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9 Tips for Tackling At-Home Distractions and Keeping Virtual Event Attendees Engaged

When it comes to virtual events, it’s critical that event professionals plan for outside distractions. How? With these attendee engagement strategies, of course.

Biz Bash Article 1 Engagement

In the last 18 months, virtual has emerged as an exciting, now in-demand component to hosting events. However, ensuring an immersive virtual experience doesn't come without challenges—namely, inevitable at-home distractions. That’s why when planning a virtual event, attendee engagement is key and should be the prime focus of your event strategy.

Zoom Events—(yes, that Zoom) which recently hosted its second, all-virtual user conference dubbed Zoomtopia—knows all about keeping guests engaged. After all, they had to consider 33,000 attendees joining from across the globe. By incorporating a variety of content and following strategies through its all-in-one virtual platform, Zoomtopia was a real-life success story—and the team is more than willing to share their secrets for the better of the industry.

Here are 9 lessons learned and proven strategies from the Zoom Events team for keeping attendees’ attention.  

Livestream sessions to the lobby. Before joining the event, attendees could preview live sessions in the conference lobby to check out what was already in progress and what was up and coming. In addition to previews, the virtual lobby also allowed attendees to participate in chats, creating a force for engagement from the get-go.

Make it easy for attendees to connect one-on-one. Networking opportunities are one of the main reasons people attend events. Through Zoom Events’ platform, attendees could pop into vendor booths, talk to speakers and network with other attendees just like they would if they were at an in-person event.

Have an engaging master of ceremonies. An emcee is critical to helping an event run smoothly, so you’ll want to make sure whoever you choose knows what your event is all about. It’s important they are familiar with your company, products and audience—so that they can connect with your audience on a genuine level.

Hire musical talent. For virtual? Absolutely. Just make sure the musicians you choose translate to the virtual stage. Make it even more interesting and allow attendees to interact with the entertainment in breakout rooms. 

Choose high-energy speakers. The beauty of virtual events means you can hire interesting, high-energy speakers from anywhere in the world—your options are literally global. Speakers are a big draw for events, so the more dynamic the individual, the higher attendee engagement rate you’re bound to have.

Include a polling feature within sessions. At this point, virtual event planners know that integrating polls and other fun features like Q&As and real-time chats will boost engagement—but there’s a reason we keep seeing this type of functionality repeated across different virtual event platforms. These types of features and engagement tools are must-haves for any virtual or hybrid event as they provide a base level for engagement that attendees are already familiar and comfortable with.

Tell a story with graphics. Everyone loves a good story! Any use of graphics, images, illustrations and videos will make the event even more engaging and drive emotional connections to the content, as well as other attendees. Visual images paired with interesting, story-driven content will capture your attendees’ attention. Remember: An attendee may not remember every detail about the event, but they’ll remember how the event made them feel—event organizers have to tap that emotional element to create a truly memorable virtual event.

Send event reminders and recap emails. At the beginning of the day, send emails outlining the day’s events, and at the end of the day, remind everyone of the day’s highlights. It’s important to note that attendee engagement doesn’t (and shouldn’t!) end when the event ends: You can continue to send emails after the event is over and share recorded content and speaker highlights. This will keep attendees engaged with the content post-event, and ultimately, help conversion rates.

Choose the right tech partner that can deliver. While knowing how to keep attendees engaged from around the world is critical to your event’s success, another key component to providing an interactive experience is choosing a tech partner like Zoom Events that can offer all the bells and whistles that allow a virtual event to be just as lively and engaging as a live event. Zoom Events was designed with smooth transitions and engaging features in mind, and can make your next event better than the last.

 

Request a demo for Zoom events here