5 Ways to Increase Your Virtual Event Engagement

Today, we have countless options to connect live with our audiences without leaving the house, and 90% of B2B decision makers expect the remote and digital event model to stick around. Yet, this incredible tool can also become a snooze fest if it lacks engagement. 

And, If your event is not engaging, attendees disengage. 

Virtual experiences play a critical role in building relationships, with the potential of activating a loyal community, dramatically expanding your pipeline, and serving as an outlet for premium marketing content.

“With heightened customer expectations and the increased demands on digital experiences, creating these highly-relevant, high-value experiences is top-of-mind for Experience Makers, no matter their industry or role.” 
  • Mike Stiles, senior corporate event manager at Adobe.

To rock the live virtual stage, you have to start by turning passive attendees into active participants.

Active vs. Passive Attendees

Think about it this way, active attendees engage with the event; they participate in live polls, ask questions in the chat, join breakout rooms, and provide helpful feedback. 

They get the most value from the event and are more likely to attend future events. It’s a win-win. They also make the event engaging for other attendees who simply watch it or listen in while performing other tasks. 

Passive attendees, you guessed it, don’t engage with your content in any way other than having it playing in the background. 

For a successful event, the attendees should engage with the content and the presenters, interact among themselves via the chat and during networking sessions.

How to turn passive attendees into active participants

Many virtual event managers are still struggling to optimize the experience of their attendees and the value that they provide for sponsors. But, as an event organizer, you hold the key to your event’s success. 

Turn your digital event into an engaging virtual experience by proactively eliminating potential setbacks and creating an environment that invokes interaction. Here are 5 ways to increase your virtual event engagement turning passive viewers into active participants:

1. Use the right event technology to produce the highest-quality video stream

Production logistics and differentiation remain roadblocks for virtual event planners since, for many, this is still unknown territory. Yet nobody wants to attend a virtual event with bad audio or video.  

Attendees must associate the virtual environment with your brand throughout the entire lifecycle of the event. To achieve the best results, give your attendees a quality experience and maximize branding opportunities:

 • Ensure quality streaming: use HD technology, greenroom, and backstage areas.

 • Create a cohesive look: build your event identity with strong design elements and make it a branded experience with full customization.

 • Be consistent in deploying marketing messages: use identity design elements consistently across all your marketing channels, including website, emails, and social media.

 • Don't forget about guest speakers: ask your speakers to follow best practices and provide virtual backgrounds to remain in line with the strategy.

2. Make registration seamless and content relevant

About 40-50% of registrants will attend a virtual event and attendee registration is key to success, so make the first impression count. Here’s how:

 • Create a seamless registration process: offer an intuitive, secure, mobile-friendly, and highly customizable event registration process.

 • Leverage registration data: use custom registration forms that gather names, emails, and insightful demographics so you can create stellar personalized content just for them. Don’t forget to use UTM tracking. 

 • Generate excitement for the event: integrate with your website and offer targeted emails to build event buzz.

 • Improve the customer experience: understand what is driving registration and integrate with CRM and Marketing Automation Platforms to dive deeper.

3. Spark a conversation

Make the session worth the time for your attendees and shake things up with engagement tools:

 • Allow attendees to drive the conversation: conduct polls, live Q&A sessions, and add an active live chat feature to increase engagement. Pro tip: prepare questions in advance to drive the conversation forward. 

• Use gamification strategies: incorporate entertainment and interactivity to create a memorable and enjoyable experience.

 • Provide networking opportunities: use features such as breakout rooms to help attendees form meaningful connections.

4. Promote follow up opportunities to connect

Excitement breeds excitement, so the more you can get people motivated, the more they will, in turn, motivate others to join. 

 • Facilitate interaction among the attendees: set up the networking rooms like a marketers’ circle or an HR huddle and engage your team members in facilitating the discussions. 

 • Advertise your next virtual event: create excitement for future events releasing a sneak peak around content or speaker line up for your next online gathering.

 • Create a sense of urgency: offer first-class benefits like a limited seat notice, a special price, or a freebie to register for the next online event. 

5. Leverage post-event analytics

Gather important learnings that keep up with attendee participation and engagement and create follow-up strategies to support those behaviors.

 • Request feedback and listen: take into account valuable insights from attendees and make sure to implement the necessary changes in the future.

 • Consolidate event metrics: build a complete picture to measure your event’s success using metrics such as number of attendees, interactivity level, new lead generation, and closed deals. 

Once you put these tips into practice, you’ll be able to deliver personalized experiences and gather actionable data with a quantifiable impact on your bottom line.

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