If you are a beginner in hosting virtual events or struggling to engage your online audience, then worry not. Whether you are planning on hosting a virtual conference, trade show, recruitment event, open day or graduation ceremony, here are some proven tips to keep your audience engaged virtually. Save yourself the trouble of going over the board when engaging the online audience, and opt for the fun activities that work best for your event type.
The world has recently witnessed many shifts in the ways of human interaction. From face-to-face gatherings, we have successfully moved to virtual gatherings. With 2023, it is observed that people around the world prefer going virtual when hosting their corporate, educational or recreational events. These online interactions come with the greater responsibility of offering an immersive experience. While also helping the audience engage just as they would at in-person events. With virtual events, people are present online from their laptop screens or mobile devices. They expect to have a beyond-reality experience where they seamlessly connect and interact with others. Let’s face it; you do not want people getting bored and switching off their screens. All it takes is a little effort and creativity to make your audience’s online experience worthwhile. So, how would you keep your audience engaged virtually?
Virtual Audience Engagement Ideas for 2023
We all know engaging your audience at a physical venue is effortless. People meet and greet, walk around the venue and make connections on the go. While in the case of virtual events, your audience is bound to click their way through the virtual space, voicing their comments or engaging in 1:1 chats. Therefore, when it comes to screen interaction, event organizers go the extra mile in assisting everyone onboard. There are many virtual engagement tools, tips and tricks that hook the audience to their screens. It saves people from signing off in the middle of an event and helps keep them around till the end.
Let us consider some of the proven ideas to keep your remote audience engaged virtually.
Encourage Meet & Greet with Embedded Chatbots
Soon as your online audience steps on the event landing page; they are looking for opportunities to interact with others. In case industry professionals show up at a virtual conference, the first thing they want to do is connect with peers. For that matter, you can encourage the audience to participate in a meet and greet session where everyone is available in the lobby or exhibit halls. In fact, the animated avatar representation allows everyone to feel inclusive and more present when moving around the space. They have a seemingly physical form to go over and say hi to others. In addition, each user profile has an embedded chat option, which only requires a click to start chatting with the other person.
In the case of career fairs, students or job applicants easily connect with recruiters through live chat options. For example, it may be a 1:1 chat or group discussion. Overall, chatbots ease our way into interacting with others, which helps break the ice among attendees.
Bring People Closer with an Engaging Event Theme
Just as you would implement an event theme for your in-person event, make sure you set up a virtual event theme. Although you would not expect people to sit on their couch all dressed up in a tie. But you can always set up a feasible and exciting theme for everyone to follow. For instance, you can get your audience to wear a graduation cap or cape at a graduate networking event. Likewise, in the case of holiday recreational gatherings, you can get the audience to wear Christmas-themed sweaters. Other than that, you have many options to build an event theme. Virtual events platforms allow event organizers to personalize the event venue with complete branding. You can design the entire virtual space using theme-based colours, slogans, pictures, videos, and props.
The point here is that your audience is brought closer with a set theme. They feel included and connected. Also, they get to break the ice among each other, laugh and network effortlessly. Hence, it makes their virtual event experience memorable and gives them something to look back on.
Check out these great virtual event theme ideas for different event types.
Use Standees, Alerts & Notifications to Keep Audience Guided
When it comes to engaging your audience virtually, you need to be more specific in guiding them along the way. Just as you would install directional or informative standees at the physical venue, make sure your virtual venue guides the audience the same way. Generally, a virtual platform allows you to customize the exhibitor booths with graphically designed standees. Here, you can put all the info that you feel must be conveyed to your audience.
Like that, your online audience is waiting for you to guide them towards event segments. So, how would you keep them informed along the way? Virtual platforms allow you to set up live pop-up alerts and notifications for the audience. For example, all your attendees receive a real-time notification on appearing for a live webinar starting in 2 minutes. This way, in-active or bored audiences are directed towards live segments so they may not miss out on them.
Put Virtual Engagement Tools to Best Use
When you put virtual engagement tools to best use, you automatically keep your audience engaged virtually. Imagine that your audience has joined you from the far ends of the world. They come from different backgrounds or nationalities. So, how do you plan on encouraging them to mingle and engage? Virtual events platforms offer several engagement tools to save the audience from distractions. It gives way to seamless interaction and networking among anyone and everyone. Basically, these tools do not let you miss out on live human interaction. For instance, the 1:1 chats ensure that private conversations or business deals are kept confidential.
