Virtual conferences are unprecedented for global audiences to mingle with, but a virtual conference means distractions are just a moment away. How do you make attendees actively stay at your event? Virtual event technology and creative ideas can go a long way. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can make your virtual conference more engaging.
What is a Virtual Conference?
A conference is generally a gathering of like-minded people. Where they discuss a certain theme or matter of common interest. Conferences bring large amounts of people with common niche interests or expertise. And they then have discussions and engage with each other for further betterment.
Virtual conferences are essentially the same. But it is an online event with various interactive elements to make it a visually accessible experience. Virtual conferences can have the usual keynote sessions, breakout rooms and more to interact and engage with online audiences. Virtual conferences are often hosted with the help of virtual event platforms that provide the means to easily create and manage these events.
Benefits of Virtual Conference
Virtual conferences come with many benefits to both organisers, attendees and sponsors. Some of the best benefits for organisers are:
1) Increased accessibility and attendance
2) Better ROI at lower costs
3) Superior remote networking
4) Measurable event performance and stats
5) Drastically lower carbon footprint
6) Lead generation
How can you make virtual conferences more engaging?
Curate and create compelling content
Going virtual means your content has to be top-notch. Convincing attendees to attend your conference requires offering content that draws their interest more than the latest blockbuster movie release. Have content that prompts actions from the attendees so they are tempted to click and go through what you have on display.
Production design and quality
Deciding on how various event spaces will look and feel is crucial to attracting people to keep staying in the event. Since you are not working in the convention for conference set-up, getting all other aspects as good as possible is imperative. Video cameras, high-quality mics and well-designed documents are just a few ways to amp up the quality. Double-check all technicalities well in advance, and sort out any issues. Graphics and excellent video quality will keep attendees glued to the screen.
Your mobile event app has impressive power to engage. Using your event app, speakers conduct live polls throughout the session. This will force attendees to stay involved. Live polls give planners data on participation and session engagement.
Push notifications indicate attendees to go to specific locations within the event. You can create push notifications that are fun and engaging for live virtual events, too. Use push notifications to tell attendees to prepare for the next session, for example. Use push notifications to share interesting facts and stats or make them part of the event.
Real-Time / Live Q&A
Giving attendees the ability to ask questions LIVE in sessions can significantly increase attention spans. If the content is interesting enough, attendees want to ask questions actively. You can indicate specific time frames for Q&A in each session (during or post).
Surveys and Knowledge Tests
Make attendees part of the overall success of the event. Give surveys after each session, whether live or on-demand or give a knowledge test to see if they were paying attention. Offering a prize or leaderboard incentive can significantly increase the chance they will interact more with various parts of the conference.
Virtual events are all about networking. Utilise your event app’s attendee list and connect attendees based on common interests, random matchups, or shared event goals. Create networking lounges with the help of your platform provider to promote the group and 1on1 sessions between attendees (between sessions).
Keynote sessions should be engaging, inspirational, and educational. And, when you’re virtual, it’s best to display this as a Livestream. If your event comprises many sessions, try to have a live keynote session to build a sense of excitement and community. Get attendees to post their favourite quotes and thoughts on social throughout.
On-demand sessions allow attendees to mix and match content and manage sessions at their own pace. Offering sessions that can be attended at any time will significantly boost the event’s efficacy.
Everything Social Media
Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter and so on. Get attendees active on social media sites. Come up with a challenge that aligns with event content and give prizes. You might not be together but can mail swag and prizes after the event.
Make the most of your event platform’s features. Mobile event apps should have messaging capabilities. Get attendees to talk to one another and interact. Platforms like Sarcon with inbuilt text and video messaging can significantly enable users to connect seamlessly.
Games are a great time-pass. Use gamification in your platform to engage attendees in challenges for prizes. You could have them reach out to sponsors, network with other attendees, or take surveys to get them involved and earn points. This works particularly well in conferences where attendees always explore the event during downtime between sessions.
If you have your attendee’s addresses, you can send swag and other bundles of gifts. You can send virtual swag like coupons and offers if you have their email addresses. Attendees love free stuff, and at conferences, you have the unique opportunity to base your gifts on the theme or even promote your own products.
Virtual conferences don’t have to be stripped-down versions of the on-ground variant. While it can’t match an in-person event in many ways, engagement levels can still be extremely high. Going virtual means thinking more creatively about keeping attendees focused and inspired. Getting in touch with a event management platform like Sarcon can help enable maximum engagement regardless of event type or size.