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Consider the following ways as your top priority to engage your attendees for better attendance and attention.
Unlike in-person events, virtual events provide the attendees with more reasons to ‘zone out.’ With no options to entertain themselves behind the computer screens, distraction is just a few seconds away, enabling attendees to drop out from events in just a few clicks.
Keeping your attendees entertained comes as a premium because it not only involves you strategizing the event flow but also assign dedicated experts to handle the responsibilities well. With little creativity and openness, organizers can create an exceptional experience for the attendees rather than just watching their screens, and provide them an exposure online that will convince them to come back for more.
So, let us look into seventeen ideas to keep your attendees engaged and make the most of their time.
1. Leverage social media
When social media can help you gather attendees, why not use the medium to keep the attendees engaged?
Take a break from the presentation and post some exciting questions or experiences on your social media handles. Ask your attendees to comment on the post while attending the event and create a buzz about the ongoing event.
And don’t miss out on creating exciting hashtags and include them as a part of the post on social media.
2. Engaging content
The one thing that keeps your attendees on toes is the content, especially during virtual events. As event organizers, you have to take the punch or the stress to produce exciting content without which your event might be boring.
Use punchlines, sassy examples, lighter notes, and most of all, try to be conversational rather than scripted.
3. Engage with a game
Perhaps games weren’t needed during in-person events, but virtually it is an exciting way to keep your attendees engaged. After all, who doesn’t like a little competition?
Construct games that revolve around your event topic, or the keynote session, or simply questions that make attendees smile, but implement the strategy in your event to engage the audience.
And while the attendees are busy participating, leverage the social media to create a buzz on the same.
While you are already leveraging social media to share snippets from the events, make sure you also micro-blog insights from the event. Share tips and tricks, snippets of what is been told on social media platforms, and educate your followers who are not present at the event.
This way you can create unique content and keep your followers and attendees engaged, too.
5. Engage with influencers
Sometimes your word can reach a larger audience when you take help from an influencer of the same industry. When you are planning to conduct a kick-ass event, tie-up with a few influencers who can help you gain more eyeballs.
With the help of an influencer, you can share more snippets from the event, share more of your micro-blog stories, and probably get more brand lovers.
6. Create spaces to network
Events are a way to network and probably the major reason for attendees to participate. With events going online, don’t miss out on the important need of the event.
Create dedicated spaces or breakout sessions where attendees can interact with each other and know their peers better. Make the space comfortable and inviting, assign a team member to keep the discussion going in the spaces, respectively.
7. Leverage with technological attractions
An ongoing event is the best platform to highlight the technology or your product. Showcase glimpses of last year’s events, or interviews, or some exciting content with technological aspects.
Use the latest technological trends to keep the event moving and leverage social media to highlight the progress and create a buzz. A virtual event platform can indeed be a handy solution for the latest technological update. It could create the buzz you need to keep the event going.
8. Gather data with live polls
Live polling is always fun. Ask questions, give options, and then see the meter for answers. While conducting live polls is a great way to continuously engage your attendees, it is also a smart way to gather data.
However, to perform such a complex task easily while conducting the event, you need an equipped event management platform. The latest event platforms let you conduct live polls, analyze the data of the live polls, interact with your attendees simultaneously, share the data with your attendees, and later can be used by your internal team to drill on your attendees’ interests.
And yes, don’t stop at just one or two live polls, if possible, conduct a minimum of three live polls per event to keep the trend going.
9. Push notifications
Push notifications can be really interesting to fall for or dislike a brand. Amidst the event, these little snippets of exciting content can really help attendees freshen up and get ready for the next.
Use push notification to inform attendees about the upcoming keynote session, or breakout session, or the break time.
10. Live Q&A
Events are tiresome when the interaction is one-sided. Unlike virtual events, in-person events gave participants enough space to raise their questions and find answers. While virtual events are just another side of the event industry, it is important that organizers enable participants to question their doubts, find answers, engage with the speakers, and get enlightened.
11. Surveys and tests
This is another exciting way to keep your attendees engaged. While viewers might eventually lose interest, the presence of surveys and fun tests after every session will keep the attendees engaged in the event and intrigue them to listen to the content all throughout.
12. On-demand content
If your event is a day-long agenda, then giving your attendees some time to wiggle and take breaks is important. Also, when you provide them the flexibility to watch a few on-demand contents at their own time and pace, they feel more satisfied and less disinterested.
13. Workout and mind sessions
These sessions may sound boring or unnecessary for your events. But they are a mindful way of engaging with your audience. These sessions show that you care about the attendees’ mind space and would like to give them some time to breathe and relax.
Attendees don’t take a day off to attend your event, sitting on the chair and working continuously drains them. So, when you conduct these workouts or mind sessions, it gives them a break to focus more on your event.
The mindful sessions do not have to be something grand, they can be simple exercises like standing, stretching, moving bodies, inhaling and exhaling, or anything that can be quickly done. Boost their confidence and yes, don’t forget to live stream this part of your event on your social media handles.
14. Interactions in the event app
If you have an app in place, use it to its fullest. Engage with your wider audience by interacting through the event app. Get attendees to talk to one another, conduct video call events that can be attended by the participants on their interest, and build a community during your event time.
15. Be a Swagster
Most virtual events are conducted for hours, providing a platform to share and gain knowledge, but post-event, the fire just dies. Be an organizer who keeps the show alive even after the event is over. Send over cool gifts, T-shirts, momentum, and leave them a touchy note behind. Let your attendees feel closer to your brand and come back again to attend some more of exciting events.
16. Keep an eye on the event length
Attending in-person events with excited attendees, music, liveliness is different from attending virtual events that are mostly taken alone at home. If you really wish to keep your attendees engaged, then don’t go overboard with your event or session length.
If the event or session is supposed to be two hours long, then wrap it up within the mentioned time, or else you can soon see your attendees exiting the call.
17. Live keynote sessions
At the end of your event, providing keynotes is important. Make sure to delve into the keynotes live to maintain the excitement within the community. Get attendees to also share their insights and understanding about the keynotes and wrap up the session with a bang.
Think outside the box for your virtual events
As organizers, it is absolutely not wrong for you to consider these tips as unnecessary. But the major point here for us to understand is employees are working from their homes since the pandemic outbreak. They are restricted from free movements and are locked up in their houses.
When you are conducting an event, besides the regular office, attendees are taking time out from their regular chores to entertain your event. So, the least we can do is provide them a little time for fun and engagement. While virtual events can never match up to the in-person events, organizers must still try their best to keep the engagement going.
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