Keep Your Audience Engaged During Virtual Events

In the world of virtual events, attendees are no longer in the same room as presenters—so it’s more important than ever to keep your audience engaged.

How to keep your audience engaged virtual events

Here are six key considerations for audience engagement during virtual events.

Condense Your Agenda

Planners can’t expect virtual audiences to stay engaged for the same length of time as their in-person counterparts. Condense and focus your content to fit into a maximum of five hours per day.

Keep Sessions Short

Screen fatigue is real. If a session is too long, attendees will start to lose focus. Keep each session to a maximum of 60 minutes. If you need to allow time for Q&A, have a 45-minute presentation with 15 minutes allotted for Q&A. 

Allow Frequent Breaks

In addition to shorter sessions, attendees need time to stretch their legs, use the restroom, grab a bite and check on their families. Build in a 10- to 15-minute break for every 60 minutes of content.

Tip! Breaks between sessions should be no longer than 15 minutes as you run the risk of losing your audience if they’re away from their screens for too long. The only exception should be during mealtimes, where attendees should be given at least 30-45 minutes to prepare and eat.

Integrate Participation

For every 10-15 minutes of presentation time, there should be at least one instance of audience engagement. For example, in a 30-minute presentation, the audience should be asked to participate in a poll, submit a question, contribute to the chat, etc. at least two to three times. If a session relies on audience participation, start with an icebreaker to set the tone for the meeting.

Gamify the Experience

Some virtual event platforms award points for attendee participation. These can range from social wall posts, co-attendee interactions, trade show booth visits, etc. Use these tools to incentivize attendees to participate in your meeting and award prizes to those who were most involved.

Send Physical Engagement Kits

Another way to encourage attendee participation is to send physical engagement kits. Whether you include a gift card for a pizza lunch, cocktail kit for a happy hour, or noise maker for a virtual commencement, integrating tangible elements into your virtual event helps the audience feel more invested.

By using these engagement tactics, you can ensure that your attendees feel connected and committed to your virtual event program.

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