With social distancing being the temporary new norm, a growing number of people are finding themselves cut off from their communities, family, and friends. Yet it’s precisely times like these when people need human connection the most — to uplift their spirits and alleviate stress.

As an event creator, you’ve got the power to bring isolated people together online during one of the most challenging crises in recent history. While we know that you’re dealing with your own stress, too, your expertise and knowledge can help provide relief to those sheltering in place or worse, sick.

Here’s why right now it’s more important than ever for people to connect, and how you can help people do so.

The downsides of isolation for health and wellbeing

Humans are complex social animals. It’s no wonder that when cut off from regular interaction with others, we suffer serious health consequences. In fact, some research suggests a lack of social connection heightens health risks as much as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

That’s why it’s so important to maintain social contact. In fact, reaching out to a friend has been shown to be better for your mental health than having a glass or two of wine to block out worries. And what better way to get the support people need than through an online event?

How you can help foster connection with online events

Thankfully, technology makes it easier than ever to stay in touch with loved ones, friends, work, and groups. From online book clubs to yoga studios livestreaming classes, it’s inspiring to see how organisations of all sizes are responding to the need for social distancing.

So what’s the best way to bring your skills to the table and support folks with engaging experiences online? (And keep yourself busy if you’re having to shelter in place, self quarantine, or just plain hunker down for a few weeks?) Keep on reading for a list of ideas and tips.

5 online event ideas to help people stay connected

  1. Teach your yoga/art/dance class online
  2. Host a virtual book club 
  3. Livestream expert talks with a current events theme
  4. Host virtual coffee dates for your niche community
  5. Organise a balcony/backyard flash mob concert or dance party

6 tips for making the shift from in-person to virtual events 

  1. Choose the right technology (Facebook Live, Zoom, YouTube, etc.)
  2. Include virtual hand-raising and track how interested your audience is in your content
  3. Don’t skimp on production equipment
  4. Test your video before your event
  5. Hone your presentation skills
  6. Use engagement tools when appropriate, like live polls or Q&A

Start engaging your community online today

Search online for ways to stay connected during the pandemic, and you’ll see article after article say the same thing: It’s about being intentional, reaching out to your network, and talking to other human beings on a daily basis.

Your event can be a wonderful support resource for people during the upcoming weeks. Start helping your community connect online and create a virtual gathering today.