ngagement is the ultimate criterion for the success of any virtual conference or event. However, the short attention span of us humans makes it difficult to achieve consistent & relevant engagement from participants.
Engaging people at an in-person event can be a daunting task for hosts or community managers. You might think that it would be even tougher to engage participants at a virtual event.
Fortunately, that is just a myth! Research suggests that 47% of remote attendees are more likely to engage in Q&A, and 37% are more likely to participate in a conversation at a virtual booth than a real one. Motivating, right!
So let’s get started and create a truly bespoke virtual event experience for your attendees.
Easy Steps to Boost Attendee Engagement
1. Find a Passionate Speaker or a Talented Performer
Ensure that the speaker’s personality and expertise match with the tone of the event and interests the attendees. Make sure the speakers are excited, knowledgeable, and organized. An opening act can be included by someone making a special appearance and that could keep the participants hooked.
2. Plan an Interactive Program
An interactive program is an essential step where inputs from attendees add more value and contribute to boosting the engagement. Attendees’ contributions can be displayed and rewarded at the end of the meeting. Communication is the foundation of connection; attendees must tune into your virtual gathering.
Live polls, live chat, and live Q&A during an online event help break down the fences between participants and the host. Then they start sharing their photos, thoughts, interests, and comments. Be super active and responsive on social media> Interact, communicate, and keep a check using social media monitoring tools and respond in real-time. (Read “How to Plan a Large Scale Virtual Event?”)
3. Energize Sessions, Play Digital Games and Build a Conversation Using Technology
Virtual events platforms like Airmeet offer innovative and improved ways to build conversations with your audience through interactive Q&A, gamification and online chats. This way, attendees can connect and break down the monotonous heavy sessions.
Break bigger case studies into smaller problems and let a small group tackle them and share their feedback. This collaboration will generate better ideas and connect people. The winning group can post their selfies in the form of a collage which helps build team spirit and camaraderie.
4. Power of Hashtags
Hashtags are a simple way to increase engagement and reach. Create a hashtag that is unique, memorable, catchy, easy to spell, and unambiguous. Providing a well-researched conference hashtag to attendees allows them to generate and curate unique content, create a social media buzz about the event, before and after the conference. Encourage people to share your hashtag on social media profiles, maybe with an incentive. (Read “Marketing Tips for a Successful Virtual Conference”)
5. Live Social Streaming
Live social streaming on platforms like Facebook and Youtube creates one of the highest active engagement. People are more likely to like, share and comment on live videos on social media platforms than anywhere else.
Live videos are exciting and also ranked higher in Facebook’s algorithms. It is also a great way to reach a wider audience while engaging your current audience set.
6. Engage Influencer Attendees
Give attention and light to those attendees who are more popular and influential on social media. Engage them in discussions and appreciate their involvement. Work with them to find out how & when to do an ice-breaker activity or keep the momentum going during session breaks.
7. Display and Accelerate Social Conversations
Accelerate the social conversation by displaying personal social media posts on big visual displays. It is like showing the work of one to many, so attendees are more motivated to share their creative social media posts because they want to get featured too. It leads to attendees working harder to create smart posts that they share on social media, resulting in a broader brand reach.
“Compared to an in-person event, participants at a virtual event are 47% more likely to engage in Q&A and almost 37% more interested to have a conversation at the virtual booth.#VirtualEvents for the win! ”
8. Create a Social Media Hub
Create a hub where you can receive and rank the ideas. Or you can ask other attendees to vote for the idea, and disclose the winner in the end. Capture shareable attendee moments, share some fun pictures, ask attendees to add comments, event name, and share on social media.
9. Select Attendees for Questions With a Virtual Prize Wheel
At virtual conferences, select attendees’ names for questions with a Virtual Prize Wheel. This way, all participants stay attentive. You may choose to offer them some prizes. It creates some drama and excitement, and they have to be mentally present in the event.
10. Contest With Leaderboards
Social media leaderboard is another influential way to drive greater social engagement during your event. Turn event social media posts into a leaderboard and rank attendees based on who has created most posts, shared more photos or tweeted, retweeted, or similar other metrics. This way, your event content will spread virally, and attendees will be happy to win.
Leverage these easy hacks to boost attendee engagement at your next virtual event and share your experience with us!