The recent shift of networking events from in-person to digital events has allowed businesses to reap the benefits of going virtual. That’s not to say that it hasn’t come without it’s set of hurdles, the biggest of which is keeping audiences engaged throughout.
To put it in the most straightforward way, audience engagement is key to the success of your virtual event. This holds especially true for younger audiences that are susceptible to getting distracted very easily. Ensuring that your attendees feel involved throughout the event with lots of interactive things to do will inevitably take your virtual event to the next level.
Here are 7 ideas that can be applied to keep your audiences involved & engaged, no matter how big or small your event is:
Live polls are one of the most interactive features that can be used during any type of virtual event and can bring great value. By conducting polls, you can capture powerful feedback in real-time, gather data and also make attendees feel more involved in the event. This will also give the users a motive to stay back until the end of the event to witness the results of the polls.
Gamification is the process of integrating game mechanics to your event, where attendees can take part and challenge each other, and receive points at the end of the event. It is perhaps the most underrated feature that can effectively enhance the user experience and make your virtual event fun, unique and compelling. Moreover, it also boosts overall user participation during the event. You can also prompt your attendees to share their scores on social media and promote your event.
Like live polls, a Q&A session is another great feature that will help you add value to your event. Having Q&A sessions gives attendees an opportunity to interact with hosts and guests in real time, and find out more about topics discussed in the event. Often considered a staple in virtual events, Q&A sessions are ideal for facilitating an exchange of ideas, sharing knowledge, and more. Include a leaderboard in the virtual lobby to keep the audience motivated and engaged.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn- there are plenty of possibilities when it comes to leveraging social media for virtual events. People love competitions, and they love to win prizes even more. Running a contest on social media is a great way to get more members of the audience involved. This also helps indirectly market your virtual event across social media platforms and helps get your event in front of more potential attendees. Also, create a hashtag for your event on social media to gain more visibility.
Similar to Q&A sessions, AMA sessions are a way to transparently engage with your audience to promote new features, updates and products, and connect with users in real time during a virtual event. This happens on a slightly intimate level since in this case, attendees are the ones who ask their own questions as opposed to answering pre-decided ones.
Attendee feedback is one of the best methods to understand how your audience feels about your event and gauge its success, and also make your audience feel that their opinion is valued. Feedback also helps attendees share their personal thoughts and opinions, which thereby helps form stronger connections between the audience and host(s). If you are hosting a virtual event for the first time, you can begin with a simple rating session. In addition, feedback helps improve aspects of your virtual event that may succumb to criticism, giving you opportunities to better your event.
A networking lounge is a virtual space where attendees can mingle and interact with their peers, hosts and other participants in one-on-one conversations, group discussions, and more. Since networking is one of the most important reasons why events take place, a networking lounge has become an essential feature of virtual events and is great for engagement. You can step it up a little and match attendees based on common interest with the help of agenda specific
These are just a few suggestions to boost audience engagement during a virtual event. While there are a few things that you cannot do with virtual events compared to in-person events, there are a whole lot of other things that can boost engagement of your virtual event. Explore and experiment in your own virtual event to see what works best, and the results will show.
Thinking about hosting Virtual Events? Reach out to us and we will guide you through the end to end process of hosting amazing online events! Book a free Demo on Samaaro today!
Samaaro is a powerful and customizable virtual event platform that organizations have leveraged to host scalable and engaging events. Our reputed clients have hosted Virtual Exhibitions, Virtual Tradeshows, Virtual summits, Virtual trade shows, Virtual fairs, Virtual conferences, Virtual awards ceremonies, and more on Samaaro. With a plethora of features, such as a powerful analytics dashboard, one-on-one and group chats/video calls, custom software integrations and more, Samaaro empowers you to host impactful virtual events that effectively connect you with your global audience and achieve business milestones.