5 Ideas to Boost Virtual Event Engagement
Since live events have been sidelined for most of 2020, virtual events are having their moment. To keep attendees engaged at virtual events takes lots of preparation and a good plan for virtual event engagement!
Here are 5 ways you can boost engagement at your next virtual event:
1. Engagement = Points Towards a Large Sweepstakes Prize
Run a Sweepstakes for a chance to win one large prize, like a 3D printer, a Peloton, or some similar, highly sought after item, plus daily prizes if the event goes over multiple days. Through gamification, a sweepstakes entry in the overall sweepstakes can be earned for each activity an attendee completes. For example, if an attendee…
- creates and saves a custom agenda for the day = 1 Sweepstakes entry
- attends the daily keynote = 5 Sweepstakes entries
- attends a session = 3 Sweepstakes entries
- asks a question during a session = 2 Sweepstakes entries
- engages with a vendor = 1 Sweepstakes entry
By using entries instead of points, you can do a random drawing at the end from all entries which will give everyone a fair chance – even if they arrive late or don’t do all the activities. This encourages participation from all, instead of having a few people that rack up all the points. The “highest points wins” mentality only discourages your average attendee from trying at all since “that guy with all those points already won.”
2. Give Your Sponsors a Sweepstakes Platform of Their Own
Getting attendees to engage with virtual event sponsors at a virtual vendor booth isn’t as easy as in person. Face to face sales, with some free swag and professionally designed booths that encourage engagement aren’t in play in the virtual space. So to entice sponsors, you will need to up the ante for your virtual event. Give each sponsor a platform on your virtual event site where people can chat, download documents and sign up for emails and more information about their products – and make sure you give the sponsor a way to run a sweepstakes where they can announce a prize and randomly draw names to give away that prize for those attendees that do participate in those activities at their virtual booth.
3. Surprise & Delight Your Virtual Audience
Ever wonder if your virtual audience is even listening? Use a surprise and delight system where you can get people to be more attentive to what is going on! A “Surprise & Delight” is an unannounced, unexpected reward given out. It could be a $5 gift card to the first person that responds to a call for questions during a session – or a coupon handed out to everyone that had answered online survey questions during a panel. The key is to always surprise people with these little rewards – you can’t announce there will be a giveaway — just tell them to be ready for anything, and they could be rewarded!
4. Push Your Attendees to Social
Create and encourage use of unique hashtags for the event and various sessions. These hashtags could build the momentum you need to bring more attendees and recognition to your event. You can also add on a sweepstakes to your hashtag call to action (just follow rules for running a sweepstakes on a social platform and follow FTC guidelines) to incentivize participation.
5. Create Round Table Groups During Break Times
Virtual breaks can be used for more than checking email and running to the restroom. Build time in the agenda for people to join virtual round tables with a moderator or host to facilitate conversation via chat or video conferencing. Divide up round table groups by subject matter, attendee location, or whatever else makes sense or your event! Give each virtual round table a task or a brainstorm to complete – and have the group vote on who the most important contributor for their group was to give some individuals some recognition. Or allow hosts to surprise and delight round table attendees that go above and beyond.
Need help with incentive ideas or help building a technical platform to help with virtual event engagement? Contact us!
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