Virtual Event Engagement: 15 Proven Methods to Increase Attendee Participation

Virtual events weren’t something that many people thought of before the pandemic. Sponsors and organizers suddenly had no choice but to move their in-person events into the virtual world. However, many were unable to maintain high audience engagement levels.

Modern event platforms offer basic tools for virtual engagement, including chat, polling, and live Q&A. They don’t even scratch the surface of building strong communities. Many attendees have high expectations and are becoming tired of spending so much time in front of the computer screen. They are just one click away, given all the distractions associated with working remotely.

Recommended Resource Event planners should be able seamlessly to switch from online events to hybrid or in-person events when there are no restrictions. Learn more about why it is essential to have a fully integrated Event Management Platform that can manage all kinds of events to help your company move forward.

It doesn’t have to stay this way. There are many benefits to virtual events, but they also can keep your audience engaged and ready for the transition into hybrid events and, eventually, the return to in-person events. To take advantage of this opportunity sponsors and organizers must shift their focus from a top-down approach to webinars and focus more on engagement, interaction, and personalization.

These are 15 proven methods to achieve that goal:

1. Offer Compelling Event Content

Content that solves a problem educates or entertains is the best kind of content. This is true even for virtual events. It’s important to organize your most valuable content into digestible chunks due to the attention spans of online viewers. You can take inspiration from Amazon and Netflix’s recommendation engines to provide personalized suggestions that resonate with your audience.

2. Use Leverage Quizzes To Hold Attention Spans

It can be hard to create engaging virtual engagement activities. Quizzes are a great way for attendees to stay awake and gauge their attention. These activities can provide valuable insights that you can use to improve your events. A pop-up feature on the screen that allows attendees to select an answer is one way to make your event more effective.

3. Promote Interactive Real-Time Sessions

 

It’s not fun to watch endless webinars. Therefore, it is important to personalize your sessions and encourage active participation. You can use real-time polls and surveys so that attendees can personalize their sessions and feel part of the discussion. During live Q&A, attendees should have ample opportunity to give feedback and pose questions.

4. Facilitate Access to On-Demand Content

Virtual events are attended by attendees who bring their ideas and goals to the event. They must provide a personalized experience. Your attendees will have instant access to any content they are interested in via a digital library. You might be able to access recordings from previous events company Manchester as well as other helpful content such as tips and guides.

5. Push Notifications Keep Attendees in the Know

It is important to provide multiple communication channels for virtual audience engagement. There are many options. It is common for people to keep their mobile phones with them. This makes it easy to use a mobile app that supports push notifications. This allows hosts to communicate urgent updates and other information such as alerts and event schedules, instantly.

6. Gamification can be used to increase engagement

 

Gamification refers to the application of mechanics that are traditionally associated with video games in non-game situations. Gamification involves giving badges, ranks, points, and badges to participants based on their participation. However, you can also organize virtual scavenger hunts. Gamification can add a competitive element to your events and is a proven method to increase virtual engagement.

7. Establish dedicated social media channels

You should create dedicated social media channels for your event on any of the popular platforms. This will help promote the event and encourage networking during and after the event. You can create dedicated LinkedIn groups, Facebook pages, or Slack channels that are focused on the topics of your event. This will allow attendees and others to continue to share their interests after the event.

Recommended Resource Promoting an online event requires planning and strategic marketing. Find out how to promote a virtual event in a way that attracts and retains people. Read our blog post 5 Tips to Promote Your Virtual and Online Events.

8. Include Keynote Presentations Live

You should offer both live keynotes and prerecorded sessions. Even though your events have the most engaging virtual engagement features, many attendees won’t be able to attend a conference day that is solely live sessions. Be sure to take breaks, network, and record all sessions. This allows attendees to access recordings of the event on-demand, even sessions that they missed.

9. Translate your content to reach more people

Virtual events have a far greater reach than in-person events. If your target audience is not fluent in English, you’ll need to make every effort to accommodate them. Avanti’s Virtual Event Platform allows you to integrate with Interprefy, allowing you to instantly translate closed captions.

10. Take breaks between sessions

 

Hosting a virtual event can be difficult because of screen-time fatigue. It’s crucial to allow for breaks between sessions. The platform should include virtual breakout rooms, which allow for team-driven activities such as trivia contests or standup comedy. Your events can be made more memorable by having themed events during breakout sessions.

11. Connect Attendees via a Mobile Event App

Apart from using push notifications, a dedicated mobile event application is key to successful networking. Using integrated social media elements such as live activity feeds and instant messaging, you can quickly connect people. Participants should be able to access your mobile app immediately after they register so that they can browse profiles and connect with others who share their interests through virtual icebreakers.

12. Special Gifts for Attendees

You don’t have to engage your attendees with virtual engagement activities. A little bit of event-related swag can make the experience even more memorable. This high-touch experience might include giving attendees a peek into your business through private social media groups. You can increase virtual event participation by giving attendees personalized memorabilia or other gifts. Encourage them to post photos of themselves using your gifts.

13. Encourage Networking Opportunities

Virtual events are a great way to meet people and network. Your event platform should facilitate one-to-1 conversations that allow attendees to connect with subject matter experts between sessions. People can also meet up for group chats and virtual water coolers to build lasting relationships.

Recommended Resource Hybrid and virtual events are here to stay. However, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t offer an equivalent experience to real-world events. Find out how exhibitors and sponsors can use virtual booths to create face-to-face interactions at virtual and hybrid events.

14. Concentrate on smaller event groups

It is much more difficult to recreate the atmosphere and engagement levels at in-person events that have large numbers of attendees. It’s easier to create meaningful engagement with smaller event groups than it is with large numbers of attendees. Therefore, it’s a smart idea to concentrate on the relevant audiences and not just headcounts. Splitting activities such as workshops and breakout sessions into smaller groups is a good idea for large events.

15. Choose the right virtual event platform

 The most important thing is to select the right platform to host, manage, and promote your event. Many platforms don’t support hybrid and events. It’s crucial to select an integrated platform that provides all of the features we have discussed. A platform that supports private video calling, scheduling one-on-one meetings, and virtual networking is essential.

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