With the onset of the pandemic, virtual events have been on a constant rise. Despite the benefits of virtual events over in-person events, it is not easy to articulate the in-person event experience in virtual events, making it hard to keep the engagement levels high. This article will take you through the various ways to boost attendee engagement during virtual events and fill the gap between in-person and virtual events.
Ways to make virtual events more interactive
Given below are some of the ways to make your virtual event more interactive and boost engagement levels.
Divide the event into small sessions
In the case of long-duration events, divide the event into small sessions to keep the attendees engaged throughout the event. Try to engage in live polls or quizzes between the event, allowing the attendees to participate and avoid boredom. The attention span of people tends to decrease when attending events virtually. Breaking down the event into small sessions can help keep the engagement high at all times.
Work on the quality of your content
Offer good quality and compelling content to your attendees. Provide content that adds value to the attendees or solves their problems. Plan your content and develop a script for the event. You can also add elements like short videos to help reduce fatigue among the attendees.
Hold quizzes in between the sessions
You can include quizzes in between the sessions of the event. Quizzes are a great way to engage your attendees and provide them with an opportunity to participate or contribute to the event. Quizzes can also help you develop a healthy competition among the attendees. You can ask them questions related to the event to check their attention levels.
Include live polls in your virtual event
You can include mid-session or mid-event polls to find if your attendees are enjoying the event and what they think about your brand. You can use polls to gather feedback from the attendees. The polls could be specific to an event, product, or brand.
Keep your attendees notified
You can keep the attendees updated about any changes in the event or the different activities that will take place through an event-specific mobile app using push notifications. You can also use the event’s social media channels to keep the attendees updated about the happenings.
Gamify your event to boost engagement
Gamifying your event is a great way to promote engagement among the attendees. It can also help the attendees connect with other attendees and develop healthy competition. Gamification helps inculcate healthy competition and a fun element into your events. You can organize events, like a scavenger hunt, crosswords, or housey to keep the attendees engaged throughout the virtual event.
Virtual selfie booth
You can set up a virtual selfie booth to provide the attendees with a memory of the event and boost the levels of engagement.
Include a leaderboard challenge
You can add small gifts or rewards for the attendees in the form of points for filling out social media surveys, badges for the top participants, and ranks. This would help keep the attendees involved and engaged in the event. Rewarding the attendees is a great way to keep the engagement levels high throughout the event. This is especially relevant in the case of long-duration events.
Choose the right virtual event platform
Choosing the right virtual platform can go a long way in helping you boost engagement levels during an event. You can look for virtual event platforms that provide specialized features like live chat, gamification, AI matchmaking, emoticons, virtual photo booth, and signature wall to make your event a success. Make sure you identify your needs and match them with the platform features before making your decision.
Integrate offline experience
You can also combine offline experience along with the virtual event experience by sending in a physical giveaway or a bag full of goodies to your attendees as memorabilia before the event. This will encourage them to stay engaged throughout the event. You can also use this opportunity to promote your brand by putting your logo on the gift items or sending your company’s products to the attendees.
Onboard a surprise guest speaker
Add a little element of surprise at the end of the event and keep creating the hype throughout the event. This will help keep engagement levels high during the event. The surprise could include a celebrity guest speaker, a performer, or an interactive game followed by a giveaway. Make sure that the performances or the interactive game takes place live.
Respond to people in the chat window
You can respond to the attendee’s comments in the chat window and even call out their names during the event to establish 2-way communication and boost the engagement levels. Conducting interactive real-time sessions will help fill the gap between an in-person event and a virtual event. You can encourage the attendees to participate in the live discussions, ask questions, send in their requests, and speak their minds to boost engagement levels.
Take feedback from the employees
You can encourage the attendees to fill out feedback forms to find out how they feel about the event. You can also use virtual signature walls to gather feedback from the attendees. Taking feedback from them will make them feel valued and help boost engagement.
Encourage networking between attendees
You can also encourage the attendees to network within themselves with the help of the AI matchmaking tool. AI matchmaking helps connect people based on the similarity of their interests. Providing the attendees with an opportunity to connect with other attendees will help boost engagement. You can create actual digital booths to make the virtual event feel real.
Providing a realistic experience to your attendees is not an easy task and can make a huge difference in the success of your event. Try to make your virtual event more interactive by adding fun elements, games, surprises, and live performances. Although you can get as creative as possible, the ways mentioned in this article will help you get an idea about how you can boost the engagement levels during the virtual event.