Virtual events are the source of top-of-the-funnel leads for 68% of B2B marketers.
You’re always on the hunt for a cost-effective marketing channel to promote your brand and drive the sales pipeline, and virtual events are the holy grail you seek. With minimal logistics, you can widen your audience reach, network with global participants, and build lasting relationships.
However, not every virtual event is a success. Engaging the audience is one of the essentials for an event to succeed. The results depend on how involved your attendees are. When your event keeps attendees’ attention riveted, they are more likely to interact with your brand. On the other hand, disinterested attendees are more likely to become sidetracked and eventually leave.
If you are hosting a virtual conference, your top priority should be continuous engagement. The goal is to deliver a unique and interactive brand experience that piques attendee interest and encourages participation throughout.
With immersive sessions, fun games, and interactive activities, you can make your virtual conference more engaging and enjoyable for your audience. Here are virtual conference engagement ideas you can use to infuse your next event with energy.:
<span class="mid-size-title">1. Set up a fun scavenger hunt </span>
A scavenger hunt is a fun way to keep your attendees engaged and help them discover all the sessions and virtual rooms in your event. To encourage participants to explore all the corners your event, scatter hints for a fun treasure hunt around your event website.
<span class="mid-size-title">2. Make live streaming interactive with emojis</span>
Help attendees express themselves with emoji reactions during live streams and recorded sessions. Encourage them to applaud a speaker or share their feelings as they enjoy the event. Speakers, organizers, and sponsors can gauge sentiment in real time to make their sessions more audience-friendly.
<span class="mid-size-title">3. Give audiences a social watching experience with watch parties</span>
With watch parties, your audience has a more engaging way to watch the session. Guests can interact on video while watching virtual sessions with other attendees at their table, as they would at a live event, increasing overall engagement and involvement in the experience.
<span class="mid-size-title">4. Spur engagement with enhanced session layout</span>
It’s not as much fun to passively watching an online session all by yourself. When attendees join your event, they look for excitement and interactions similar to an in-person event. To make your conference more interactive, you need to give virtual attendees fresh avenues for actively participating and connecting with peers. An enhanced session layout with virtual tables surrounding the main stage brings attendees together for interaction during the sessions. An interactive layout and the flexibility to move from table to table will enable your attendees to discover other participants organically and interact throughout the event.
<span class="mid-size-title">5. Encourage participation with an interaction panel </span>
Boost audience participation with quick chats, emoji reactions, and polls, all of which can be found in the event’s Interaction Panel. Attendees can use these options to share their comments and reactions while viewing the sessions. As an organizer, you can visualize the engagement in real-time.
<span class="mid-size-title">6. Capture memories with a Group Portrait</span>
Your audience and panelists, most of whom are likely active on social media, can feel more involved in the event by capturing a Group Portrait. The session becomes more memorable for both the audience and the speaker, driving greater audience engagement and participation. When your speakers and attendees share the group portrait on social media, your event is automatically promoted to wider audiences.
<span class="mid-size-title">7. Integrate virtual photo booths and social walls</span>
Collect and display photos from your attendees on your feed to make a virtual photo booth. You can also invite attendees to share themed selfies from your event on their social media to add to the social wall at your conference. An interesting event hashtag is always a good idea to share with attendees to include in their posts.
<span class="mid-size-title">8. Host engaging contests/quizzes </span>
To make your virtual conference more interactive and fun, you can incorporate interactive games, contests, and quizzes by embedding third-party apps such as Kahoot. Experiment with contest formats like quizzes, selfie contests, and caption contests. From emoji riddles and virtual bingo to digital poker, host multiple interactive games and activities in between sessions and during networking hours to add more excitement to your event!
<span class="mid-size-title">9. Display interactive activity feeds</span>
Offer attendees a convenient and fun way to share their views, pictures, and polls with other participants at the event through live activity feeds. They’re a great way to drive informal interactions outside sessions at a virtual conference.
<span class="mid-size-title">10. Increase responses with live Q&As </span>
Help your virtual attendees feel heard, valued, and engaged with live Q&As. Highlight relevant questions and chats from your audience on the main stage to encourage participation. The result is you get to feel their pulse in real-time.
<span class="mid-size-title">11. Capture feedback with interactive polls</span>
A tested and true idea for virtual conference engagement are interactive polls. Attendees can respond to polls in real-time with minimal effort. You can also highlight the live polls and Q&As right on the session screen to drive more visibility and encourage faster responses from participants.
<span class="mid-size-title">12. Gamify with leaderboards</span>
One of the best ways to encourage audience participation is to gamify the whole event experience with a leaderboard and reward the most active participants. To incentivize attendees, you can assign points based on activities such as participation in polls, likes, and comments posted. By showing the leaderboard scores in real-time, foster healthy competition between participants and keep them attentive throughout the conference.
<span class="mid-size-title">13. Enable multitasking with Global Side Panel</span>
In addition to an interactive activity feed, you can give your audience a better view of the different event activities with the Global Side Panel. By providing contextual information through the side panel, you allow the audience to easily multi-task and explore various virtual activities at the conference.
<span class="mid-size-title">14. Host interactive video discussions </span>
A simple and effective conference engagement idea is to host interactive video discussions with smaller attendee groups where participants can freely talk with panelists and other participants. You can host informal breakout sessions, AMAs, or focused discussions to encourage attendees to share their views on a topic and learnings from the event. Create virtual meeting rooms to encourage open discussions on specific topics.
<span class="mid-size-title">15. Collaborate and engage with digital whiteboards</span>
Think beyond PowerPoints and use digital whiteboards in your sessions to get your attendees to participate and collaborate. Connect an interactive whiteboard app to your session and invite participants to add their feedback and notes to your Whiteboard as you screen share and present the session.
<span class="mid-size-title">16. Foster networking with virtual lounges</span>
Allow attendees to catch up with other like-minded people at your conference with dedicated networking lounges. Akin to casual discussions over coffee at a physical event, virtual lounges create space for conversations and networking among attendees.
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<span class="mid-size-title">17. Share networking recommendations</span>
Give your attendees more avenues for networking by sharing relevant connection recommendations based on their interests. Make it easy for attendees to schedule 1:1 meetings and interact seamlessly with other participants through chats.
<span class="mid-size-title">18. Offer multilingual support for global audiences</span>
You can deliver your event in multiple languages so that it is accessible to more people, especially when you are targeting a global audience. With real-time language translation, you can truly deliver content to a wider audience and ensure greater attendee understanding.
<span class="mid-size-title">Get better results from your virtual conference with Hubilo! </span>
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.
We have got everything you need to know about hosting a virtual conference, engaging your audience, and more in this ultimate guide to virtual conferences.
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