Virtual events and meetings have become a part of our everyday lives now but the only restraint we all face is the dropping level of engagement in such mediums. In in-person meetups or conversations, the power to gauge the audience’s reaction is higher but is certainly missing in the virtual event domain.
Since virtual mediums are here to stay, we must adapt ourselves to optimize it as per our satisfaction and what is that?
The satisfaction depends on the success of a virtual event which entirely depends on the interaction and overall audience engagement. With an attention span of less than that of a goldfish, people have adopted an immediate gratification technique for living their life. If nothing interests them, they just learn to swipe left and never revisit it again.
49% of marketers say that audience engagement is the biggest contributing factor to having a successful virtual event.
In such a volatile situation, engagement has to be generated for conducting well-performing virtual events. Let’s walk along 15 virtual event ideas to engage attendees in the right way.
1 – Entertainment
Yes, virtual events like any other event are based on some theme. But, given the boredom in the current scenario, all the attendees do look for some kind of out-of-the-box engagement and one of the biggest virtual event ideas to engage attendees.
At Puaerte Visual, we have a separate line of stalls with games, a photobooth, and quizzes.
2 – Gamification
People are very addicted to gaming these days which can act as an attempt to interact well with the audience. Easier implementation of gamification can be done by having a pointer system in place. For example: if an attendee enters the lobby, he/ she scores 10 points & if he/she stays for more than a particular time then the addition of 5 more points is done.
To make sense of this, as an organizer, we can also give some goodies or future perks and discounts if they score the highest points.
Such inclusions add fun and thrilling element to the overall event and if done well, it may improve the retention count in our future virtual events.
3 – An engaging MC
The host is usually the first face that attendees are welcomed with. Appearance does matter in this regard but more than that the vibrant and life that an experienced MC is able to deliver keeps the audience hooked. For a virtual event to become a success, a charming host is a necessity and should be considered a crucial task. The MC must always be ready to entertain the attendees with quick jokes at any point in the event.
4 – Live Q & A
Question-answer sessions add a dynamic angle to your virtual event. The attendees may be passive consumers all along with the event but Q & A sessions break that comfort. It pokes attendees to get more attentive and even respond or interact with the speaker of the event.
5 – Create chat rooms
Chat rooms are such an underrated feature in virtual events. It is observed that some of the most genuine and like-minded people stumble one another in the chat rooms only. So, make sure to add this to your event for that extra level of attention from your beloved attendees.
6 – SWAG Bag
With the rise of real people practically living in virtual life, the SWAG bag is a new concept. In virtual events, a kit is sent to all the attendees before the event, it can be filled with a bunch of useful and exciting things ranging from some quirky codes to enter the event and even discount vouchers of your sponsors. It is just another way of expressing gratitude and pulling the attendees in.
7 – Impactful speakers & experts
There are many knowledge gurus in the world but being a good speaker in virtual events is a very special scenario in itself. A speaker has to be very expressive and engaging in their content delivery. After all, the prime focus of events is the keynote speeches. So ensure that you onboard some really influential as well as impeccable speakers for your virtual event.
8 – Schedule real breaks
Do not let attendees take your virtual event as a boring Monday morning meeting instead, give adequate breaks and ease-out sessions throughout the event as an opportunity to rewind and refresh. Every time a person is back from break time, the mind hits a restart switch. This improves retention and can also encourage attendees to ask questions about the previous sessions as they get the chance to think over.
9 – Social media contests
No one can deny the power of social media in today’s world. Practically, our lives run through it be it for entertainment, news, or anything that evokes our curiosity.
So, it is a must-have component while having a virtual event in line. Firstly it can be used for creating pre-buzz about your event and bringing in more & more traffic on your website or other designated source.
You can also create contests around the theme of your virtual event. It could be anything right from a hashtag campaign to a simple share your picture from the event. Social media has made us love attention and unlike others, your event attendees would also grab on to such activities which will be publicity for your company.
10 – Mobile event apps
Have a mobile app for your company and your event page in it. Though people prefer desktops for such occasions, they admire the ease of accessibility that mobile apps offer them. This idea is more useful in engaging the audience before the event is taking place.
11 – Push notifications
This is an old technique for improved engagement. However, people consider it as an act of spamming but it is really effective and that’s the reason it is still used across all the industries. As we all use mobile constantly, we eventually give in to such click-bait like notifications in our inbox. This mechanism is more like repeated exposure that helps in achieving top-of-the-mind recall while a person is making a decision.
12 – Networking sessions
One of the most prevalent reasons that people attend virtual events or events in general, is to widen their existing set of networks by indulging with like-minded people. Events provide that space for people.
Puaerte Visual also has a separate dashboard for attendees who wish to network with fellow attendees at any virtual event.
13 – Virtual trade show
These shows can either be complete events in themselves or an extension to the existing event. It usually showcases the products or any entity that the company wants to display and gauge attendees’ attention. It is commonly used for product fairs where products are lined up in stalls and the interested attendees can approach to get more details about the entity on display.
14 – Length & timing of the event
You can plan a perfect virtual event with all the hacks mentioned in this article but the point in focus must be the timeline of your complete event. Be realistic when it comes to timing of the event, choose the most appropriate one as per your target audience. Keep a track of all the technical issues that may show up in the event and can lead to delays.
Space out all the segments of the event properly so as to avoid overlapping.
15 – Take immediate feedback
Have a feedback mechanism in place for your event, while it may seem like a formality from attendees’ end, it actually helps in flashing out a pattern and deciding the average impact and result of the virtual event.
Any event can be massively successful when the above virtual event ideas are put into action for engaging attendees.
Bring your best virtual event to life with Puaerte Visual and our easy dashboards for including a variety of elements into the event.