One of the major challenges of hosting virtual events is keeping the audience engaged at all times. In fact, according to research done by Markletic.com, over 49% of marketeers say that audience engagement is the biggest contributor to a successful event.
By hosting a virtual event you can allow your audience to join from across the globe so you have to accommodate different time-zones, cultures and preferences. But how do you make sure your audience is engaged at all times? In this guide we break down 6 ways you can engage your audience and achieve a more successful virtual event.
1. Keep your audience busy
You have to put yourself in the virtual shoes of the delegate and ask yourself ‘what is the motivation for me to log in today?’.
- It’s important your audience has something to do, and that there is always a presentation going on. Because of different time zones, you might not always be able to continuously deliver live presentations round the clock.
- In iVent, you can host mock-live presentations which are recorded, but can run at a time you would like to create that feeling of a live presentation.
- Create your full timed agenda with live and mock live presentations with or without live Q&A so that there is always content to be viewed no matter what timezone your delegate might be in.
2. Give plenty of choice
A big programme is the one that will keep your delegates locked in.
- Offer your delegates a choice of activities and sessions to do so that they have that moment of ‘damn, there are two awesome sessions but which do I choose’. This makes a delegate engaged and excited for what you are delivering in the event at all times.
- Most importantly, by having a diverse agenda you can cover off different topics of interest.
- Try to cover not only different topics but formats of your sessions. Provide a variety of roundtable discussions, 5 minute pitches, presentations with live Q&A. This will allow you to address delegates with different preferences on how they like to consume content.
3. Bring important and interesting speakers
Speakers always make a huge impact on the success of the engagement at an event so whether you are working with internal or external speakers:
- It’s important to choose the right speakers to deliver relevant, trend-setting content in a fun and engaging way.
- Use out of the box speakers – speakers such as explorers, broadcasters, entrepreneurs, sportsmen or politicians will always attract good attendance.
4. Get your audience involved
Create interactive roundtable sessions where all participants can speak and be on video and discuss a key topic.
In iVent you can deliver your sessions in many formats, one of them could be used to host interactive sessions with up to 1500 participants watching and 25 participants speaking live on camera – it’s a bit like your own Clubhouse.
- You can also host smaller discussion or networking rooms that are more closed off for only those who are invited.
- Give your rooms an exciting name, something like ‘too hot to touch’ where you can only discuss topics within that room.
- Use the Chatham House rule where it’s a bit like the Fight Club. Anything that happens in that room, stays in that room.
5. Ready, set, PLAY!
Try to offer gamification – this could be skills-based games with leaderboards or quizzes with a great prize and appeal to people’s competitive nature. Our favourite one that works really well for our clients is a PAC-MAN game.
Even something as simple as a fidget spinner you can put on your booth could be a fun way for people to spend some time and gain points whilst waiting for the next session to start, and in the meantime you as a booth host could invite them for a video chat to network.
6. Take selfies, and share with others
Include a virtual photo booth to let your delegates share their faces no matter where they are. A virtual photo booth can bring a lot of fun and let everybody share where they are joining the event from. This will also work great for your marketing on social media to create extra buzz for those who didn’t register or didn’t join the event yet.
Don’t be shy – get in touch!
The list is not limited and we have 100s of other ideas that could work really well for your next event.