There is no doubt that online events feel robotic and detached compared to their in-person counterparts. When everyone is attending via their screens, it is easy to switch off – literally and figuratively. To make sure you keep your audience engaged, you must make the event personable. Here is how.
1. INCLUDE YOUR AUDIENCE
Holding events online makes it easy for your attendees to get distracted by the comforts around them at home. It is therefore important to maintain the warmth that attendees usually feel during events to keep their attention from waning.
a. POLLS ARE A LIFESAVER
Polls can be used at any point of the event: before, during and even after! They help to keep the audience engaged and helps them warm up to the host and speakers.
Icebreaker polls before the event helps to engage the crowd before the information-heavy topics are shared. You can also ensure that you have a decent-sized audience that is responsive before you start the event. Polls in between sessions also help to make sure that your crowd is still listening to the speakers and to help snap them back to attention. Lastly, polls can act as post-event surveys to find out ways to improve for future events.
b. TAILOR YOUR CONTENT TO YOUR AUDIENCE'S NEEDS
Your audience is hungry for knowledge, and they would love it if they would be able to have a say as to what will be shared on the event day itself. By giving them an option to vote on the topics they want to learn more about, you can customise the talks to your audience’s needs and ensure a higher engagement rate for your webinar.
2. MAKE THEM FEEL COMFORTABLE
Once you walk into a convention hall, the chatter and buzz engulf you. This liveliness is hard to replicate online, especially when your audience is attending from the comfort of their own home.
However, you can improve the environment at home by including features such as a live chat which they can go to with questions about the event, and chat functions to communicate with other attendees. You could also play background music prior to the event, making the event cosier than it would have been when staring at a soulless screen!
3. SEND THEM GIFT BAGS
Who does not love free stuff? One of the highlights of physical events is that we all get to bring home a bag of goodies at the end of the day. Although we are not able to meet our attendees in person, we should not deprive them of their goodie bags! By sending the gift bags to the attendees personally via courier, it shows that you treasure their attendance and would go the extra mile for them.
4. IMPLEMENT VIRTUAL LOBBIES TO SIMULATE A REAL CONVENTION
You could argue that the best thing about conventions is that you are able to walk around and explore other booths. This is a sure-fire way to make new connections, and participants will miss this aspect of physical events the most. Thus, simulating this online will bring back a sense of familiarity to your audience, and they can explore the place as if it were real.
Similarly, it would be good to implement booths that can be viewed in 360° and chat rooms for the attendees to ask questions to the staff, to replicate the intimate setting of an actual convention.
Although it is not easy, implementing the human touch when organising online events is crucial in driving high attendance rates – you stand out when you show that you care for your attendees and look at them as humans instead of just numbers to fill. At Convergence Concepts, we help you implement the human touch for your virtual events while you sit back, relax, and reap the rewards.