It’s tough enough getting people to engage with your event in person. Shift the experience to online, and all of a sudden you’re competing with tabs of distractions. Busy inboxes, social news feeds, online shopping, and pressing to-do lists are all just one click away.

Does that mean you have to settle for low engagement when you host events online? Not at all. 

Research shows that 47% of people are more likely to ask a question at a virtual event and 37% are more likely to speak to a person in a virtual booth than a real one. There’s plenty of opportunity to boost audience participation, you just need to know how. 

To help, here are five action steps for engaging attendees at your next virtual event.

The importance of communication for connecting online

With more at-home distractions, you need to be able to grab people’s attention and hold it. Communication is the foundation of connection — without it, your audience will likely tune your virtual gathering out and some other piece of content on their phone in.

The good news is, for the right content, people will happily pay attention. A Prezi survey of 2,000+ professionals found that millennials, more than Baby Boomers or Gen Xers, say that  engaging content can hold their attention for long periods of time without distraction.

So what does it take? Keep on reading to explore strategies for keeping attendees engaged. 

5 action steps to encourage attendee participation

Whether you’re hosting an online yoga workshop, livestream folk concert, or a multi-session industry conference, your virtual gathering will benefit from strong communication throughout. 

  • Create natural pause points for people to chime in.
    Attendees can only give their full attention for so long. Working moments of pause into the rhythm of your event, where viewers can comment, vote, or ask questions about the content can help you keep interest high.
  • Put a face to the voice.
    Listeners use facial queues, posture, and stance in addition to the words being spoken to understand what’s being said. Make it easier for the human element to shine by putting a face to the voice of the host by using video.
  • Use interactive features.
    Live polls, live chat, and live Q&A during or at the end of an online event all help break down the barriers between audience and host. If you’ve got a virtual conference, consider also making virtual booths available.
  • Enlist a passionate speaker/performer/talent.
    There’s nothing worse than getting into a webinar and realising that the speaker is on autopilot about their content. Make sure your speakers are excited, knowledgeable, and organised.
  • Ensure your technology is up to the task.
    Hosting your event online is a lot cheaper than holding it in person, but you still want to make sure you’re set up for success. That means doing your research on different software and choosing the best platform to host your virtual event on.

Engage attendees long before the event

Taking your experience online opens up your event to a whole new audience. It’s exciting to think you could soon be reaching attendees from all over the world, but that means there’s extra pressure on your ticketing partner to get the organisation and registration experience right. 

Make an impression from the start by hosting your event on Eventbrite today