Tips for Keeping Your Audience Engaged During Virtual Events
Anybody who has presented in front of a live audience knows it can be tough getting attendees to stay engaged throughout a session or presentation. When moving live events and conferences to online platforms, the competition for your audiences’ attention just got more stiff. Even with your stellar content; distractions like email, social media, and unfinished projects are just a tab over.
Though this is true, virtual events also provide an opportunity to engage and connect with your audience in ways that may not be possible with live events. Here are five ways to keep your audience engaged at your next virtual event.
Tips for engagement
Create content with engagement in mind.
Attendees can only give their full attention to a screen for so long. Unlike with live events, you won’t be able to gauge your audience’s attention during the event. Work in breaks for your audience to take notes or get involved with questions, polling, or voting to keep engagement high.
Put a face to the voice.
There’s something more humanizing about being able to see who is presenting. When possible, use video to improve the event experience. Viewers will be able to connect and understand your content. No video? It’s helpful to start your event with introductions paired with photos.
Choose a passionate presenter.
Let’s be real, nobody wants to spend their time listening to a speaker who isn’t passionate about what they’re sharing! To keep your audience’s attention, make sure your speakers are prepared, knowledgeable, and excited.
Ensure your technology is up to the event.
If you’re new to virtual meetings, take time to find the right platform for you and your organization. There are many options, both paid and free, out there – do your research to ensure you’re getting all of the features you’re looking for.
Use interactive features.
Live polls, chat, and Q&A during a virtual event help to break down the barriers between audience and host. Adding these engaging elements to your event help to keep your audience paying attention and also enable you to gather valuable feedback. You may want to enlist the help of supplementary tech, like a mobile app, to boost interaction.
Bonus: Engage and prep attendees before the event.
As we all adjust to life online, so it’s worth the effort to prepare your audience for the event. Communicate both the event logistics and the value of your event to ensure maximum attendance.
Looking to transition your live event into a virtual event? Check out our other resources on virtual events:
Virtual Events Will Be Key in 2020 – Here’s How to Transition Yours
How to Transition Your Association Flagship Event App into a Year-Round Association App