Simply streaming a discussion or a lecture may be enough for some of the events, but that makes them less engaging and less memorable. For an event to be successful, it has to drive engagement. But bear in mind—online guests are different from offline guests in so many ways. Their attention span, for example, is much shorter, and they are harder to keep engaged.
The same basic principles of engagement apply to online and offline events. You need to engage your guests with original and creative content, offer them something in return for their attention and add a human aspect to the equation. Nevertheless, we still witness event teams and organizers shying away from the challenge. Why?
The first reason is the fear that online environments lack that in-person or human touch, which is often the key to driving engagement. The second reason is the limited functionalities of online event platforms. That is why Confiva offers so much more. For example, stand-alone interactions in our Showrooms section give you countless engagement possibilities to draw in your attendees. On top of that, we will let you in on a small-trade secret! Intertwining interactions with the program and offering short breaks for specific discussion time slots with speakers increases engagement, especially if the speakers are the ones who invite and incentivize the attendees.
Now, let’s get down to driving that engagement!
1. Engage your guests with original and creative content
When it comes to interactions, you need to be mindful of the visual elements. Graphical elements can substitute many event features, which are only available in the physical world. For example, in-person events can entice all of your senses, while digital ones are limited to the visual and sound specter and effects. Therefore, the design team plays a vital role in adding a creative flair to boosting interactions at your event. If you play your cards right, you can create a lasting impact using the visual elements only.
2. Gamify your event experience
Games provide simple ways to draw more attention to your sponsors or give you a chance to examine your attendee’s knowledge of specific topics. Our platform offers a variety of games that you can easily integrate into your showrooms. For example, Confiva enables you to run a short quiz after a lecture or allows your attendees to be playful and relax with a fun game after a heavy debate. Both functionalities are available directly on the Confiva platform.
Gamification, in general, does not mean using only video games to create more traction for your partners. With just a little bit more planning, you can create a platform-wide interaction with active scoreboards. Make attendees spot different objects in the live stream or search for clues in ongoing lectures. Using this technique, you can connect all areas of the Confiva platform and engage every guest.
3. Online event hosts
Increase your engagement rate by offering an in-person contact. When it comes to interactions or simple event information—it is always good to have a human counter-side to answer any questions. We advise all our clients to enlist the help of PR professionals for in-platform communication. They offer information about the event and answer any questions your attendees might have. If possible, include one PR professional on every stage to interact with attendees about content-related and sponsor questions.
Recently, we are noticing a lot of 1-dimensional interaction. That means that only one engagement is planned throughout the event, which in some cases can be enough, but only if it’s thoroughly and well designed.
We strive for more. When it comes to Confiva, we want our attendees locked to their screens, enjoying every second of the online event. To achieve this goal, we must combine and align multiple elements and plan the interactions to complement each other. Having multiple interactions that don’t have any coherence can create aconfusion and oversaturate the experience. Managing that risk is easiest with a well-thought-out engagement plan for your event. Here is a checklist for you to go through:
- Design engagements
- Search for the interest points of your attendees and get creative.
- Find engagement fits for your sponsors
- Align your engagement with the goal of your sponsor. Extra income is always welcome.
- Engagement overview
- Write down all the interactions you are designing and review their impact.
- Set a timetable for engagements
- Plan the engagement activity. The plan must be as clear and straightforward as possible.
- Inform your staff about the planned engagements and work closely with your online host on clearly announcing them.
5. Have a cause
This one is important. If your alignment with a cause is purely based on the financial gain we would recommend finding another one. Your reason behind each engagement should be to strive to add value to your attendees and the community.
Aligning engagements with a good cause is the cherry on top of a well-built-up plan of engagement. The incentive is much bigger when we know that we are helping others.
Well, we have come to the end of the list. Fijuu… that was a long one right? But you made it. Now you are also equipped with the knowledge and know-how to start engaging your attendees at your next big event!
So roll up your sleeves and get to it.