Captivate Your Non-Engaged Audience at a Virtual Event

How to Captivate Your Non-Engaged Audience at a Virtual Event or Webinar

It's time to start thinking about ensuring your virtual event stands out from the crowd and engages your audience - even those who aren't always the most engaged. This article will examine strategies for captivating a non-engaged audience at your next virtual event.
Nainika Sharma
Content Marketer
February 27, 2023

Imagine this: You are hosting a great virtual event with expert speakers, impactful content, and whatnot. Hundreds of thousands of attendees have joined you online, but most are not engaging with you. Bummer, right? 

Virtual events are becoming increasingly important as the pandemic continues to disrupt everyone's lives. The market for virtual events is estimated to reach $366.5 billion by 2027.

With that in mind, it's time to start thinking about ensuring your virtual event stands out from the crowd and engages your audience - even those who aren't always the most engaged. This article will examine strategies for captivating a non-engaged audience at your next virtual event.

1. Invest time in understanding your audience.

Before creating an engaging virtual event, you need to take the time to understand your audience. Who are they? What are their interests? What motivates them? You can use surveys, interviews, and social media research to gather data about your audience. Once you understand who they are and what they want, you can start planning an event to capture their attention and interest. Consider what content will resonate with your audience, and plan accordingly. If unsure what will work, consider testing a few different ideas before the big event. Most importantly, don't forget to have fun! A virtual event is a great opportunity to connect with your audience in a new and exciting way.

Invest time in understanding your audience

2. Plan your content and identify speakers who deliver the necessary value.

Planning your content and identifying speakers who can deliver the value you need is crucial to captivating your non-engaged audience at a virtual event. Doing so can ensure that your event is informative, entertaining, and engaging for all attendees. When planning your content, consider the following: What topics will be covered? Who will be speaking on each topic? What format will the content be delivered in (e.g., panel discussion, keynote speech, Q&A session)? How can you make the content interactive and engaging for attendees? 

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With this, consider how you can use technology to enhance the delivery of your content. For example, you could use video conferencing to allow attendees to see and hear the speakers or a chat function to ask questions and interact with the speakers in real time. You can also leverage advanced features such as polls, real-time surveys, emojis, and more to encourage the audience to participate. 

3. Use gamification: Q&A, Polls, Surveys, and Emojis

Gamification is a great way to captivate your audience at a virtual event. By incorporating game-play elements into your event, you can add an element of fun and excitement that will keep your audience engaged. Organizers using Hubilo count our gamification features as a great engagement-boosting element. You can use gamification to engage your audience in a few different ways:

  • Use game-based challenges to drive engagement. Encourage your audience to participate in game-based challenges during your event. This can be something as simple as a trivia contest or a scavenger hunt. Adding a competitive element to your event will motivate your audience to stay engaged.
  • Use points and badges to reward engagement. Another way to gamify your event is to use points and badges to reward engaging behavior. You can give points for completing challenges or simply being active in the chat. Then, at the end of the event, you can award prizes to the top point earners. This will incentivize your audience to participate in the event and make it more enjoyable for everyone involved.
  • Make it interactive with polls and quizzes. 81.8% of virtual event organizers use event polling to improve interaction. Make your virtual event more interactive by incorporating polls and quizzes into the mix. This will add an element of fun and allow you to gather valuable feedback from your audience. Simply ask questions throughout the event and then compile the results afterward. You could even offer prizes for correct answers!

4. Leverage engagement data and use it to captivate the non-engaging audience.

One of the advantages of using an event tech or going virtual is how you can use the technology to gauge audience engagement. This data can help you carve your way through their minds and hearts, keeping attendees entertained and engaged.

Leverage engagement data to captivate the non-engaging audience

There are several ways to do this, but one of the most effective is using social media. By monitoring who is talking about your event and what they're saying, you can get a good idea of who is interested and who isn't. You can then use this information to craft targeted messages that will encourage more audience participation and even drive registrations. Another way to use engagement data is to identify patterns in how people engage with your event. This could be anything from the time of day they're most active to the topics they're most interested in. Again, this information can be used to target your outreach efforts and ensure that you're providing the right content at the right time. Taking advantage of engagement data can significantly increase your chances of success when hosting a virtual event. 

