Virtual events are commonplace today in the business world and it’s a scenario that’s likely to remain so for quite some time. While it is indeed safer and more convenient for all participants, organizers do face difficulty as virtual events can cause a disconnect between the audience and the presenter.
For an event to be deemed a success, it’s important that viewers feel they are actively involved in the event. Of course, for online events, this is easier said than done.
If you have come to the same realization, keep reading as we list down the top tips you can use to create an online event that leaves everyone engaged and attentive.
Keep It Short
The average person can maintain sustained attention for approximately 20 minutes – and even that’s under debate too. Rethink your script on how to keep it shorter and concise. Regardless of the size of the audience, look into adding live questions and polls to periodically engage your audience. Nobody likes an event that rambles on without an end in sight.
Create Moments of Surprise
Enhance the virtual experience through the element of surprise and the creation of experiential aspects. For the former, consider adding a guest speaker, someone who is well-known in the industry and familiar with the topic at hand. You can also announce giveaways at the end of your event.
For experiential moments, consider using AR and VR to create moments where the virtual merges with reality. This can include virtual booths, a VR walkthrough of the space, etc. Given the vast capabilities of VR and AR, it should be easy to adapt the technology to fit your event subject.
Measure Your Drop-Off Rate
Knowing how engaged your audience was during different sessions can help you narrow down and figure out what worked and what did not. If you didn’t already know it, the drop-off rate is the rate at which people are leaving a virtual event. Using this, you can analyze your audience’s interests, the structure of your event and the quality of the speakers.
Many webinar tools like Eventx provide the data you need to adequately measure your event success.
Through this, you can come up with many recommendations such as:
Inviting better, more engaging speakers or re-inviting guests who were very popular
Include dedicated moderators to improve engagement throughout the event
Survey Attendees on Ways to Improve
Develop and modify your agenda on an ongoing basis with feedback from all those who attended. Understand what they expect from you and then see how you can deliver it. Other than presentations, consider adding virtual round tables based on various subjects, networking events, Q&A sessions and a live chat feature – all of which are known to increase engagement.
Encourage Participants to Ask Questions
Encourage participants to submit questions or debate the speaker. This results in a broad discussion that engages everyone in a natural yet immersive manner. Turn your event into an interactive conversation through the clever use of prerecorded content and presentations.
A one-way conversation is boring for everyone. Refer to attendees by their name, invite their opinions, answer questions and ask open ended questions that force the audience to respond.
Make It Easy To Sign Up and Access
If it’s difficult to sign up and register for the event, potential attendees are likely to simply move on. Therefore, look into simplifying the process. The above mentioned Eventx makes this process easy with auto-generated registration pages that require zero skill in coding. Add the speaker profiles and their expertise in the subject to further attract attendees.
Use Push Notifications to Keep Attendees Updated
Keeping multiple channels of communication open is important for maintaining audience engagement at a high. It also opens up many other opportunities. For example, using push notifications can help you update attendees through a mobile event app. Use it to communicate the schedule, alerts and other important updates.
Gamify the Event
Gamification always gets people involved. It refers to applying video game mechanics to a non-game scenario. This could mean assigning points or giving badges to attendees depending on their participation rate or how long they remained logged in for the event. It adds a competitive yet fun element to all your events and is proven to deliver higher engagement rates on virtual events.
If you have a mobile event app, you can add challenges to the app and include a leaderboard so everyone can see where they stand. Points can be awarded based on engagement, etc.
Use the Right Tools
There are many webinar tools but take your time to choose the one that fits your needs. The right option should help you generate leads quickly, build a community regardless of time or location and make the RSVP process easy and hassle-free for everyone involved. For instance, Eventx offers an automated email journey, customizable templates and easy payment gateways for ticketing.
Inform Your Audience of the Rules
Before beginning your event, take a moment to set the engagement rules. This makes the event smoother, ensuring easy engagement and communication between all parties.
This can include:
Directions on how to use the chat feature
How to mute/unmute the microphone
How to ask questions
Directions on how to contact support
Alternatively, these could be issued via email or through the mobile application.
As mentioned very early in this article, screen fatigue and maintaining constant attention is a challenge. Combat this by including plenty of breaks between sessions. You could take the experience up a notch by adding virtual breakout rooms for team activities. Also, adding themed events can ensure your event is more memorable!
Of course, it may not be possible to implement all the above-mentioned steps but do an experiment, survey the results and see what works for you. Finally, the most crucial thing you can do is choose the right platform. The platform should allow you to easily host, manage and promote your event while allowing virtual networking. If you are interested in learning more about EventX, click here to schedule a demo!
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