8 ways to drive engagement at virtual events
Eight great ways to drive engagement at your virtual events. In a recent article we discussed how to make your virtual corporate event a genuinely engaging experience. We included some great ideas that will help keep your audience involved and thought it might be useful to look at those activities in a little more detail.
Polls are an excellent way to keep your audience engaged. Not only do they give a clear indication of levels of engagement, they can also provide excellent insight to your audience. Use a poll to ask key questions. What did they think of the new business strategy? How motivated are they to do great work? How confident do they feel about reaching a new sales target?
Surveys are a great feedback loop for your virtual event, highly accessible and an easy way to collect data. But data is only useful if you have plenty of it. Keep your surveys short and simple to ensure more people will complete and submit them. This is especially true if you’re asking participants to submit answers during a session – a complicated and lengthy survey will detract from the actual content. It’s also well worth using surveys as a quick temperature test – ask delegates to rate the session on a scale of 1 to 5, it’s a simple yet effective means of measuring the level of engagement.
Encourage a little competitive spirit by setting mini competitions and challenges throughout your virtual event and you’ll really motivate people to get involved in every session. Participation means points, points mean recognition, rewards and prizes! Keep challenges front of mind throughout the event, show points accrued on a leader board, give shout outs to winners, highlight those who are jostling for the lead, keep everyone keen to stay involved. Setting challenges injects a sense of anticipation and holds audience attention – knowing that another challenge is coming up, your attendees will be consistently engaged. This level of engagement can even start ahead of your virtual event. Set challenges as part of your pre-event comms campaign, motivate people to visit the event platform and feel involved early on. Similarly, challenges can continue post-event – this will help you measure learning and understanding of the content that has been presented.
Quizzes work really well in a virtual environment. Topics can be wide-ranging and may depend on how you plan to use the quiz format. If it’s a way of giving attendees a mental break from the main content, questions could be totally random. Or, if you want to stay more corporate, you could plan a quiz around your company – without stressing out participants, your quiz might prove a good measure of just how knowledgeable your people are. Make sure prizes are on offer!
Posting to social media
Hashtags rule so encourage your audience to get busy on social media using your virtual event hashtag. You can then track the hashtag as part of your post-event analysis to measure success. Again, adding an element of competition with something to win will raise levels of participation. It could be as simple as asking attendees to dress in crazy colours and post a selfie. If your content is sensitive, use your internal social channels, i.e slack or workplace to keep the social buzz alive pre and post-event
Providing additional downloadable content to read later extends the value of your virtual event. It’s also a very effective way of seeing the extent to which attendees are engaged, which sessions saw them eager to access further information, which sessions failed to elicit any interest.
Breakout rooms for chat/networking
Incorporate breakout rooms into your virtual event. People will be attending from a multitude of locations, providing the opportunity to connect with colleagues will be hugely valuable. Design content for these sessions that encourage groups to work together; think to set tasks that apply some of the learning delegates have heard earlier in the event.
Q&A sessions during a virtual event are essential and can provide valuable insight, a barometer by which you can identify burning issues and/or common themes amongst your audience. It might be that not all questions can be answered instantly or on the day itself; the fact that there is a record of those questions submitted means that a promise can be made to follow up on all of them and to circulate answers in due course. This is one way in which virtual events win over in-person events. Many hands may be raised but not everyone will have the opportunity to pose their question.
Our rule of thumb is: don’t overload people with different things to do, keep it simple and accessible – and make it fun, too! Think of the audience’s experience, they will be wondering ‘what’s in it for me?’. Consider their viewpoint at all times and you will then be able to design a really engaging event that delegates will enjoy, find of value and proves to be a good use of their time.
Looking to increase engagement at your virtual events?
There are many ways to improve engagement levels at company virtual events. Inspiring content, great activities and high production values are all key elements. It’s not always easy to pull everything together – especially if you and your teams are busy juggling multiple projects; that’s where we come in.
Speak with a member of our team and find out how we can help drive engagement at your virtual events. Call 01932 22 33 33 or email email@example.com to find out more.