Keeping your audience captivated and engaged throughout the entire duration of an event is a task in itself. While organizations are struggling to cope up with the new environment of online events amid the pandemic, the challenge to interest viewers and increase screen time is only getting harder.
Human attention span continues to shorten and thanks to mobile devices, participants find it very easy to move over events that are not captivating. Do you remember any such event that started brightly only to lose your attention in a few minutes? If yes, then you might not even remember the event topic or any of its discussed content!
There are many ways in which we can bring changes to the online events, but here we list 5 important methods that have drastically improved participants’ attention and justified the organizer’s efforts in imparting knowledge.
1. Have an event-specific mobile app in place
The entire world is at the human fingertips, with just a few clicks you can achieve any task that’s required. Mobile apps are a great way to educate participants about your upcoming event. They can register, know more about the speakers, the timeline and the structure of the event. Providing all event details to the participants ahead in time, using a mobile app decreases friction and helps you get a better picture of the event status.
Event-specific mobile apps familiarizes the participants with the speaker bio, their achievements, their social stance, etc. This intrigues listeners to be a part of the session and interact with your content. As an organizer, you can also track the content engagement patterns to know what’s working and what is overlooked or not engaging, thus providing you valuable insights to change the content structure in the future.
Make sure to include every information that participants will be intrigued to see, like schedules, maps, FAQs, event updates, networking opportunities, and many more. Provide enough information, grab their attention, and help them plan their presence at your event.
2. Leverage the power of live polling
In an event with hundreds and thousands of participants, interacting with your crowd verbally is not so good an idea!
Live polling comes as a saviour for all organizers who wish to improve their audience engagement and grab attention. Encourage your speakers to incorporate interactive elements during their presentations, like live demos, quizzes, game shows, Q&A, and live polling.
With live polls implemented, you can convert a monologue into a two-way conversational event where your participants will listen to your content and answer the questions you ask them. This method will help you shape the audience and the event proceeding just the way you like. With live polls, you can let the participants vote on their topic of interest, and as organizers, you can govern the flow of these questions.
Live polling leverages you with an enormous amount of useful data that can be utilized in shaping better event content or planning for giveaways or important topics in demand. The data collected will also help you understand your audience and effectively plan and optimize your future events.
3. Introduce gamification in your live events
Gamification is one of the hottest trends in the event management platform that helps to boost audience engagement. Scavenger hunts, quizzes, drawings, etc. are a fun way to captivate listeners, but it’s important to not lose sight of the underlying point behind the event and gamification. Playing games is just not for the sake to engage your participants, but to deliver the right message using the gamification technique.
Your raffle draw game can increase the chances of winning when they visit multiple booths, quiz can be conducted about a specific product or their use cases, helping them learn more about your products, or scavenger hunts can have all the clues spread across the entire event, thus increasing footfall in less visited areas. You can also encourage participants to post on social media and use selective hashtags to garner more attention and win a prize. The gamification method results in more user-generated content, thus creating a buzz about the event, and encourages socializing and networking opportunities.
Now remember, the prize you set for each of these games must be relevant to the event topic, participants, and you. For example, prizes can be 70 percent discount in some of your offerings or services.
4. Onboard the right speakers and influencers and make them accessible
Your speakers are the major attraction, they are what that drives participants to attend your events. And if you miss on having a panel of speakers who are not famous, or not wanted, then you may lose your participants’ interest. Encourage your speakers to interact with the participants, get friendly, give answers to questions, and keep the environment engaging and light. Provide the speakers with maximum details about the participants to create presentations that are engaging and knowledgeable.
Always choose your speaker depending on the event topic. It is essential that you choose a speaker who is an excellent personality, but if the crowd is big, invite a speaker who is of the same wavelength and can grab listeners’ attention in no time. Similarly, if the audience is mellow, invite speakers of the same wavelength.
Your audience is present at the event to learn from your speakers, so encourage your speakers to strike conversations with your audience. This informal setup helps participants to socialize, break the ice, and set up one-on-one discussions about a proven idea. This provides your audience a chance to learn more about their topic of interest and deep dive in a personalized context.
5. Assign designated moderators
In any live event, participants not only listen to the speakers but also ask questions and try to interact with each other using chat. There are many participants who seek more information about the product or service using chat, and to not answer them on time only increases the manual effort of responding to the messages post event, thus forcing the participants to lose interest.
To avoid the hassle, hire moderators who are well versed with the product or service. Train the moderators to be at their toes, answer all queries, collect information from the participants when needed, and maintain a conversation that’s not out of the topic. You can also have a technical support person who can help with any support issues such as login issue, mobile app access issue, etc.
These employees are not a burden to your organization or budget, rather they are the ones who will help to maintain a proper conversation funnel during the online event and guide the participants to their desired answers.
Keeping your audience engaged is a challenge. Was it any time easier with physical events before Covid?
There are several ways to engage with your audience, and we have just listed a few. If you put in a little thought behind the expectation from an online event, you will be able to come up with many mutually benefitting ideas for attendees and yourself.
So, plan your event right and focus on ways to help the audience grab the knowledge.