Even in face-to-face settings, it’s hard to keep the easily distracted humans engaged in one thing and focus. They’re surrounded by distractions and things they keep in mind as they fulfill tasks.
So, when they’re at home with their kids, parents, or pets, how do you expect them to keep their attention on one thing and pay no attention to other things?
While it’s natural for people to succumb to distractions even unknowingly, it can be a difficult task to keep them looking at one thing and stay doing so for an expected amount of time.
If you’re someone affected by the stay inside and social distancing measures that come with battling the pandemic — as with everyone, you’re getting accustomed to virtual everything by now.
What are virtual events?
A virtual event replicates face-to-face location-based events through video calls. It allows people to arrange and conduct events and allow people from all parts of the world to attend. Its global reach has allowed conferences, trade shows, product launches, recruitment fairs, and many others to happen while people stay safe inside their homes.
Groups and individuals from all sectors have benefited from the growth of virtual events along with platforms that allow them to happen.
They can be hosted as easily as having a computer with a working camera and microphone, a presentation, or someone speaking. People don’t have to dress up — at least not from head-to-toe — to be accommodated.
How do you make them interactive?
Did you have an event or two scheduled? Well, it’s more than likely that you’ve attended a few that were organized by other people during the past few months, so you know how difficult it is to keep the thing going without attendees coming and going.
As you don’t want all your preparations to feel senseless, you’d want to host a virtual event that will keep your attendees engaged and entertained.
Here are five ways for you to do so:
1. Allow people to send questions in advance.
This doesn’t only make it easier for you to prepare your answers to avoid awkward pauses, but it encourages people to speak up without the fear of an audience. Not all of your attendees are comfortable asking questions while other people are watching, so it’s best to let them send their questions in before the event.
You can add the option to ask a question as they fill up forms to sign up for your event, or you can send follow-up emails to ask if they have anything they’d like answered during the event.
It also helps build anticipation, they’d have something they’ll keep their ears and eyes peeled for as your event transpires, which helps you keep your audience.
2. Encourage text chatting.
As you cycle through the hundreds of video conference platforms you can use for your event, you should consider platforms that allow text chatting with a chat box feature.
You don’t only let your attendees engage with you without interrupting people who are speaking or the event itself, but you also encourage them to talk to each other and share ideas or opinions, which is something physical events are good at.
Some people may also be more comfortable using chat box features than talking to other attendees. This gives your event more inclusiveness, allowing introverts to interact with other people, which they won’t feel comfortable doing through voice chats or in-person events.
3. Use polls.
Polls function as a way for your audiences to react, positively or negatively. It gives them the feeling of being listened to, just like in any in-person event. You’d want them to feel like they influence how the event goes.
Polls keep them engaged, you get to know your audience better, and it helps them realize where they stand in comparison with other people in their field.
Live polls aren’t difficult to do, the right technology will make it seamless. Don’t worry about it as another thing to add to your preparation list.
4. Use icebreakers.
Icebreakers, especially during formal events, lessen the chances of your audience feeling stuffy with information that they’d otherwise learn all by themselves. It’s important to give them the chance to take a break and relax.
In a virtual setting, you can use icebreakers such as fun and easy quizzes, virtual photo booths, and fora. This gives them the chance to have fun while attending your event and come out of it on a positive note.
By making your events fun, you can count on your attendees for more events hosted by you in the future.