You can also use even tech platforms like Hubilo and benefit from data analytics to gauge audience engagement in real time and make informed decisions. 

5. Introduce the element of personalization to establish a connection with your audience. 

No matter what industry you are in or who is your target audience, personalization has been driving the wheels for most businesses. An Evergage Study suggests that 88% of marketers say that their customers and prospects expect a personalized experience.

A hint of personalization can go a long way to communicate your brand value and let your audience know you care for them, taking care of driving engagement at your virtual event. 

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Make sure you have a good mix of content that will appeal to different audiences. This could include videos, infographics, articles, and more. Consider using personalized emails or messages to reach out to individuals who have signed up for your event. This could include sending them a link to a video you think they would find interesting or helpful or simply thanking them for registering. Use social media platforms to connect with your audience before, during, and after the event. This could involve posting about the event on your channels, interacting with attendees, and answering any questions they may have. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your virtual event is engaging and personal for all attendees.

6. Encourage non-speaking employees to take charge of engagement.

Engage non-speaking employees

One way to pump up engagement at your virtual event is to utilize non-speaking employees. These employees can play various roles, from chat moderators to social media managers to technical support. By having non-speaking employees present and active during your event, attendees can feel more engaged and connected to the event itself. Additionally, non-speaking employees can help to address any technical issues or questions that attendees may have, creating a smoother and more enjoyable experience overall. Giving your attendees multiple channels to engage with your event can increase overall engagement and create a more interactive and memorable virtual event.

7. Frequently asked questions about virtual events and audience engagement

Let's talk about the questions keeping event marketers awake and helping them find the answers they need. 

What are some practical ways to grab the attention of a non-engaged audience during a virtual event?

  • Start with a strong, attention-grabbing opening to hook the audience right from the beginning.
  • Use visual aids such as slides, videos, and images to illustrate your points and break up the monotony of speaking.
  • Engage the audience with interactive elements such as polls, quizzes, or live chat.
  • Use storytelling or personal anecdotes to help the audience connect with you and your message.
  • Use humor or a touch of entertainment to make the presentation more engaging.

How can I make my virtual event more interactive to keep the audience engaged?

  • Incorporate live polls, quizzes, or surveys to engage the audience and gather feedback.
  • Encourage the audience to ask questions or participate in the discussion.
  • Use breakout rooms to create smaller group discussions and encourage participation.
  • Incorporate virtual networking sessions to encourage attendees to connect.
  • Use gamification techniques such as challenges or contests to keep the audience engaged.

What common mistakes do speakers make during virtual events that turn off the audience?

  • Being too monotonous or robotic in their delivery.
  • Going off-topic or not sticking to the schedule.
  • Not engaging the audience or ignoring their questions or comments.
  • Using too many visual aids or too much text on slides can overwhelm the audience.
  • Not having a clear call to action or the audience's next steps.

How can I tailor my virtual event content to my audience's specific interests and needs to keep them engaged?

  • Conduct a survey or poll before the event to gather information about the audience's interests and needs.
  • Use language and examples that resonate with the audience and show them that you understand their perspective.
  • Use data and statistics relevant to the audience's industry or field.
  • Provide actionable insights and practical takeaways that the audience can apply in their work or personal life.
  • Address any common pain points or challenges the audience may face.

What are some best practices for using technology and visual aids during a virtual event to keep the audience engaged?

  • Test your technology and ensure that everything is working properly before the event.
  • Use high-quality audio and video equipment to ensure that the audience can see and hear you clearly.
  • Use a variety of visual aids such as slides, videos, and images to keep the audience engaged.
  • Keep slides simple and use bullet points or images to illustrate your points.
  • Use animations or transitions sparingly to avoid distracting the audience.

Exceed your expectations of audience engagement with the right event tech platform, Hubilo!

From an immersive session layout that mirrors in-person experiences to the industry's largest suite of engagement features, Hublio offers everything you need to run engaging virtual conferences that deliver leads and ROI. Organizations worldwide trust Hubilo to power their virtual, in-person, and hybrid events. Get in touch with us to strategize on future events and see what Hubilo can do for you. 

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