Keeping your audience well immersed and engaged within the event is one way to ensure the success of your event agenda. Here’s how you can use live engagement tools.
Live Chat: Live chat options allows attendees to easily spark conversations be it 1:1 or group discussion. This is a quick way to get a response from someone or engage them in an insightful conversation.
Interactive Exhibitor Booths: Virtual events have live exhibitor booths installed within the halls. These booths have embedded chatbots, a resource vault and a booth representative. It gives attendees all sorts of information and guidance they might need throughout the event. Usually, the exhibitor booths are used within virtual exhibitions, trade shows, job fairs, or open days.
Live Webinars: Webinars are a great way to keep your audience engaged, informed and entertained through the event. It is the best deal to educate the audience on various topics and talks. Also, your audience gets to participate in live discussions, Q&A sessions, polls, surveys or quizzes.
Polls, Surveys & Quizzes: If you wish to spark conversations and chatter among the audience, then the best way to get their response is through live surveys, quizzes, polls, or Q&A sessions. This would replicate the in-person interaction experience for the audience and help everyone participate.
Boost Morale with Influencer Speeches
If you feel your audience is getting bored from the continuous event segments, do something exciting to boost their mood. Nowadays, influencer talks prove to spark a lot of interest among the audience. For virtual events, you can get the alumni or industry experts to come speak with the audience. This way, your audience is thoroughly engaged in the topic of discussion. Not only does it help with engagement, but it also leaves a refreshing impact on people. For instance, inspiring talks help boost morale, help rethink direction and take constructive steps in the right direction.
Also, check out these tips to host engaging networking events.
Keep Attendees Entertained With Fun Activities and Games
Apart from formal interaction among the audience, you can keep attendees entertained with fun activities and games. Keeping your attendees excited about the segments, activities, and games is how you earn their loyalty. We have devised a list of activities or games your audience could engage in virtually.
- Live trivia and quizzes
- Breakout room activities
- Live leaderboard
- Scavenger hunt
- Social media wall
- Spin the wheel
- Attendee matchmaking
- Live contests
- Standup speaker sessions
- Live tweeting
- Questions and polls
Live gamification and other exciting activities give your attendees a much-needed break from ongoing speeches or presentations. Moreover, people get to laugh, converse and mingle simultaneously. Also, check out six fun ideas for virtual team meetings.
Allow Everyone to Mingle Live from Social Media Platforms
Your virtual event platform allows live social walls integration within the event. It connects attendees with industry peers who could not attend the event. Usually, the teasers or snippets from the live event are shared all over Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram channels. This triggers their fear of missing out on the event. So they can quickly join the live event or participate from afar. Thus, everyone gets a chance to voice their opinions through comments. Likewise, attendees learn about the ideas of the masses.
Social media is the perfect way to create hype about your event and make your brand recognized worldwide. People learn about what new is happening with your brand. Corporate industries mostly use social media interaction to build people’s interest in their products and services. Likewise, hiring agencies maximize their reach with social wall integration.
Install a Photo Booth or Signature Wall
Another great way to keep your audience engaged virtually is by installing a photo booth or signature wall. Your audience is looking at each other from over their laptop screens. Why not give them a chance to get together and smile for a group photo? Your attendees can also click some funny photos with filters or backgrounds and put them out on their profiles. This is a way to spark fun interactions among each other. These photos would be memorable for everyone.
On the other hand, you can create a signature wall for your attendees. This is a great idea to keep audience interactions memorable. Basically, the wall will have your audience’s signature on it with creative messages, notes or motivational quotes. In addition, attendees can also write notes and share their event experiences. Later, you can keep this signature wall safe as virtual memory by posting it on social media channels.
Virtual events have revolutionized the event industry by providing opportunities for global attendees to network and engage. Whether you wish to connect your remote teams or set up an annual conference, an engaging virtual event is all you need. Quit thinking about reviving traditional practices to keep your attendees engaged virtually. Instead, it is time you step foot outside of norms when it comes to fueling online human interaction. Above, we have carefully devised a list of ideas for you to follow when hosting virtual events. Virtual Days Platform welcomes the event organizers to host their virtual events with us and use our virtual engagement and networking tools to your advantage. Book a demo today and learn more about our live engagement tools.