Virtual engagement for hybrid events can be a tough case to crack. But we’ve found our main perp… DROP OFF rates. So STOP. LOSING. YOUR. AUDIENCE. Here are TESTED engagement gimmicks for your hybrid event Livestream!
Livestream is it for your virtual attendees… and probably even for the whole event. Case in point here, the most recent Apple Event had hundreds of influencers and tech vloggers onsite for their newest iPhone launch, but get this… 2.26 MILLION more viewers tuned in to their livestream and it has since then racked up 29 MILLION views in just 3 months. An argument can be made here that big hybrid events still have bigger virtual attendance. But just because events feature a hybrid component doesn’t mean that the audience is listening. Engagement is at the core of any successful event. And virtual event attendees dropping off is the stuff of nightmares for any event prof. So how can you keep this to a minimum, engaging your virtual attendees and keeping them from hitting that X button? Here are 9 engagement ideas you can take your cue from…
ONE. LEVERAGE GAMIFICATION.
We’ve seen this done a lot, gamification allows your attendees to have some serious fun during the event, and earn rewards and recognition on the leaderboard. I mean everyone has a bit of a competitive side I guess. There’s a whole list of ideas for this one, including live polls, Q&A, selfie challenges, and live contests.
TWO. POP-UPS CAN BE A GOOD THING.
First thing’s first… DO NOT TRY TO SELL ANYTHING with pop-ups… be subtle. Use them instead to ask visitors to take part in contests, networking events, sponsor demos, and so on. By doing this, guests will have a better handle of your platform, providing them a sense of what’s going on during your event, and in the process, they also get to check out other tools available to them.
THREE. LIVE UPDATES. If your event has a mobile app, sending live updates to both physical and virtual participants is a clever engagement strategy. Running contests, virtual booths, polls, Q&A, networking activities, and more are all possible with a mobile app. This bridges the gap so guests who are present in person and those who are online can engage in activities together.
FOUR. 1-ON-1 SESSIONS.
Another way to bring your onsite and online guests together is by integrating chat panels and third-party video conferencing programs to enable 1:1 meetings. Given how much participants like connecting with one another to grow their networks, this will surely increase engagement.
FIVE. STREAM SPEAKER INTERVIEWS AND Q&A. Interacting with a speaker backstage or after the session in person is common practice for attendees. So don’t forget about your virtual audience when hosting a special speaker interview and Q&A. By doing so, your virtual attendees can also experience exclusive interaction with the speakers.
SIX. VIRTUAL TOUR. Giving a taste of what the on-ground event venue looks like can engage your attendees immensely. It brings about familiarity with the venue for those attending virtually. You can put up a pre-recorded video on the mobile application. Or you can live stream this walkthrough, interview on-ground attendees, and invite virtual attendees to attend the stream.
SEVEN. ONLINE ATTENDEES LOVE THEIR SWAG TOO. I know… I know, how can you replicate this age-old tradition for your virtual attendees? Well send them welcome kits, lunches, dinners, gift boxes, or free product samples. This makes them feel a connection with the event and piques their interest to engage with the event and brand even more.
EIGHT. VIRTUAL CHAT PANELS. Chat panels engage attendees endlessly. Luckily, this feature is available on most hybrid event platforms so your virtual attendees can take part in sharing thoughts, ideas, and experiences. If that’s not enough, you can also enable this feature on your mobile app if you’ve got one.
And number NINE. SOCIAL MEDIA INTEGRATION. There’s no getting around it, Social Media is a powerful tool. Everyone loves their tweets or Instagram stories so why not integrate at least one social media property into your hybrid event platform. This will get you more traction with your virtual attendees and encourage as much engagement as possible.