Keeping attendees engaged at a virtual event is a challenge, but it can be overcome! Thankfully, there are some ideas to keep attendees engaged. You don’t even have to spend a lot of money to put effort into your event!
Here are our top 5 tips for keeping people connected during a virtual event. Try out these ideas in time for next year’s event!
1) Use technology to connect
We use social media tools such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter to connect with people. Why not use all three to help people stay in touch after the conference has ended?
You could create an account for the event and include profiles for each speaker or team member. This way, anyone interested can follow them and get updates about their lives.
2) Host a chat or Q&A session
Many companies now offer live streaming services where you can watch presentations or chats with speakers via YouTube, Facebook, or Twitch.
Ask if any of your audience members would like to speak with the guests before the event ends and see who would be willing to do so! This gives more opportunities for engagement.
Use a video conference
Having an in-person event is great, but it’s not always feasible due to weather or other commitments. A virtual meeting using a phone call or video chat can be just as effective if not better than having a face-to-face event, especially since most people are accustomed to listening to the voice channel rather than looking into someone else’s eyes.
By adding some basic touches like this, you will give your attendees more freedom, flexibility, and options for attending the event. You can also use technology such as Skype or Google Hangouts to facilitate the conversation.
There are even services that allow you to have fully interactive meetings where users can share content, upload files, and do all of the things that you would normally do at an in-person event.
Offer online polls or quizzes to keep attendees engaged
Having a good time is an important part of attending events, especially virtual ones. Providing opportunities for attendees to show off their knowledge through interactive questions or “pop-quiz” style surveys are a great way to keep them engaged.
You can even ask guests to contribute ideas or suggestions to help improve your event! This is perfect for gathering feedback after the event as well.
By adding these into your event via mobile apps or other software, it will not be difficult to organize.
Encourage participants to invite their friends
At this time, there are very few ways to prevent people with online access from leaving before the event ends. If you’re hosting a virtual event, what you can do is encourage attendees to invite their colleagues or family members to join them for the remaining events.
By adding “I would love for you to come too!” as an invitation, they will be able to accept or decline it without having to worry about being disconnected. This may also help bring in new audience members who have not yet heard of your event.
Alternatively, if someone does decide to disconnect, no one else will know why unless someone notices something strange about the person. This could create more engagement since people will want to talk about the individual and whether they thought something was off about them.
Ask guests to share their favorite images to keep attendees engaged
This is a great way to gain some interesting insights! Many people have special pictures they use to describe themselves, what they like, or things that mean something to them. By asking these people to include those pictures in your event, you get a chance to learn more about yourself and them!
It’s very easy to ask participants to contribute their pictures, but if you want to make this fun for them, it is better to invite them first and then request their contribution. That way they can choose whether or not to participate without feeling pressured.
Ask guests how you can help them feel comfortable and able to be creative. You may also find out that some people don’t have an internet connection at home so you should probably plan.
Ask guests to share their favorite parts of the event
It’s very common for hosts of online events to ask attendees if they enjoyed meeting them, what they loved about the speaker or presentation, or whether there was anything they would like to see repeated or adapted in the future.
By asking these questions, you give people the chance to highlight and praise the event without feeling uncomfortable or that they have to say something super-positive!
This is a great way to gain some valuable insights into how well the event went and ways to improve next time.
By asking about the event as a whole and not just your part as an attendee, you also help the speakers feel more connected to the audience and vice versa.
And while it may sound cliché, but really, celebrating each other’s efforts is a powerful thing.
Provide online discussion forums or groups to keep attendees engaged
As attendance is not guaranteed, there are ways to keep people engaged in the event. This can be done by providing an interactive forum or group chat where attendees can discuss topics of interest or ask questions about the event or other events similar to it.
You can also use third-party applications and services to facilitate this. For example, you could have a separate thread on your website where participants can leave comments or messages. Or, if you use Facebook as a platform, you can create a group page where interested parties can connect and contribute.
Such platforms make posting easy and intuitive for users, which helps engagement! By adding these components to your virtual event, it will surely get lots of attention and participation.
At the same time, they help spread the word about your event, which is another way to boost its turnout.
Virtual events can feel lonely at times, so making sure there’s adequate interaction makes for a more pleasant experience. Plus, it’s a lot cheaper than sending out invitations and paying for face-to-face meetings!
How to do it – don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here’s our list of tips for hosting a free virtual event that won’t waste everyone’s time.
Offer live tweeting
As we know, social media is a powerful tool for engagement of your event. People love to talk about what they’re listening to, so why not get them talking by offering a chance for everyone to live tweet or chat during the event?
This can be done through an app like Tweetdeck that has a separate channel just for sharing events. Or you could create a dedicated hashtag to make it easy to search for tweets with content related to the event.
By having this interactive feature, people will feel more connected to the rest of the world because they are able to see what others are reading, discuss the event with other users, and potentially meet some new friends!
It’s also great exposure for your event and yourself as leader of the event. Having a presence on social media gives your organization credibility and boosts your profile.