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It would not be wrong to say that virtual events are a rage in the event industry. And there are many reasons for that. One, they offer a level of convenience missing in any other event. Second, they are affordable and easy to host. That is why virtual events will stay popular for quite a long time. According to Grand View Research, the global virtual events market is valued at around 77.98 billion USD in 2019. However, it is estimated to grow at a rate of 23.2% from 2020 to 2027. It will reach the 404.45 billion USD mark by 2027.
However, this was not always the case. Before the pandemic, virtual events were not mainstream. And they were seen as a secondary option to physical events. That is why, when the pandemic struck, virtual events saw a massive surge in almost no time. But before we discuss further, let’s understand the idea behind the virtual event.
The concept behind the virtual event
You must have heard names like virtual event, digital events or online events. And it might sound complex. So what exactly are they? First of all, they are all names of the same thing. Secondly, virtual events serve the digital audience. So these events are hosted digitally. And you don’t need to go anywhere to attend these events. Virtual events first appeared in the late 90s. And since then, they are evolving continuously. And today, you can host any event virtually. Apart from this, you can host an event virtually/digitally that can last for several days.
Varieties of Virtual event
You need to have a virtual event platform or virtual event software to host a virtual event. These platforms or software use a 3-D and mesmerising interface to offer a realistic experience. The goal is to recreate the experience as close to a physical event as possible. The virtual event technology is flexible. As a result, you can host almost any event virtually. And it opens the door for new possibilities and opportunities for thousands of people around the world. And we saw various kinds of virtual events like
- Virtual product launches
- Virtual town halls
- Virtual fest
- Virtual conferences
- Virtual AGMs
- Virtual exhibitions
- Virtual trade shows
- Virtual career/job fairs
And many more. The list is ever-growing. Also, it gives a loud message that you can host any event virtually. And it may be possible that you may exhaust all ideas for your event. But the virtual event technology will continue handling every kind of event. Now that you have seen various types of virtual events. And if you are thinking of hosting a virtual event. But don’t know the host to engage the audience at the event. Then don’t worry. We have some exciting ideas to engage the audience at the virtual event.
5 Effective ways to make your virtual event engaging
You must have heard or read about Gamification almost everywhere. And that is because it is one of the most popular and impactful engaging technologies. But what exactly is Gamification? Gamification means adding games. So in your event, you should provide your audience with games. It will help you in two ways. First, you can use games as fillers in case of some technical issue. Secondly, the attendees can relax while switching between different online sessions.
Another great way to engage with the audience is using social media. But you must be thinking, how can you use social media audience engagement in your event? The answer is a social wall.
A social wall displays everything posted about the event on social media by the attendees. Here you can see every photo, video, or post about the event. However, the condition is the attendees need to tag the event account or use relevant hashtags. A social wall will make the attendees excited. And will encourage them to post something about the event on social media. Hence, boosting the promotion of your event on social media.
You can also engage attendees at your event by connecting them. In other words, you should promote networking at your event. However, the key to increasing the networking opportunities at your event is using special tools. These tools are focused on helping in networking. And you need to make these tools available to the audience at your event.
However, these tools vary from platform to platform. So you should check for networking tools while getting the event platform for your event. Some popular tools are AI Matchmaking, Networking lounges, and B2B Meeting scheduler. However, you can get more tools. Also, don’t forget to use simple features like live chats. You can provide options like 1:1 or group chats. And the text, audio, and video-based chatting options.
Live Q&A sessions
During the event, you can host live Q&As to interact directly with the audience at the event. Alternatively, you can hire staff for replying to the attendee’s queries. Or you can also use chatbots for faster and effective results. You can also have a live Q&A session in an online session. It will allow the attendees to ask questions with the speaker or guest panel. For this, you can use a 2-way interaction. In which an attendee asks a question. And you can use moderators to check the relevancy and redundancy of the questions. If the question is unique or relevant, the moderator can pass the question to the speaker/guest. And then, they can have answered the question using a video call with the attendee.
Polls and surveys
Polls and surveys can benefit in multiple ways. First, you can use them to engage with the audience. And can also create excitement in the event. Apart from this, you can understand your audiences’ preferences using polls and surveys. There is a slight difference between polls and surveys. They both contain questions, but polls have one or two questions. While surveys have multiple. Also, polls include multiple-choice questions. Whereas surveys contain open-ended questions. But both of these work similarly. And you can get deep insights into the audience at your event.
You can use polls at regular intervals to maintain the energy level at your event. However, you should survey only once. And also, use a few questions in your survey. Otherwise, it will bore the attendees. These are some impactful techniques to engage the audience at your virtual event.
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