Praveen Singh
by on April 20, 2020

Event organizers understand the importance of keeping attendees engaged during events. Now, as this experience is shifted to the virtual realm, it becomes all the more cumbersome for organizers to capture the attention of attendees and keep them hooked. Virtual networking events can be hijacked by a host of distractions, in the form of busy inboxes, social notifications, ad pop-ups, and so on.

However, that doesn’t mean that event organizers should settle for lesser engagement and semi-successful events. Research postulates that 47% of individuals are more prone to ask a question during a virtual event, as compared to a real one. On the other hand, 37% are more likely to interact with another attendee during a virtual seminar, rather than socializing in a real one. This paves the way for boosting audience participation - this is how you can do it.

The Power of Human Connection

With everyone working from home, it is difficult to catch attention due to reduced attention spans. As communication is the foundation of connection, event organizers need to make sure they build sound communication strategies for their online event platforms, so that their audiences don’t tune out. Here, engaging content comes into play. You can:

1. Create natural pause points for people to chime in.

Attendees can only give their full attention for so long. Working moments of pause into the rhythm of your event, where viewers can comment, vote, or ask questions about the content can help you keep interest high.

2. Encourage attendees not to hide behind a camera.

When people are at the receiving end of a conversation, they use facial queues, posture, and stance to decode what is being uttered. Hence, event organizers should make it easier for people to connect with one another - one way is to encourage attendees and speakers alike to turn on their camera. This way, the human element shines through and makes communication easy and seamless.

3. Weave in interactive features to create buzz & engagement

In-app features such as live polls, live chat, and Q&A during, or at the end of an online event, help break down the barriers between the individuals present in the event. Virtual booths are a must addition to all kinds of virtual web sessions.

4. Choose speakers who have the gift of the gab

Enlist a passionate speaker/performer who is able to influence with his/her words. It is disheartening when a speaker during a webinar acts like he/she is on autopilot, parroting cookie-cutter lines and pleasantries bereft of emotion. Speakers should always be enthusiastic, knowledgeable in their subject-matters, and organized.

5. Fix any kind of glitches in technology

Hosting events online are a lot cheaper than hosting in-person ones. However, one must make sure that unexpected technical issues do not crop up during important online events. Do your research, choose the best platform for hosting, take stock of the features available on the event app, and have a strong technical backup in case thing go awry.

Last, but not least, make sure to engage your audience long before the event. And do not forget to be empathetic to your attendees, as it is the only thing that can help people go through these tough times.

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