Virtual events are becoming more and more popular in the business world. They offer an alternative to live events that is cost effective, convenient for attendees, and easily scalable. There’s no need to worry about event space or travel logistics when you’re hosting a virtual event. Participants can log in from anywhere in the world! However, virtual events can struggle with audience engagement and can lack some of the social elements that make live events so enjoyable. With good planning, they don’t have to be all work and no play!
Here are 8 ideas on how to engage your virtual audience:
- Live polls
Live polling is an excellent method to increase audience interaction and engagement. Polling allows your audience to feel acknowledged and more connected to your event, and you’ll learn what they’re thinking in real-time. It is a good idea to keep polls simple and add a time requirement so that your audience is more likely to take action.
- Live chat and Q&A sessions
Many individuals attend in-person events so that they may converse with specialists and ask their questions directly. This is something that may be difficult to achieve in a virtual setting. However, a live chat can help to keep the discussion going and make it more interactive, while Q&A sessions allow attendees to submit their questions directly to the speakers, helping to add value to the event.
- Send out pre-event swag
If you want to create a buzz and get attendees excited for your event, why not send out some sponsored event swag that they will love? This can help to get yours and your sponsors’ names out there, increase social media engagement and let people know what the event is about.
- Make use of social media
Taking advantage of social media in your virtual event not only keeps the audience interested, but may also provide excellent social media exposure.
An event hashtag is a must! Your audience will use this hashtag when posting about your event, boosting awareness of your event. This also creates an easily accessible stream of user generated content you can refer back to.
If you’re hosting a large virtual conference, allow people to submit questions via social media. So if they want to ask a question, they must do so on Twitter, for example. This will increase the exposure of the event hashtag significantly.
- Provide playback links
During a virtual event, there can be a lot to take in and it is easy to miss things. By providing a playback link, your attendees are able to go back and review any content they may have missed – something live events can’t do! This is an excellent way to engage your virtual audience, even after the event has ended!
- Encourage attendees to interact with each other
Networking is a significant benefit of in-person events. While it’s more difficult to do so from behind laptops, this does not negate the possibility of networking at a virtual event. You should always encourage your attendees to engage with each other and create an online community where people can share their ideas, experiences and knowledge easily. This will help foster relationships between those involved in the virtual conference. Breakout rooms are a great solution for this, allowing attendees to break away into smaller groups and interact with one another.
- Hire entertainment
It isn’t always easy to keep people engaged especially when they aren’t right in front of you. By hiring entertainment or guest speakers to present at your virtual event, you can make sure it’s memorable and fun. This can also be an added draw for people to attend your event.
- Choose the right virtual event platform
If you are looking to host a virtual event, be sure that the platform you choose has all of the features and functionality needed. You’ll want to make your online conference as easy for people to participate in as possible, so having an intuitive interface is key!
A bespoke virtual event platform from Stage Connection provides you with all the features you need to create a virtual experience that your attendees will remember. Offering a seamless and convenient guest experience, our virtual platform is fully customisable to provide you with a unique and interactive virtual event.