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Spark engagement in virtual events

Robert Strobl
December 21, 2021

Do you want to interact with your audience and increase engagement during your virtual event? There are many unique ways to craft a special event and keep your audience tuned in!

In this blog post, we put together a list of immersive experiences and activities that will ignite participation. Let’s explore the ins and outs of successful virtual event planning.

Top content comes first

Before jumping into all the engaging features video conferencing can offer, keep in mind that an interesting topic and a good speaker go a long way. Compelling content will help your event stand out.

Make sure you communicate your agenda and keynotes right at the beginning in order to convey the essence of the event.

Q&A sessions

Virtual events definitely make it easier for attendees to ask questions spontaneously without rushing to the microphone. Q&A features facilitate the speaker’s job by keeping track of the questions from the audience. Event moderators also have a better overview of who's next in line. 

If you want to incentivize conversation further, make sure you spread the various Q&A sessions across the entire event. Don’t push them only towards the end, instead allow the conversation to buzz for the entirety of the session. 

Breakout sessions & small group activities

Being involved in a big event can be captivating but also intimidating for introverts. Shy personalities usually prefer to express themselves in smaller, more personal settings.

If you want to encourage more participation, prepare small group activities where introverts can contribute and shine. For example, you can reserve this space in a breakout room. Here, groups also have the opportunity to request a moderator or a speaker to join their session.

This way, you will still be able to connect with the rest of the event while still taking advantage of the smaller setting.

Live chat and real-time reactions

Typing can also incentivize conversation. Whenever you are brainstorming, adding value, or simply making a joke, live chats are great tools for bonding. 

Sometimes you don’t want to interrupt the flow of the conversation but still want to show up and share your support or emotion of the moment. Real-time reactions via emojis are a great instrument in this regard.

Quiz

What about prizes and competition? If you prepare a fun company event, why not test your colleagues’ pop culture knowledge? How about a pub quiz?

Teams competing for prizes + arduous discussions on the last Game of Thrones season = a lot of fun and participation! After all, people are eager to learn and connect.

Interactive polls

Polls are probably the easiest yet most effective way to keep your audience alert. It’s a great tool to transform the content of your live event because it provides feedback with valuable insights in real-time to both host and participants.

It can also help redirect and keep the focus on relevant topics that emerge from the live poll.

Freebies

Just because we are in a virtual environment, it doesn’t mean we cannot give our event a “real” touch. Physical presents still have their charm.

For example, after reaching a significant milestone, many businesses sent their employees a bottle of wine and sweets during the lockdown. They wanted to cherish the occasion and toast together, even if far away. 

Before Christmas, other companies organized a "Secret Santa" event. The organizer made sure the packages would arrive in time for the call so that everyone can enjoy opening presents in front of everyone.

It can be a great bonding experience with a lot of laugher and fun, even if it happens virtually.

Time for breaks

Don’t forget to take breaks! Let your audience recharge and reset. It’s an excellent opportunity to change the flow and try a new activity. This extra time can be valuable for the new transition and setup. As a speaker or moderator, you also deserve a few moments off.

Conclusion

We hope the ideas provided sparked your creativity. With the right tools, a bit of planning, and imagination, you can successfully increase engagement in your online events.

No more boring virtual meetings – have fun recreating in-person events, where you can experiment with all the features video conferencing can offer.

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