BravoFilipino.com | Ten tips to make your virtual events more engaging |The transition from face-to-face events to virtual counterparts has come as a digital shock to many businesses.
The challenge was predominantly found in translating that human connection and engagement to the online setting. Companies are now experimenting with new online features and strategies to improve customer experience and engagement, albeit projected from a screen.
The Ortus Club, an international events company, has flourished during this period by quickly adapting their traditional knowledge sharing dining events to an online format. They have been bringing together leaders from all over the world to discuss contemporary topics in virtual roundtables.
How can companies ensure that their virtual events don’t sound and feel like ‘conference calls’? Here are a few of the techniques you can implement to make your virtual events more engaging.
Organise pre-event activities
Before each event, set the scene by sending all participants games and questions to answer related to the topic they will be discussing. These questions can help your audience brainstorm before the event and create intrigue about what will be discussed on the day. You can also put everyone in touch so they get to know each other before the event.
Choose an enthusiastic moderator
Moderators orchestrate the event from start to finish and make sure the session is well facilitated. It’s essential to have an enthusiastic moderator who can keep the guests engaged and entertained and manages to get the conversation up and running.
Send out physical items
Virtual events don’t need to be 100% digital! The Ortus Club, for example, sends out physical welcome packs to the guests before each event. These envelopes include a personalised welcome postcard and a compact booklet that contains all necessary information for the upcoming roundtable, thus adding a tangible personal touch to create anticipation.
Breakout rooms are useful when hosting larger events as they allow the audience to be split into multiple sessions. Smaller groups are easier to manage and guests feel more at ease when speaking and sharing their ideas or thoughts. The host can switch between sessions at any time, checking up on the evolution of each group.
Running an interactive poll during an online meeting can lighten up the conversation and gather data from your attendees. It can also help to summarise the points made so far and clarify the general opinion of the group.
Keep meeting minutes
Attendees often appreciate having someone take notes about what’s happening during the event. Since photographers and videographers are out of the question for virtual events, live illustrations can be a good alternative to turn words into something more visual. These mind maps can take the form of cartoons, scribbles, and drawings.
Games can make discussions more relaxed and more creative. Platforms like Kahoot! can help create appealing quizzes that get the guests more involved with each session.
Lucky draws increase event interest by enticing attendees to participate or stay til the end. Everyone likes to receive an unexpected windfall! Send out exclusive prizes to your guests such as portable coffee makers, Google Home Mini speakers, Apple AirPods or a nice bottle of wine!
Interactive exercises are a way of keeping your guests involved. These could be something as simple as getting the participants to stand up or asking them to raise their hands. Not only do these exercises help break the ice but also make guests feel more involved in the discussion.
We all value long-term relationships and knowledge-sharing events are the perfect way to build a strong network. Once the discussion closes, gifts such as wine, coffee or chocolates can be sent out to each participant to express gratitude for their attendance. All gifts should be sent 2-3 days after the event and include a personalised thank you message.
Ortus events are normally hosted over a three-course meal or online. If you’re interested in experiencing knowledge-sharing discussions with The Ortus Club, feel free to contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org