“Fatigue makes fools of us all. It robs us of our skills, our judgment, and blind us to creative solution” – Harvey Mackay
The quote above will give you a light description about what fatigue can do to you or your audience. Virtual event fatigue is real and happening right now during the normalization of virtual environment.
Virtual meeting, virtual conference, virtual class, what else? What others activities your audience will experience in virtual? Yup! Almost all of their activities will be done virtually. Even a holiday. Exhausting, isn’t it? Staring at screen for all day long.
Since we are working from home, the increasing number in staring at screen make us sick and tired about it. A research said that 41% – 45% of employees are reported feeling burned out and tired during their work from home period due to this global pandemic.
Are you afraid your audience will get sick of the virtual event you held? Worry no more. I have some tips to avoid virtual event fatigue in your virtual event through this article. Check it out!
Give some Spaces to Your Audience
Aternity stated that the increasing of video conference application such as Zoom, Teams, Skype, and Cisco Webex usage during the global pandemic is incredibly shocking. The using of Teams increased by 894%, 677% for Zoom, 451% for Skype, and Cisco Webex increased by 179%.
This amazing percentage shows us that people spend a lot of their time in virtual world. I believe that your audiences are some of those who spend a lot their time for online video thing. Boredom and fatigue will obviously come to them.
As an event planner, what you can do to overcome this problem?
Give your audience some spaces to multitask. Staring at their computer or smartphone for the entire day is tiring. Tired eyes and back pain will follow them soon. So, how can you give them space?
Give some alternative ways for your audience to enjoy your event. Try to make a podcast. It is an effective way to let your audience do things they love while still enjoying your event. Another option you can have is you can provide a screen recorded option in your virtual event. So your audience can record and enjoy it later while they do other activities. Providing a downloaded video of your event and send it to your audience through email is something you can try out to keep them engage without pressure.
Short is Great
Have you ever thought about how long should a virtual event held to make it enjoyable and not boring?
A survey form Redback stated that 45% of people feel more engaged if they attend a 45 minutes length virtual event. The rest said that 30 – 60 minutes length event is still fine. It is also reported that 66% of respondents left a virtual event due to its long duration.
To avoid virtual event fatigue and avoid your audience to run away, you can try to make your own 45 minutes event. But make sure you make it clear and snappy. How?
Avoid a break if you want to hold short event. You can divide your event into 30 minutes for the main material and 15 minutes for Q&A section. Or you may go with 5 minutes interesting opening, 25 minutes for your main material and 15 minutes for Q&A section.
What if you need to hold longer event? Don’t worry, you can still hold your event by scheduling breaks for 15-20 minutes. Let your audience stretch their legs, enjoy their coffee, or do some small activities. Another option is you can combine live streaming and recorded event. Recorded some section and let your audience enjoy it latter. But make sure you keep them informed.
Break the Ice, Ice Break!
If you see your audience starting to lose their interest in your event, it’s time to break the ice.
Ice break can build interaction during your virtual event. First thing first, you have to consider what kind of the most suitable virtual ice break for your virtual event.
If you hold a serious topic event such as a virtual meeting with senior staff or manager, avoid that too “fun” ice break. It is sometimes that will only bring distraction for your event. Give time for coffee break or just throw a simple question to melt down the situation such as,
“What thing will you do if the pandemic is over?”
“What do you do to kill boredom during work from home period?”
“What things make you feel grateful today?”
Fun virtual ice breaks will suit your semi-formal or informal event. Truth and lies, small fun dancing, tell a short story, take a picture of something or give quizzes with interesting giveaway can be your choices. Ice breaks will reduce the virtual event fatigue.
Listen to Your Audience
When it’s usually the audience who listen to you or your speaker, now it’s time to listen to them.
Sometimes, event planners don’t recognize the importance of listening to their audience. Your audience will feel appreciated if you listen to them. It will also improve engagement in your virtual event.
Then, how to listen to your audience?
Polling can be the best way to listen to your audience. Markletic said that up to 81.8% of event planners use polling as an effort to interact with their audience. This method is proven in improving the interaction. You can use polling to know what your audience are expected from your next event.
You can also figure out what your audience want through a survey. A live chat box can be your best option to know your audience interest during your event. With giving your audience a chance to interact directly, you can reduce their fatigue in virtual event.
Surprise Your Audience
Last but not least, giving surprise to your audience in the end of section will be an unforgettable moment from your virtual event. This kind of excitement of course will avoid your event to be a boring and exhausting event.
What kind of surprise you can give? Virtual gifts such as virtual goodie bags, discount coupons, and e-books will engage your audience.
Leaving a great goodbye your audience will remember will add a plus for your event. It can trigger the excitement in joining your event.
Now, you understand what things to do to avoid virtual event fatigue in your event. Do you have any experience in virtual event fatigue? Let’s share your stories in the comment section below.
And last thing to say, good luck on your next virtual event!