Virtual Events Get Real Attention

How do they work? And how do you engage an audience?
Here, we discuss a breakdown of how virtual events work and some of the best practices to keep your audience interested.

Virtual events have become a staple in the modern world, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. They allow businesses and organisations to reach a broader audience without geographical constraints. But with the rise of events happening purely online, there’s a new challenge: keeping attendees engaged. 

How Virtual Events Work

Virtual events can range from webinars and online conferences to virtual trade shows and product launches. They are typically hosted on specialised platforms that offer various interactive features, such as chat rooms, Q&A sessions, live polling, breakout rooms, and more. 

Virtual Events Get Real Attention

The Importance of Engagement

Engagement is the key to a successful virtual event, as just like an in-person event, keeping participants interested and engaged is a must. Without the natural energy of in-person gatherings, it’s easy for attendees to become distracted or disengaged while interacting online. Engaged attendees are more likely to participate, ask questions, and remember the information told. 

Below, we’ve shared some of our top effective strategies to keep your virtual event lively and engaging.

1. Create Interactive Content

Instead of traditional one-way presentations, consider formats that encourage participation. This could be in the form of live Q&A sessions, real-time polls, quizzes, or breakout rooms for smaller group discussions. When attendees feel like they are part of the conversation, they are more likely to stay engaged.

2. Use Dynamic Presenters

The person chosen to host an event really can make it break it. Choose presenters who are not only experts in their field but also skilled at engaging an audience. They should be able to convey enthusiasm, use storytelling techniques, and keep the audience engaged with questions and responding to comments. It helps to begin your session with an upbeat tone to capture the audience’s attention right away, but pacing the presentation style enough to ensure that that the same energy can be carried on right until the end of the presentation. 

3. Using a range of media

Visuals can significantly enhance the virtual event experience, and incorporating a range of elements, such as videos, animations, and infographics, can help to break up the monotony of a static presentation. This variety can help maintain attention and hold an audience’s concentration for longer.

4. Create a community

Creating a sense of community can greatly enhance engagement. Offer networking opportunities where attendees can interact with each other, such as virtual coffee breaks or dedicated chat rooms. Encourage the use of social media to connect after the event and use event-specific hashtags to continue the conversation elsewhere online.

5. Provide Exclusive Content

Giving attendees something they can’t get anywhere else can create a sense of value. Providing something exclusive, such as an offer, a first look at a product, or an exclusive information pack, will encourage attendees to stay engaged throughout the event.

6. Ensure the event is accessible

Experts estimate that around 20% of the global population needs some sort of assistive technology. So, when hosting a virtual event, you want to make sure that as many people as possible can take part. Accessibility is crucial for virtual events, so ensure that your platform supports various accessibility features, such as closed captioning, sign language interpretation, and easy navigation. By making your event inclusive, you not only reach a broader audience but also create a more engaging experience for everyone.

7. Follow Up post-event with Attendees

Engagement doesn’t end when the event concludes. Following up with attendees is an essential part of maintaining connections. Send a thank-you email, share key takeaways, provide additional resources to keep the conversation going and show you’re willing to accept further questions and contact. Preparing additional content that you can share with your attendees will give them a reason to stay invested in your brand after the event has taken place. This not only helps you gather feedback for future events but also shows attendees that you value their participation.

Overall, virtual events offer an exciting opportunity to reach a wide audience, but engaging attendees requires careful planning and creativity. By incorporating interactive and exclusive content, dynamic presenters, multimedia, community-building, and effective follow-up, you can create a virtual event that captivates and resonates with your audience. 

At Peppermint Soda, we believe in the power of engaging experiences, and we’re here to help you make your virtual event a success. If you’re looking at arranging your own virtual event and need a helping hand, contact us today via [email protected] 

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