With more events going virtual due to the ongoing pandemic, event organizers are looking for new ways to boost engagement among remote attendees. Here are 9 strategies proven to increase participation in virtual events.
Use Interactive Elements
From polls and quizzes to virtual breakout rooms and live chats, interactive elements keep attendees engaged by encouraging them to participate. Tools like Mentimeter, Slido and Padlet make it easy to incorporate polls, word clouds and other interactive activities.
Offer Prizes and Gamification
Gamification uses game mechanics to motivate participation. Strategies like rewarding attendees with points or badges for answering questions, chatting or completing tasks can increase engagement. You can also have contests with prizes for top contributors. Leaderboards showing scores and rankings add a competitive element.
Focus on Networking
Networking is a big reason people attend in-person events. Replicate the experience virtually with features like a virtual lobby where attendees can chat before and after sessions.
Use Video Whenever Possible
People are more engaged when they can see the presenters. Have all speakers use video to connect with the audience. You can also record and share short intro videos from speakers in advance to generate interest.
Promote your event well in advance on your website, social media and email campaigns. Share the agenda and speaker bios to give people a sense of what to expect. Drive registrations by highlighting what attendees will gain through participation.
Send Regular Reminders
In the weeks and days leading up to the event, send reminder emails, posts and push notifications. Share any last minute updates to the schedule. Send reminders on the day of the event to prompt people to log in.
Make it Mobile Friendly
Ensure your event platform is optimized for mobile so attendees can participate from any device. This allows for greater flexibility and convenience. Test the platform across different mobile browsers as well.
Offer On-Demand Access
Record all sessions and make them available on-demand after the event. This allows people to watch missed sessions or re-watch favorites. It also extends the lifespan and value of the event.
Send a Post-Event Survey
Survey attendees after the event to understand what they liked and how you can improve engagement next time. Ask for feedback on sessions, speakers, platform features, and content. Their input will help enhance future virtual events.
What is the most effective way to keep attendees engaged during virtual sessions?
Using interactive polling, quizzes, and question/answer features during presentations is very effective at keeping people engaged. It breaks up longer sessions and encourages participation.
How long should virtual sessions be to maintain engagement levels?
Most experts recommend keeping individual virtual sessions to under an hour. Breaking longer content into shorter, focused sessions with breaks in between helps people stay focused and engaged over video calls.