A Guide to Virtual Event Hosting: 5 Tips for Engaging Your Audiences

COVID-19 has changed the world in many ways, both good and bad. One positive point - people have had no choice but to get creative with finding ways to do more with remote technology. This includes hosting virtual events, which can bring people together from all over the world. Many of the limitations we face with in-person events are no longer areas of concern with virtual experiences. The possibilities are limitless in a virtual space and we can get really creative with ways to engage and connect digitally. However, it is important to ensure those running these online events are experienced so as to ensure impactful results and positive outcomes.

Hosting virtual or hybrid events is worth every second when you start with these ideas for engaging your audience. Keep reading to learn more.

1. Choose the Right Virtual Hosting Platform

There are several platforms you can choose to host a virtual event, some are free and require a fee. Zoom has become a popular option, and plenty of people use Skype, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, and Facebook Live. A few other sophisticated platforms, albeit lesser-known, include Run The World, Hopin, Event Farm, GTR, Open Water, Engage, iCoHere, and Bigmarker.

There are many virtual event platforms. The trick is finding the one that will be the ideal fit for the type of event you wish to host. Once you have a handle on the number of people you expect at your event, outline the event objectives, and understand the features you need, you can decide on the virtual hosting platform that will work the best. Our team can provide ideas and support with this process.

2. Promote or Invite Well in Advance

The more advanced notice you provide to your prospective audience and participants, the more engagement you can expect for your event.

This also gives you the best advantage in mapping out the ideal itinerary for your virtual program and allows you the time you need to ensure everyone is accommodated. Create an RSVP list and encourage people to arrive early so that any technical kinks can be worked out early on.

3. Incorporate Games and Icebreakers

This is where the fun really starts - figuring out interesting ways to make people feel connected and engaged. This is where our team shines. From live games to get competitive juices going and break the ice to things like scavenger hunts and Family Feud which combine group dynamics and loads of fun, our team has the skills and know-how to employ engaging and entertaining options in tandem with platforms capabilities and solutions. Plus, a lot of these platforms have screen sharing technology that lets you play whatever games you'd like. There’s no double your attendees will enjoy this new way of engaging online while they're at your event.

4. Lay Out a Solid Format

Don't waste time with your business event. When you respect people's time, they will be more attentive, enthusiastic, and appreciative.

The best way to be respectful of peoples' time is to lay out a clear format and communicate it with your attendees. Managing their expectations is key. It may even make sense to send out the itinerary in advance so that people can prepare accordingly, as well as think of good questions to ask once that portion of the program rolls around.

5. Check Your Tech in Advance

Give yourself as much time as you need to work out any technical issues well in advance. Your meeting will go much more smoothly when you've already tested your sound and video before “go time” and everyone involved behind the scenes is on the same page about how things will run.

Many times, our team can provide excellent audio-visual support for your virtual event. However, certain platforms may require you to work with an audio-visual company that can set you up with the necessary equipment to ensure no errors or snafus on the event day. Based on the selected platform, our team can guide you through these points so that you know what will be required and are well prepared. Having a virtual meeting or event accidentally go offline can be irritating and break the engagement in even the best virtual events. Professionals such as ourselves work hard to ensure these things don’t happen.

Get the Most out of Your Virtual Event

No matter your virtual event style or format, it is imperative you infuse creative tactics and ways to keep people connected, attentive, and engaged. These tips are just the starting point. Virtual or hybrid events are here to stay, so the sooner you get on board and the more comfortable you get with these options, the better. We would love the chance to support you with your next virtual event! Contact us today to get started!