How to Keep Your Audience Engaged in Online Events

April 9, 2020 Susan Serena Douglin

Online users have attention spans of less than 8 seconds, which is shorter than that of a goldfish. And with the coronavirus pandemic upon us, it has become more important for event organizers to keep their virtual event interesting. The odds may seem insurmountable, but with a few tweaks and adjustments, your online event will be a success.

Below is a roundup of the 5 best tips to keep your audiences on the edge of their seats.

1. Create Engaging Content

This should come as no surprise. If your content isn’t engaging enough, audiences won’t tune in to your event. This is true for virtual and in-person events. Your challenge is to gauge your audience’s attention during the event, which is normally easier to do during live events. But you can still look for certain ‘cues’ to see if audiences are getting bored.

Try asking them questions during breaks, take notes, and conduct polls to keep their engagement level high enough. Better yet, respond to their feedback to make them feel more validated.

2. Humanize Your Event

Since your audiences won’t be treated to live events anymore, it is up to you to make the virtual event as humanized as possible. For example, during musical events, where possible, use videos to improve their overall experience. This shouldn’t be too difficult because entertainers have been doing this all the time with tools like YouTube and Twitch to live stream video content.

If you don’t have a video, and that’s okay too, you can introduce your events with photos to make them appear more personable.

3. The Presenter Should Exude Passion

Passion is the name of the game when it comes to live events, and this is doubly true for virtual shows. Using a boring speaker might have worked in the past when you’re doing live shows, but now your presenters will have to step up their game if they want to keep their audience’s attention. Make sure your speakers aren’t just regurgitating the script monotonously.

With a little bit of energy and zest, you should have no problems in getting your audiences hooked through to the very end.

4. Add Interactive Features

Audiences love to interact with the host during live events. This won’t be possible with virtual events. But you can still keep the spirit of the event alive by using various interactive features such as live polls live chat, and most importantly, Q/A sessions at various points during the event to bridge the gap between the audience and host.

5. Make Sure You Have the Right Tools to Keep Up

If you are new to virtual events, make sure to do your homework to find a platform that works for you and your organization. There are various options out there, both free and paid, if it’s possible, try experimenting with them all to find the best combination possible. Sometimes, going for the biggest and most expensive feature isn’t the brightest idea. Fiddle around with their features to see if they fit in with your business policies.

Are you ready to transition your live events to virtual events and still make them a success? Check in with the virtual event hosting pros at The Event Planner Expo. Click here to learn more.  

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