Virtual events--such as business/employee meetings via Zoom or other virtual events designed to educate or inform--were just gaining steam when Covid-19 hit. The pandemic caused many people to begin working from home as businesses were forced to close their doors, resulting in a boom of virtual meetings, webinars, and other online events. Now virtual events of all kinds have become commonplace and it looks to be a permanent thing.
Virtual events are the perfect way to gain followers on social media and customers for your business or to keep employees updated and inspired, withstanding actual in-person presence. However, virtual events do have their drawbacks, and the main one is keeping the interest and attention of your attendees.
The very atmosphere created when a person is at home and not actually present at a meeting or other event offers far too many distractions and a potentially shorter attention span. If you are a virtual event organizer you need to recognize this reality and create a solid engagement strategy to keep attendees immersed in the event experience. For optimal success, you must have a strategy for your virtual event in place from the outset.
Today on the Rules of Thumb blog from MoneyThumb we would like to present some helpful ideas that will help you level up engagement and gain participation from attendees of your virtual events:
- The Platform You Use is Crucial--The most popular platform for virtual events right now is Zoom, but you would be surprised at how many other platforms exist and the perks they offer. This article from Markletic covers 8 different virtual event platforms and lists the advantages of each one. Just remember that at the very least, your platform should have interactive live-streaming capabilities with embedded tools for Q&A, live polls, and comments from attendees. It should also have features for networking between attendees such as:
- A public discussion forum
- Meeting scheduling
- 1:1 video chats.
- Great Content and Well-Known Speakers--The content of your virtual event should resonate with your target audience. You may even want to take a poll of the audience you plan to entertain/educate to see what they really want to know and see. Also, lining up impressive speakers in your niche to take part in your virtual event can guarantee a much bigger audience attendance. You should also make sure before you hold your virtual event that you offer high production quality. Pay attention to your presentation slide design, clear and crisp audio, and high video quality. If possible, you can also explore creating 3D virtual experiences to enhance session quality.
- Offer Unique Things That Make You Stand Out--Especially if your virtual event is not employee-based and mandatory, you need some tricks that make your event irresistible. A few ideas are using gamification and other forms of entertainment, or maybe hosting a virtual dinner or wine tasting as a complement to the serious business of information sharing. Think outside the box and come up with something your potential audience can't resist.
- Have a Detailed FAQ Page--Leaving attendees to find their way inside your virtual event is a sure recipe for them leaving before the event even starts. Savvy marketers and virtual event planners understand the very short attention span of online followers. Most potential attendees will first begin looking for details about the event, what it offers and how long it lasts on the top of their list of questions. Having a very prominent FAQ page that is the first thing they see will prevent losing your audience in most instances. Break the FAQ page into specific topics for attendees so they know how to get started on the platform. For example, help them to understand how to:
- Join event sessions
- Participate in polling and Q&A
- Schedule a meeting
- Participate in gaming activities
- Point of contact for future communication
The tips above should help make your virtual event, Zoom meeting, or webinar a success. The team at MoneyThumb would appreciate it if you could share this blog post so that your peers can benefit from the information too.