Hosting Virtual events is a new way of socializing/interacting with your colleagues and clients, and in order to keep their customers and employees engaged through these virtual events, organizations continue to put in more and more effort. Even though the situation is a little better now, we can travel and meet people in person, still, it might take a long time to reinstate the old ways of getting together and meeting ups. Considering the current travel restrictions and limited in-person interactions, virtual and hybrid events are on the rise. Now organizations hosting virtual events are somehow filling the gaps for networking with attendees or the target audience/customer base. It may be difficult to get similar results as we did by conducting live in-person events but with little effort, one can achieve similar experiences in online events as well.
49% of marketers say that audience engagement is the biggest contributing factor to having a successful virtual event. (Markletic, 2020)
Keeping in mind the downsides of virtual events which include attendees getting distracted easily, and avoiding general aberrations, we can host virtual events with higher engagements and better attendance. Mentioned below are a few ways to keep your attendees glued to their screens and improve the chances of better networking opportunities virtually.
Good content is the king: Thinking about putting up a PowerPoint presentation to keep your audience engaged? Well, time to improvise the old ways and bring new technology into the picture. While you may still use your PowerPoint slide show, however, try to make these slides more vibrant with the help of better infographics and by incorporating them with audio and video. Also, keep in mind, it is hard to keep your audience engaged virtually with longer presentations or speeches, try and break the event into parts.
Presentation matters the most: Virtual events rely solely on the quality and relevancy of the content; your audience seeks exciting information and wants you to help them get the most out of these sessions. A good presenter with a passion to keep the audience engaged can hold your audience till the end of the virtual event. Always give opportunities to presenters who love interacting with clients or the target audience. A presenter with a good presence of mind, who is quick-witted, and has profound knowledge on the topic of the event is always the best choice. A person who knows how to pull up a great virtual event and keep everyone entertained enough to make it through the entire session should be the one hosting these virtual events. Because in the end for all these virtual events, presentation matters the most.
Optimum use of interactive features: Including polls, Q&A sessions, and chats, these interactive strategies can help you host a great virtual event. Of course, it is important to make sure these features comprehend the relevancy of the theme and main topics of the event; however, these interactive sessions can be utilized as ice breakers too. The chatting sessions can potentially affiliate in breaking down any hesitation or communication barriers and also encourage the audience to participate more in virtual events. A moderator can manage the conversations while the main speaker or the presenter is making a presentation. These interactions help the audience to stay engaged and interested throughout the event. Conducting polls with compelling questions to spark responses is also a great way to keep your audience engaged, make sure to use a platform where it is easy to display poll results on screen, making it accessible to all the attendees.
Focus on promoting engagement before and after the event: It is important for any virtual event to have a good promotion in order to gauge maximum attention from your target audience. Utilizing social media platforms to create an online buzz is essential, before and after the event. For large virtual conferences, 65% of marketers need more than 6 weeks to promote the event and drive the desired amount of registrations. Talk about logistics and the value your event can potentially provide to your audience will ensure maximum attendance. You can also create an online forum to update your audience and find out their expectations. Also, after the event is done, ask your attendees for their feedback, this will help you get better actionable insights and enough data to establish improved and better content for your upcoming virtual events. Using a platform like Dropthought gives you access to capture real-time feedback from your attendees which can be helpful with improvisations while conducting your virtual events.
At DT we believe that to build a sustainable relationship with your target audience, you must value their feedback. We believe in building a situation-based and feedback-centric customer/employee engagement plan that will not only help you to leverage the data collected abundantly but also if done right this can turn into a long-lasting opportunity to keep your audience intact and also keep the revenue bar up and running.
Click here to know more!