3 Things You Can Do to Ensure the Success of Your Virtual Events
- Digital Marketing

3 Things You Can Do to Ensure the Success of Your Virtual Events

In a survey of marketing professionals by Vimeo, 72% of respondents expect to attend the same number of virtual events, if not more, even when in-person events return. Statista also conducted a global survey of marketers in 2021. Survey respondents predicted that 40% of their events would be virtual, a greater percentage than before.

This should tell you that virtual events will remain relevant when the pandemic waning or the general population takes an endemic approach to COVID when in-person events return. People expect virtual events to occur, and they anticipate attending the same or a greater number of virtual events than they currently attend.

It should come as no surprise. Even before the pandemic forced us to make them real, online events were the dream. Virtual events are easier and more cost-efficient to attend because you don’t have to travel to the venue. In addition, you don’t have to dress up if you can attend with your camera off. It’s also easier to multitask in virtual events, so it’s less challenging to find time for them than to make time for in-person events.

It is undeniable. However, in-person events can be more engaging than virtual events. Therefore, a virtual event needs to be more attractive, captivating, and dynamic to be an unqualified success.

Doing the following can help amplify your virtual events’ appeal and ensure your virtual events’ success.

Make Your Virtual Event Interactive

So, you have an upcoming human resource virtual event about performance management. Naturally, anybody in the field of human resources should be more than willing to jump in and learn regardless of the event format, right? Surely, for true HR professionals, the topic itself should be sufficiently spellbinding that the event organizers need no bells and whistles to make their audience stay.

Unfortunately, success doesn’t necessarily follow because you have good substance and material. Gray and DiLoreto (2016) conducted a study on the effects of student engagement, student satisfaction, and perceived learning in online learning environments. The study indicates that learner interaction, through its positive impact on student engagement (i.e., motivation, willingness, and desire to participate and succeed in the learning process), is positively correlated to perceived student learning.

In other words, the more interactive an online course is, the more engaged the students will be and the higher the likelihood that they will say they learned something from the lecture. The study also reveals that student engagement positively affects student satisfaction.

To simplify it even further and put it in the context of virtual events specifically, the more interactive your virtual event, the more your participants will learn and the more successful your event.

How to Make Events Interactive

The following measures can help make your virtual event more interactive.

    1. Ask questions during sessions – Before the speaker starts, tell the audience that they can expect several questions throughout the session. The questions can be simple checks on the participants’ attentiveness. They can also be questions on the application to check the audience’s comprehension of the discussed concepts. It would be great to use a tool to choose participants to answer questions randomly.
    2. Conduct quizzes – You can also conduct end-of-session quizzes. Of course, you need to announce beforehand that there will be a quiz to improve the participants’ attentiveness and focus.
    3. Create polls – During sessions, conduct polls about their opinions. Display poll results in real-time.
    4. Provide materials during the session – Prompt participants to download reference materials while the session is ongoing. For instance, when the speaker is talking about the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants training during his discussion on financial literacy for entrepreneurs, reference material for ACCA can be made available for participants to download. A pop-up or a notification bell will notify the participants about the material, prompting them to download it then and there.
    5. Encourage participants to mingle – You can block off a time for participants to socialize and mingle. Participants can network with each other, discuss business, or get to know one another.
    6. Encourage participants to interact with the speaker – Likewise, there should be a way for the participants to interact with the speaker during the latter’s lecture. Chat functionality is a given, but it would be great to ask questions live. To ensure order, the facilitator can block off specific time slots for Q&As, during which time participants will be allowed to ask the speaker questions.

Make Sure You Have Live Facilitators

The same study by Gray and DiLoreto (2016) showed that instructor presence, through its positive effect on student engagement, also affects perceived learning. In addition, the presence of an instructor has a direct positive impact on student satisfaction and an indirect influence through its positive correlation with student engagement.

Therefore, a live facilitator should increase your event participants’ engagement, satisfaction, and learning ability.

Therefore, to ensure the success of your virtual event, make sure to appoint event facilitators who will be present throughout the event. These will be some of their functions:

    • Answer participants’ questions.
    • Keep the program going according to your event design.
    • Direct participants’ attention to tasks or individual activities they must complete.
    • Prompt participants to participate and interact with one another.
    • Highlight the event’s interactive tools and the event platform’s special features.
    • Finally, solicit participants’ responses and reactions to the speaker’s questions.

Provide Tools for Interaction and Learning

Your virtual event platform is crucial to the success of your virtual event. You want a virtual event platform that has all the tools to allow participants to interact with you, the event organizers, the speakers, the facilitators, and each other.

Some of the features you might consider in your virtual events platform include:

    • Functionality to exchange contact information with other participants
    • Tools to schedule short one-on-one meetings with other participants
    • Virtual spaces (i.e., virtual coffee shop, lounge, bar) for networking and socializing
    • Virtual workshops, roundtables, and focus group discussions

Make Your Event a Success

Virtual events will remain relevant post-pandemic. However, you cannot take attendance for granted and should try your best to ensure that your virtual event will be effective. In other words, you want your participants to learn and be satisfied.

To accomplish this and ensure the success of your virtual events, you can make your event interactive and engaging, provide the human element through live facilitators, and use a virtual platform that encourages interaction.

3 Things You Can Do to Ensure the Success of Your Virtual Events

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