Switched On: Boosting Engagement in Digital Events
While the excitement and ease of having your events be attended from the comfort of your own home have been revolutionary in lockdown life, it won’t last forever. Digital events have brought a wealth of benefits to businesses, allowing operations to continue during the Covid crisis. Yet it’s important to event planners that the attendees are engaged, rather than just purely logged on. So here are some ideas to increase online engagement:
Create excitement for your event before and after to ensure your audience feels included and wants to participate again. You could have your speakers discuss the event beforehand. Offer sneak peeks on what you will be discussing or ask for questions in advance to make sure there will be time to answer. These options will allow people to learn more about the event, create intrigue and give people who might be unable to attend motivation to participate next time.
Polling and live Q&A
When audiences feel as though the content is relevant and tailored to their needs, they are more inclined to contribute and ultimately return for future events. Create a poll or have a live chat room for questions. Use your event hashtag and spark discussions on social media. It’s interactive but also allows natural pause points to have time for questions. You will also learn so much more about your audience and this can be beneficial data for event marketing going forward.
Having a passionate speaker excited to discuss the themes is definitely going to engage an audience with the same interests. With your speakers open to discussion and directly connected to the audience, it will make them feel included and more likely to engage. If possible for you, make sure that your audience knows that there is an opportunity to network. With platforms offering networking lounges, having the event provide a potential contact or benefit will have audiences stick around.
Taking screenshots or transcribing quotes from speakers allows you to have solid content to post over the weeks following the event. Hopefully, the build-up to the event has created an interested online community. If your event was initially free, consider recording it and posting online for people to revisit and for new people to see. If people see the success of your previous event, they’ll be sure to make time to attend the next one.
Audience engagement is vital to the success of your future events. When you increase engagement, you’re not only creating a successful event, you’re bringing the in-person experience closer to them. We’re not in 2020 anymore, where virtual events were scrambling to keep up. We know more now and therefore we can do more.