During this COVID-19 outbreak, we need to maintain our safety by doing everything at home. This pandemic forces us to adapt to the remote working system. As we can see, everything runs virtually at the moment: online lectures, online exams, and even online graduation. These virtual events begin to be highly-demanded options since not all activities can be postponed.
Holding an online event, too, has become the ultimate solution to ensure that the show must go on, as people tend to be active on social media while at home. Making a virtual event is no joke and you need to pay attention to every detail in order to succeed, including the ways to get your attendees’ engagement. No worries folks, we’ve got your back! The following tips are simply what you need to do to get your attendees engaged in virtual events.
Choose the right platform
Although as simple as it says, choosing the right platform to conduct your event is a lot of work. Depending on the type of event you want to do (webinars, conferences, meetings, training), there are many easy-to-use platforms you can use to host your event online, such as Instagram Live, Facebook Live, Zoom, Cvent, Vfairs, Skype and other platforms. Take a look at Instagram for example; its live stream feature is mostly used by public figures to interact with their fans all around the world.
Another platform like Zoom is also used by many people to hold conferences and meetings virtually. Nowadays, it’s even better to use a platform that is mobile-friendly, knowing that people are more likely to access various contents using their phones. Besides, who doesn’t have smartphones these days? So, remember to do a quick research on what platform that is suitable to hold your event.
Knowing the right time
This is one important thing to consider before hosting your event. Deciding what time to hold the event needs everyone’s participation in it. Try making a survey to your attendees on the prime time to conduct the event using social media votes, like Instagram or Twitter. If you plan to create a global event, this is very necessary to do since we all live in different time zones. You surely don’t want your attendees to leave the event halfway because it’s past their time to bed, do you?
According to Webinar statistics, the most popular time to hold a virtual event is around 10-11 in the morning. Also, you may consider running your event for approximately half an hour or an hour to make sure that you grab the attendees’ full attention throughout the entire session. So, it’s important to manage the event rundown wisely so that the attendees won’t miss out on anything.
Aside from the hour, it’s absolutely essential to pick the best day of the week. Based on Livestorm, Wednesday and Thursday are the finest days to hold an online event since both of them score the highest number of participants of the week. Meanwhile, Tuesday is more potential to be the best day to promote your event on social media. If you offer an on-demand webinar, which is a playback of the recorded event and also the perfect option for those who can’t attend the event, the weekend is a suitable time for the audience to watch it.
A lot of virtual events tend to have this segment in which the audience may ask anything to the speakers. This way, the event will seem more alive, and it might also keep the audience from leaving out of boredom. If the speakers are notably famous people, chances are the live chat section will be bombed with questions. To put it simply, the more enthusiasm you get, the greater your chances of succeeding in the event.
To deal with this, you can either put the Q&A session beforehand, then only choose few questions that are most asked by the audience or let the audience ask the question during the event, then have a moderator to be in charge of the Q&A session. You can also conduct live polls, tweets, games, as well as the audience’s feedback at the end of the session in order to enhance the audience’s participation.
Be enthusiastic and master the material
Just like it says, be enthusiastic while you’re hosting the event, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be over-excited or annoying. The data speak for themselves; it is mentioned that besides compelling content, the majority of people are engaged by the way the speakers deliver their content or presentation. The energetic vibes radiated by the speaker will naturally evoke our interest to keep on watching.
“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success,” said Alexander Graham Bell. Apparently, this well-known saying also works for hosting an online event. Although it may seem a lot more relaxed because you only have to talk in front of the screen instead of a bunch of people whose eyes are on you, never take preparation for granted. In fact, how good a speaker is can be recognized by how well he masters the material and delivers it to the audience. If the presentation is done nicely, it will also gain more audience satisfaction.
Breaks are optional
This one might be simple, but it is crucial at some point. Let’s say, you’re holding a long-duration online seminar that has several minutes break. Can you guess what will happen after the break? Yup, the number of participants dropping off the seminar will be greatly increased due to your five-minutes break. If you really have to include a break during your online event, make sure that you’re taking care of everything that is going to be shown on screen.
It’s totally up to you whether you’re going to put ads or small quizzes in order to make the audience stick around. To add more excitement, you might want to consider having a mini-game or sort of quizzes as well. This can be a good option for your audience to pass the time until the break time is over. You can take advantage of the platform’s features to work on the quizzes.