How to Host an Engaging Virtual Event
In-person events have been on the decline ever since the pandemic hit. And with that, people’s time spent online has been on the rise! Many businesses that hadn’t gotten ahead of the curve had to pivot and learn how to make a splash in the digital world. Including learning how to host virtual events!
It can be challenging to make events, training, courses, or even meetings engaging when it is over Zoom or some other online platform. There is some kind of magic that happens when people are together in person. Conversation flows and connections are made. So how do you keep that going over the web? Here are a few ideas!
It is important to include your guests in the action as much as possible, whether you are going live on Instagram or YouTube, hosting a conference event, or creating an educational course. This can look like:
Before your live event, ask questions! If you are hosting on a social media platform, you can leave a question box up ahead of time and either let your audience ask you questions or ask them questions about what they are interested in learning or getting out of your live event. This will give you a clear idea of what direction you should go in and let them feel like they are a part of the conversation.
Polls are another great way to either get information from your audience before or even during an event. It can be very entertaining to stop in the middle of a presentation or class or Live event and get to see what your audience thinks. Asking them questions and letting them give you their opinions keeps them involved at all times.
Live tweeting is exactly what it sounds like. You use Twitter to send out a series of tweets on various aspects of the event you are hosting as it unfolds. Think of it as live commentary if you will. This is very engaging because something is constantly going out staying at the top of people’s minds. Keep in mind our former advice that you should only use Twitter if it’s a primary platform for you – there’s no need to live tweet at your 2 followers with an account you never use. But if you love Twitter, use Twitter.
Just like with in-person events, having time for open discussions where people can talk to each other and make connections is one of the best ways to keep them engaged. No one likes to be lectured at for hours at a time. Instead, encourage them to be part of the conversation and plan activities!
Speaking of activities, are you wondering what kind of virtual activities one can do? There are actually a ton of ways to do this. You could do a virtual team scavenger hunt, virtual trivia, virtual workshops on how to make a drink or a trendy craft (they just need to get the supplies ahead of time), and so much more!
Before you host an engaging virtual event, don’t forget to market it! Organic content, as well as paid promotions, are great ways to create a buzz. You will want to use compelling content that draws your audience in and gets them excited about tuning into your event. If you need a deeper look at how to set up a strong campaign check out this post.