One of the most testing aspects of hosting online conferences has always been keeping the attendees hooked to their screens throughout the session. While many organizers have successfully decoded the best ideas to improve virtual engagement, there are still a few who find it difficult to hold on to the attention of their attendees in an online conference.
And, as an online event organizer, misjudging the importance of high audience engagement rates might cause them the success of their online conferences. Hence, if you are also struggling your way through audience engagement, stick with us till the end. You are sure about to hit the jackpot right here.
In this blog, we will share some of the best virtual event engagement ideas you can use to boost your engagement at your online conference.
Before diving into the ideas, do you know why it is necessary to maintain a good audience engagement rate at virtual conferences? Why are we emphasizing so much on the audience engagement rate? After all, what is the need to keep the attendees engaged during the virtual conference? Let us find the answers to all your questions.
What is the Importance of Keeping Attendees Engaged During a Virtual Conference?
We all know how little the attention span of humans is. For your attendees, there will be several distractions. It might lead them to leave your online conference platform midway. It would have a direct impact on your conference and the ROI.
Hence, it becomes necessary to create content that is engaging and compelling enough for your audience to stay back till the end of the session.
For those who don’t know, audience engagement rate is considered one of the most important KPIs and is kept in mind while measuring the success of any online event.
Now that you know how important it is to keep the audience engaged at a virtual conference, let us move ahead and go through the best virtual conference engagement ideas.
What are the Best Virtual Conference Engagement Ideas?
1. Use Your Social Media Feed:
Social media is everywhere, and we all know how vastly it is used to connect with the rest of the world. Make use of the fact that every other person has a social media presence. You can use social media for audience engagement even before the commencement of the online conference.
Create a page solely dedicated to your upcoming online conference. Use it to keep your audience updated about the conference; you can also conduct social media contests to keep the attendees hooked on the virtual conference. In fact, there are many other social media engagement techniques that you can use to boost engagement at your virtual conference.
2. Gamify Your Online Conferences:
How about you gamify your online conference? Trust us; it would only make your online conference more fun and interactive. There are several online conferencing platforms that come with in-built gamification features. To encourage attendees to play games online, you can announce prizes for the winners.
3. Swag Up your Attendees:
We all like free goodies and gifts. Don’t we? Your attendees will like them too. Swag up your attendees and give them some goodies to keep them excited throughout the session. You can host a few quizzes or contests and distribute the goodies to the winners. The excitement of getting gifts won’t only keep the attendees hooked to the online conference but also motivate them to participate in the contests.
4. Make Use of Trivia and Polls:
The next idea to improve virtual engagement at an online conference is to host trivia and polls for your attendees. Create live polls during the session; they can be related to getting their feedback or asking questions related to the session itself. Live polls and trivia will ignite a sense of excitement and competitiveness among your attendees. Several online conference platforms, such as Mixhub offer audience engagement tools like live polls. You can use them for the same purpose.
5. Broadcast Both Live and On-Demand Content:
One of the greatest advantages of hosting conferences online is that you get to deliver your content in your desired format, Live or Pre-recorded. Both formats have advantages, which you can use at your virtual conference to keep your attendees hooked till the end. While it is always advisable to present keynote sessions live, make some on-demand available for the attendees. They can go through it in between the sessions.
6. Host Icebreaking Sessions:
Attending an online conference with strangers might make the attendees awkward at first. They might find it difficult to get along with others in the beginning. In this case, you can host ice-breaking sessions for your attendees. It won’t only allow them to get along with each other but also make them feel involved in your online conference.
7. Conduct Q&A sessions with your attendees:
One factor where virtual conferences lack behind in-person conferences is attendee involvement. Attendees don’t feel connected to the conference, the content, and the speakers. It is one of the most prominent reasons some people still prefer offline conferences over offline ones.
Hosting Q&A sessions will keep attendees engaged and enable them to present their queries before the speakers and get them answered during the session itself. Virtual conference tools such as Mixhub come with Q&A tools that one can use in their online conference.
8. Live Performances:
How about hosting an online entertainment session for your attendees? You can always have some entertainment sessions at an online conference, even though it is a formal conference. You can invite a stand-up comedian to entertain your attendees at your online conference. It will give them a break from the ongoing sessions and allow them to have some fun.
9. Host Virtual breakout Sessions:
Keeping all of your attendees engaged at once in an online conference might not always be feasible. Not only this, attendees too might feel it difficult to engage with everyone while the conference is going on. However, you always use the feature of breakout rooms. It is a great way to keep all the attendees engaged all at once. You can divide your attendees into some groups and assign them different virtual breakout rooms as soon as your session gets over. It will make it easier for them to get involved in the discussions.
10. Encourage Attendees for 1:1 Networking:
One of the biggest reasons people attend online conferences is to connect with other professionals and expand their personal networks. Use online tools such as video calls, networking tables, and one-on-one chat to let your attendees connect with others present in the online conference. It won’t only keep them engaged throughout the session but also add value to their overall experience.
11. Get Attendees’ Feedback:
As an organizer, you will always want to know how your attendees feel about your online conference. But how do you get to know the same? Simply by asking about their feedback. There comes our next virtual event engagement idea; ask for your attendees’ feedback. It is a great way to keep the attendees hooked and attentive, make them feel valued, and help you improve your conference.
12. Use Rapid-Fire Learning Method:
Last but not least, you can use Rapid-Fire Learning Method to keep the attendees hooked to the content you are delivering and your online conference. One thing you need to understand if you are organizing an online conference, you need to keep your sessions short and crisp, unlike physical conferences. The long sessions can easily make your attendees bored, and they will end up quitting the online conference platform.
Not only this, factors like the short attention spans of humans and ‘Zoom Fatigue’ can also affect the success of your online conference. Hence, it is always advisable to keep sessions short, i.e. 10-12 minutes with a quick question and answer round after it, and so on.
Post-Event Engagement Ideas
Find out what worked best through post-event surveys
After the event, send a thank you message and solicit feedback from attendees. Were there specific sessions or speakers that covered them? What could be improved?
A lot of user-collected data tells us which sessions were the most popular. However, you can gauge their sentiments towards your brand by asking them directly in a survey. And what users really think about your event. That way, you can host an even better event next time.
Invite attendees to your next event
Inviting attendees to your next event after an event is a smart move that will help increase event attendance and engagement. If attendees have a good experience at an event, they are more likely to attend future events. Especially if you received a personal invitation.
Inviting attendees after the event shows that you value their presence and want to maintain the relationship after the event. There will also be an opportunity to collect feedback and insights from participants.
Deliver Engaging Experiences in Your Next Online Conference With the Best Online Conference Platform, Mixhub.
Now that you know the best techniques and ideas to improve virtual engagement at an online conference, the next thing you need to do is include them in your strategies.
If you are looking for an online conferencing platform that will let you deliver your conference easily and seamlessly, there’s no better place than Mixhub. To know how you can use this platform, Book your demo now and get started with your free trial today.