You put a lot of time and effort into organizing this virtual gathering. But when the big day approached, the audience’s enthusiasm wasn’t as strong as you’d hoped. Some individuals enrolled but were unable to attend, while others departed after a few minutes.
With many events being held virtually these days, audience engagement is a big and common concern amidst organizers. People have one in a million ways to get distracted while watching from home. Their dogs barking, neighbors playing loud music, or your kids interrupting in the middle of the session. All this can disrupt your event, making it less engaging and bringing down low attendance. A comprehensive virtual event must have in-all solutions to avoid such distractions to happen and allow more room for engagement and participation.
With these challenges in mind, and drawing from remote work adaptations the organizing committee set out to create an experience that would educate and engage participants which will automatically sign in more attendees at the event. Below are a few techniques we found useful to enhance your audience engagement and boost attendance at your virtual event. Let’s have a look!
1. Better understand your audience
The very first step before you choose to host an event online is to know your audience. Audiences play a vital role in uplifting your overall event progress. To develop a deeper understanding of the prospective audience, an event planner must design an event according to market trends and analyze what attendees want from an event. In the pandemic, organizers realized that inviting keynote speakers to talk about a particular topic is not enough to engage audiences. Perhaps the chances are attendees might lose interest or get distracted the minute they realize there is no fun involved. To avoid this, being an organizer it is our responsibility to inculcate tools that are engaging, interactive, and flexible for your audiences.
Plan out your event in a way that your attendees automatically feel like registering right when they see your event posts on their social media. Conduct a pre-event poll for your target audience in order to gather all the relevant information from them and provide the same in order to bring in more potential attendees.
2. Let attendees shape the content to offer more value
For whom do you plan out an event? Attendees, isn’t it? You want them to come, have fun, and take something beautiful at the end. The best way to accomplish this goal is to let attendees shape your event.
Gauging opinions on the front end allows presenters to deliver information that directly addresses the concerns of the attendees. More than ever, people need solutions to the problems they face and actionable ideas for tackling them head-on.
Somewhere in the haze of event planning and execution, many organizations lose focus. Instead of making the goals and key learnings drive the event, they let the idea- or perhaps location- of an event serve as the primary draw.
3. Meet attendees where they are
Adaptation is the new way of running a business. While some have taken advantage of the new trends, others are still sceptical about leveraging what virtual events have given to the world.
There are endless possibilities that virtual events offer, one of them is enabling organizers to reach attendees from any corner of the world via the web.
One of the best ways to accomplish more attendance is by uplifting their morale and value in the event. To make this possible, you can send goodie bags, sweet treats, or anything that your audience may like. In addition, create content that is appealing and unique for your attendees as this may bring in more participants and further increase engagement level.
4. Understand the audience’s attention span
Audiences play a vital role in organizers’ life in response to deliver successful events in the future. Hence, keeping them attentive and engaged during the event is the most important thing to consider to curate a better event experience.
Earlier when in-person events were in demand, people had limited options to leave the meeting even if they weren’t willing to sit through hours of presentations. And now, as virtual events have taken over physical events, distraction can take a toll and may disrupt the overall performance of your event.
Poor execution of an event with less time span to engage attendees as promised can also be a major reason for distraction. To avoid that, start planning out your event months before the day arrives in order to execute everything in the time frame and eliminate future hindrances. Also, your content is yet another important aspect that dedicates whether or not your attendees will attend it. Hence, to grab the attention of your audiences you must incorporate tools that are interactive, engaging, and have strong networking tactics for an immersive event experience.
5. Entice audiences with empowering tools for interaction to build connections
During the early stage of the pandemic, people had very limited options to get in touch with their clients which decreased our interaction level. As technology kept on evolving, tech-enthusiasts explored many new alternatives in order to keep organizers and attendees motivated in the new normal.
Virtual events gave significant rise to many interactive tools for building better and worthwhile connections with the interested audience in a visually rich and vast environment. This made people realize the importance of digital components in an event making it a viable resource to use in the future.
To mark more engagement and communication include various breakout sessions for audiences to interact with like-minded people and offer great value to them as well as the event. You can add fun games, leaderboards, popularity boards, or whatever else to create a competitive environment for your attendees and allow them a better space for interaction.
Over to you
All in all, virtual events have been a great platform for organizers as it has helped them expand their reach globally while also enabling them to deliver their motive more accurately to their target audiences. Not just that, virtual events have also improved ROI rates, provided better revenue, more qualified leads, more value to its audiences, and has anticipated the physical shift in a very seamless manner.
In the end, we all know that change is the new normal in the current world. Hence, it is important to get hold of the new trends and adapt to these trends for better attendance and engagement at your virtual & hybrid events. We hope these tips will help in creating the most effective and attractive event while also giving your attendees a worthwhile experience of all time!