With a plethora of virtual event technology, consumers expect to be able to interact with brands digitally and the best way to meet consumers where they’re at is through virtual events.
One of the best ways to gauge event success is to track engagement. The more engaged attendees are, the higher the chance of them converting from a lead to a sale. So, it’s crucial to sprinkle interactive elements throughout your virtual events.
There are many types of virtual events and you can read all about them here. One thing that all of the event types have in common is that there should be built in features to encourage engagement between attendees and brands.
To make sure your next virtual event is a smashing success, consider the following strategies which will help foster higher engagement rates.
Don’t wait until your event streams to interact with attendees. Get people excited about your virtual event by keeping up conversation about it on email and social media.
Marketing your event: When marketing your event, utilize speaker headshots, topic themes, etc. to make it an event that people will want to attend. Always mention that if they have a time conflict, the event will be available on demand so that they will sign up regardless of their schedules.
Interact with attendees before the event: Once people sign up for your event, keep the communication going to build excitement. Drip emails leading up to your event and encourage attendees to invite their friends and/or coworkers to your event. Lead with messaging about key takeaways, your top speakers,etc.
Polls are arguably the most popular way to foster engagement. Asking questions during the event and discussing the results in real-time sparks curiosity and incentivises attendees to stick around.
Ask questions that are multiple choice so you can quickly display data in a digestible way.
Plan your polls strategically because they will offer great data to be used in blog posts, social messages, etc.
Be sure to pick a platform with polling functionality like ours!
Not only do vendor booths provide a way for you to monetize your virtual events, but they also are a great way for attendees to interact with your brand and/or other brands that sponsor your virtual event.
Vendor booths in virtual events have the same functionality as in-person booths. Attendees can stop at the booths and chat with staff via text chat or video chat. It’s a great way to add a humanized element to your events and generate new leads and sales.
Take advantage of networking lounge functionality to interact with attendees in an organic way.
Unlike a vendor booth where attendees expect to talk about your brand, the networking lounge is a more organic way to foster engagement. When networking with attendees, be sure to stray away from sales pitches and instead, have humanized conversations with them.
Spruce up your event with gamification to encourage engagement. The form of gamification we do a lot here at vConferenceOnline is to create a points system to reward attendees for completing certain items. Points are often awarded for visiting vendor booths, attending whole sessions, asking questions, etc.
Keep in mind that a little bit goes a long way. So offering prizes of $50-$100 gift cards to Amazon will really ramp up the amount of engagement you see at your next virtual event. After all, who doesn’t like a little fun and competition?
It is smart to have event interaction take place within your platform and on social media. When attendees post on social while attending a virtual event, their friends and followers are likely to join in and this leads to new attendees.
Designate a hashtag for your event so that you can follow the social conversations.
Q & A Time
Whether you’re doing a webinar or an all day summit, be sure that presenters leave time at the end so that attendees can ask questions. Encourage questions and they can be asked in the event platform or on social media.
Attendees want to gain as much knowledge and strategies from virtual events as they can, so make them feel part of the event by allowing them to weigh in with their questions.
Do you have any additional strategies that brands can implement to increase engagement at virtual events? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!