The key aspect of creating an engaging event is getting to know your audience and their needs and wants. With data collected about your attendees, try to capture insights and tips on how to create a more interesting event for your target audience. The more engaged your attendees are, the more successful the event will be.
After sending your invites and organizing your virtual event, the hardest part is keeping your audience engaged and active until the end of the event. So, thinking outside of the box is the only solution for this problem.
Key thing is to establish common ground with your audience. Instead of long introductory parts, include creative survey questions and games to get to know everyone better and to break the ice. People love to be included and to feel valued, so instead of long speeches try to encourage people to connect with each other. This will be beneficial for your virtual event because attendees will immediately alleviate.
We have previously mentioned creative survey questions. How to include them in your virtual event? For starters, ideally they should be included prior, during and post event because event surveys act as a feature for suggestions, opinions, criticism and feedback. It is crucial to gain feedback from your attendees because they are the ones who will help you improve your events for the future.
There are several types of surveys question that you should ask. There are qualitative questions that help you find out detailed feedback and reasoning behind each answer (ex. Why did you choose to attend the event?). Next, there are quantitative questions and those questions help you find out exact numbers and statistics (ex. What is the ideal length of a virtual session in your opinion?). Lastly there are binary type of questions which are general questions to gain more data (ex. Would you want to attend more virtual events on this topic?). You must be careful and watch out for the balance between these three types of questions.
To keep things interested, you don’t have to create typical surveys. You can incorporate creative ways of asking the questions. For example, spin the wheel to gain rewards for answering the questions to incentivize as much answers as possible.
Another tip to remember while you are creating your survey questions, is that humans are visual beings and that they process images 60 000 times faster than text. So, attendees are more likely to answer questions that are visually appealing. You can use a fun template for questions, include a more appealing font and add pictures along with questions. Try to add photo surveys or polls with pictures. Attendees will then answer questions with more ease.
Also, show respondents that you value their time, avoid long surveys that take up to five minutes. Keep it short and concise.
User generated content:
The only way to make your virtual event successful is with audience engagement and this is done by active participation. Another indicator is the “word of mouth” hence the amount that people talk about you. Nowadays, this is done through social media and user generated content. User generated content is authentic because it comes straight from the sources (users). For any virtual event, user generated content is an opportunity for event promotion and marketing purposes.
If you have hosted virtual events prior your upcoming event, use your previous attendees for marketing purposes. Gather their insights from prior virtual events and let them spread the word through social media to your future attendees. This will prove to be more relatable than any other branded marketing strategy. User generated content will improve social ad click-through rate.It is created by multiple individuals who have a unique way of expressing themselves.
Good example of user generated content is a branded hashtag for your virtual event. The more people use it, more people will be inspired to attend your event; just like in the case of “word of mouth”. Also, influencers can largely impact the usage of your branded hashtag and it will result in even more people engaging on social media.
You can even use Tik Tok or Instagram Reels and post user generated videos and challenge your audience to do the same. This strategy will enhance user generated content around your virtual event.
If you cannot think of a catchy hashtag for your event, organize a contest and include your audience. With this tactic you will enhance engagement prior the event.
To make your virtual events even more fun and creative, it is always a good idea to include games. Games are also a convenient ice breaker and they brighten up the atmosphere. You can set up trivia to obtain general knowledge about your attendees and use the data and feedback in later virtual events.There is an extensive range of apps that can help you with setting up questions, like Kahoot. Kahoot is a good choice because it has a unique gamification aspect because best participants are showed on the podium for getting the most points after the quiz.
Virtual escape rooms and scavenger hunts are a great way to enhance team building and networking. It can be a good starting point of a virtual event because participants will loosen up.
Branding virtual event:
In the virtual world, event branding is even more important because online users are usually multitasking, so you want your brand to be easily distinguished. For example, customized event tab, so attendees can always easily find their way back to the virtual event. Also, when participants register to the event, you should have branded banners at the online reception area. This will cultivate the feeling towards your brand and the virtual event will look more polished. In other meeting rooms and areas your brand should be distinguished also. Try to implement your customized branding throughout the whole event so it stays in participant’s minds and the result will be highly increased brand awareness.
In conclusion, there are many ways to make engaging content for virtual events and we have shared many tips in doing so. Key takeaway is getting to know your audience and make them feel included. Everyone wants to feel that their input is valued and attendees can achieve that validation by answering your surveys or helping you create your virtual event hashtags and more. The possibilities are endless.