Look to video best practices to truly make your mark. Acquire the highest quality cameras, branded props, crisp mics, and quality of your presentations. Stunning graphics and excellent video quality will keep your event attendees mesmerized with the screen. Read more on video content creation at webcastingandvirtualevents.com/video-content-creation-tips-and-tools/
6. Live Q&A
Let attendees pose questions and provide answers during Q&A sessions. By offering exceptional content, your attendees will have questions and want answers from the expert(s). Include Q&A time in the same way you would at an in-person event.
7. FAQs and Tips and Tricks for Virtual Events
Build an easily accessible page on your event website specifically for FAQs. Create a guide for your attendees with information about how to get the most out of a virtual event. Think beyond the typically written guide and make a series of video tutorials instead.
8. Surveys and Knowledge Tests
Hold your attendees intellectually accountable. Give surveys after each information block, whether it’s live or an on-demand event, or give a simple knowledge test to see if they were tuned in or not. This is an exceptional tool for educational content.
9. Live Keynotes
Your keynotes need to be engaging, inspirational, and educational. And, in a virtual setting, it’s best for them to be live. If your virtual event comprises many blocks or sessions, try to place a live keynote speaker to build a sense of excitement and online community. Encourage attendees to post their favorite quotes and thoughts to social media and message streams.
In-person events focus heavily on networking. Virtual meetings can make the most of networking, too. Using your mobile event app’s attendee list and connect your attendees based on common interests or shared event goals. Promote virtual happy hours or gatherings for attendees to make valuable connections.
11. On-Demand, Diverse, and Flexible Content
Sitting in a chair all day and watching videos can get very old and tedious quickly. On-demand sessions permit attendees to see content and watch sessions at their own speed. Offer sessions that can be watched at any time. If you want attendees to stick to a fixed schedule, give them space and add time in for breaks.
12. Messaging in the Event App
Maximize the use of your virtual event technology. Mobile event apps usually have built-in messaging capabilities. Encourage your attendees to talk to one another and interact. Keep them talking throughout the event in the easiest way possible – with a tool built into the event app. or software.
If you have collected your event attendee’s street addresses, you should send them swag. If you only have their email addresses, you can still send them swag. Virtual event attendees (like most people) love free things. Consider gifting them with an e-gift card for coffee or mail out t-shirts, pens, hats, or other branded material before the event for attendees to wear throughout the virtual event.
Think Outside the Box with Your Virtual Event
A virtual event isn’t required to be a stripped-down version of an in-person event. While it can’t match the experience of an in-person event, engagement should still be one of the top priorities. Going virtual only means that you will have to amp up your creativity about keeping attendees focused and inspired.
Create an Engaging Virtual Event
In this article, you discovered 13 ways to increase a virtual audience’s interest in exploring your content and promotional activities.
When you offer your virtual audience activities and purpose, you transform them from spectators into active participants.
Leaving your virtual audience not engaged will result in low interest and even lower virtual event attendance.