How engaged are your virtual event attendees?

With the rising demand for virtual and hybrid events, maximising audience engagement must sit at the forefront of your event planning. To really be successful in the engagement stakes, engagement must start before your virtual or hybrid event goes Live.

The interactions, the experiences and the relationship-building before, during and after your event are crucial elements in capturing the attention of your attendees, sponsors and partners and ensuring the success of your future events.

Streaming and hosting your event via a smart virtual event platform will be key in developing an effective strategy, offering a range of interactive tools will amplify the results of those engagements.

How does a smart virtual event platform engage?

The key to delivering an immersive event experience is by using tools that increase audience engagement. Webcastcloud understands the importance of audience engagement for virtual and hybrid events.

We guide our clients on how to include our wide range of integrated engagement tools into their virtual and hybrid events. 

It’s important that you take the time to consider the characteristics and mindset of your audience when selecting audience engagement tools. Each virtual and hybrid event is different. You know your event and audience best, so refining the engagement tools used will be key to developing an effective strategy that increases audience engagement. 

5 Ways to improve audience engagement at virtual and hybrid events.

1. Polls – engaging your attendees 

Polls are a simple and direct method of engaging with the audience.

These polls make it easy for you to collect audience feedback at any time and from any device before, during and after your event. Polling is an easy way to encourage your community to engage with your content. Polls can be a great way to start teasing your attendees about new products, speakers etc prior to your event and ultimately creating anticipation for the upcoming event.

Make your polls appealing to increase the chance of engagement, consider how relevant the poll is to the session content and audience, try to start with a fun or entertaining poll to get your attendee’s buy-in on further participation. A recent industry study found that 81.8% of virtual event planners used polling to improve interaction, and drive engagement. 

2. Live Q&A – connecting with your audience

A Question & Answer session is a proven method to foster audience participation. A virtual event or hybrid event is still a great opportunity to run a Q&A. However, for the Q&A to be successful, make sure that it’s easy for your audience to participate. Consider if the Q&A will be accessible through a chat or audio channel.  You should also use a Q&A moderator to help set talking points and steer the nature of the conversation. Your Q&A might be free-flowing or a planned segment of the specific track or session. 

3. Pre and Post Event Survey – your best reality check

Your event is completed, but there is one important activity required within the next 24hours, a well-structured but simple 3 minute post-event survey and here’s why. A good survey will assess your performance and help you further understand your audience, their expectations and gauge their willingness to attend future events. A good survey can also help you develop effective marketing strategies by identifying the current market demands and trends.

Include your sponsors, partners, and team members in your survey, to be sure to identify key areas for future improvement. Send a simple push notification via the webcastcloud platform, to get them started.

Take the time to connect with your attendees after your virtual or hybrid event. Let’s attendees know that you do value their attendance and their feedback.

4. Live chat during virtual & hybrid events – creating a community

Live Chat brings your audience into an independent space for discussion. A chat channel can also be used to help connect the audience with presenters, attendees with exhibitors, or audience members with each other.

Live chats encourage your audience to share what’s on their minds, connect with others, and ask questions. A live chat function can be customizable according to your event or specific session. Help your audience engage with your presenters and each other through live chat. 

Live chat can emulate the valuable private meetings for enhanced networking that usually take place at in-person events. Live chat can also provide immediate help, with a team member answering any questions in real-time during the event.

5. Knowledge Quizzes – and prizes – time to reward your engaged attendees

Has your audience been paying attention? Everyone enjoys a good quiz, and quiz opportunities are endless. People are naturally competitive and love winning prizes. So use a quiz to gauge if your audience has been paying attention. Try to make your quizzes fun, light-hearted, and avoid being overly technical. 

You could reward your audience for participation. Consider offering a prize for participating in the quiz. A Prize can be something of intrinsic value (knowledge ranking or percentage correct score) or a monetary value (free product or discount). Quizzes engage audience members and get them thinking. Having the audience actively thinking through topics will assist in knowledge retention and foster discussion. 

Your audience will enjoy a vibrant, valuable, and fun online event experience once you integrate these great engagement tools into your virtual events & hybrid events.

We’ve so much more to share on the benefits of engagement tools, let’s catch up!