How to Engage Attendees through Virtual Events
With the majority of Live Events being put on hold for the foreseeable future, event organisers have had to rapidly adapt, often struggling to cultivate the same levels of engagement from their audiences as before. Because of this, making the most of the various digital platforms available to us is incredibly important. At Giggabox, we don’t just think of attendees of the online events we host as ‘spectators’ or ‘viewers’, but as actual ‘participants’ themselves.
Getting all attendees to remain enthusiastic and interacting during online sessions is no easy feat, so here are some top tips and ideas to create a fun and engaging Virtual Event.
To build hype for an event, it is vital to send attendees regular updates and tease content online. Not only does this increase the interest from known attendees running up to the event, but can also spread anticipation via word of mouth, boosting the number of registrations overall. A multi-channel approach is best utilised for this, with the use of various social media platforms as well as email ideal. Although utilising multiple digital mediums is beneficial for keeping attendees in the know and for attracting potential attendees, ‘the more the merrier’ is not necessarily the way to go. Notifying your target audience too frequently and too far in advance can give attendees information overload, creating fatigue as the events draws closer.
One tactic that organisations have used to build interest for their Virtual Events is by sending branded items or products to participants’ homes. Although this does require additional levels of organisation further in advance, with the gathering of participants’ addresses, as well as consent, delivering packages or goodie bags can create added interest to your event.
Engagement During the Event
Distraction online is far too easy nowadays, often just a short click away, and is especially tempting when at home. Because of this, keeping attendees’ attention is even more vital during a Virtual Event. Most obviously, to counter this issue, enthusiastic speakers and interesting topics of conversation are fundamental. Ultimately, the key to the success of any event, whether live or online, involves the people on show. There is nothing worse for attendees than to listen to an uninspiring, monotone speaker on a subject they have little interest in.
Beyond the keynote speakers, video content is vital for establishing engagement from the audience. Ideally, video content should be of high quality and should be shown multiple times throughout the event, such as between the event’s sessions. Having visual content, rather than simply background music, to fill empty time will entertain the audience much more effectively. Additionally, sponsored video content can be utilised during such session breaks, allowing for extra revenue to be obtained.
Another way to boost participant engagement is via direct interaction using technology. By gamifying your Virtual and Hybrid Events (such as the use of online polls, Q&As, and Breakout rooms), participants can more intimately connect with other attendees. In addition to this, competitions can be organised in a variety of ways, encouraging participation with the allure of fun and real-world prizes.
Here at Giggabox we don’t think of 2020 as the year that ruined Live Events, we see 2020 as the year that kickstarted the adoption of digital elements to enhance our event experiences.
If you require a production company for your event or would like any information regarding virtual events and the options available to you, contact Giggabox today
Post written by Philip Barnes – Marketing Assistant at Giggabox