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7 Tips for Driving Engagement in Online Events

7 Tips for Driving Engagement in Online Events

By Lila Cailles

How can you better engage your audience during online events?

  1. Produce relevant content beforehand
  2. Know your audience’s needs
  3. Choose guests carefully
  4. Use the right platform
  5. Offer accessibility options
  6. Apply gamification techniques
  7. Devote time for Q&A

 

There’s no doubt that online events have quickly set the stage in enabling businesses to maintain engagement with their audiences without the health risks. With a plethora of these platforms of varying scales, driving engagement in online events seems to be a challenge for almost every industry.

People are constantly looking for fresh, relevant, and exciting content. As much as they want to put this pandemic at the back of their minds, they certainly wouldn’t want anyone downplaying it. Hosting successful online events depends on your ability to tread fine lines. Continue reading to learn more.

 

Produce Relevant Content Beforehand

A person writing a relevant blog

During your preparations for your online event, you have to make sure that your business has made the necessary steps to generate relevant content for your audience. This means that you have to bolster your digital marketing presence by churning out blog posts or think pieces that people may want to read.

You can come up with a broad range of sustainable topics that will continue to be relevant even after the pandemic is over. Or, you could stick to the times and cater to the present needs and wants of the people. Another tip that you may want to keep in mind is that your content should be able to serve as an accompaniment to the online event that you’re planning to host. This will allow you to potentially gain more traffic on your site as people refer to it.

 

Know Your Audience’s Needs

As you find yourself in the motions of preparing subject matters for your online event, you may find yourself wondering if this is what can spur discussion among your audience. Knowing what they want is essential in hosting your event.

One way is by analyzing the metrics of your website. Identify which content has garnered rich engagement or which ones are the most frequently visited. This information is usually an indication of what your audience is seeking to find answers or solutions for at a particular point in time. What they want can ultimately serve as a springboard to help you come up with potential online event topics that are worthy of discussion.

 

Choose Guests Carefully

Guests in an online event

Like it or not, but the quality of your online event largely depends on how skilled your guest speakers are. It’s important that you choose the right people to get your message across.

Conduct your research and choose speakers who have extensive knowledge on a particular subject matter. Aside from this, you may also want to consider if this is a person that your audience would be able to relate to. Speakers’ charisma is just as important as their level of expertise.

 

Use The Right Platform

What use is your online event if you won’t be able to find the right platform for it? Fortunately, you won’t be having difficulty in finding the right one — there is a multitude of options for video communication services. You just need to find one which provides the best ease of use among all of them.

You might already be familiar with Zoom or your typical Facebook Messenger group call. If you don’t necessarily want to limit yourself to these two, find other alternatives like Google Meet or Microsoft Teams — the choice entirely depends on what you think your audiences will warm up to more.

 

Offer Accessibility Options

A person doing sign language

In line with the right platform, make sure that your event is accessible to everyone. You not only have to keep this in mind when you’re covering the technical aspects, but you also have to consider this when it comes to choosing the language and tone.

For example, there may be people who have difficulty hearing — you may want to include a sign language interpreter to help assist them throughout the course of the online event. On the other hand, there may be people with certain underlying conditions that can be triggered by visuals that may be used at a certain point in the activity. Keep these points in mind before you make use of resources during the event itself.

 

Apply Gamification Techniques

Most, if not all people, are generally competitive in nature. Knowing this, applying gamification techniques to your online event proper can already define its success and how well people interact and engage with one another.

You may include arrangements such as short pop quizzes or trivia games that are relevant to the topics covered in the online event. These activities will break in the monotony, especially if the event may last for more than three hours or so. It’s best if these are conducted before the start of the event as an ice breaker. It can also be used while transitioning to a different subject matter.

Of course, these competitive activities wouldn’t be complete without rewards — entice your audience by offering them discounts or promotions of your products and services.

 

Devote Time For Q&A

A woman asking questions at an online Q&A

It’s important that you also set aside ample time to answer questions posed by some of the audience members. This is a good way for them to learn more value-adding insights.

In the event that the activity has gone well beyond the time limit, prepare a set of questions that you may anticipate from your audience. Or, you can also offer to provide lines of communications such as email addresses, where your audience can forward questions that can’t be covered during the event because of time constraints.

 

Key Takeaway

Driving engagement in online events is all about understanding your audience’s needs and wants, as well as anticipating their expectations. You can achieve this in a wide variety of techniques that you can do during the event, or even well before it starts.

You don’t need to limit yourself to the tips above, but they’re certainly great starting points. It’s all in your hands on how you can come up with a fully interactive online event that can create lasting impressions among the attendees.

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