5 Virtual Conference Engagement Ideas that Actually Work

eric jones

Written by Tim Grable

December 9, 2021

Whether you’re hosting an online product launch, running a virtual event, or anything in between, maximizing engagement should be at the top of your list of priorities.

Recent virtual event statistics confirm this – 49% of marketers believe that engaging audiences in an online setting is essential to hosting a successful event.

Failing to engage your audience lessens the impact of your event and significantly reduces the chances of attendees coming back for future events.

To help you address this challenge, we’ve compiled a list of 5 virtual conference engagement ideas that work. Let’s get started!

Virtual Conference Engagement Ideas

1. Use Live Polling as an Interactive Experience

Data from Markletic’s survey shows that 81.8% of virtual event organizers use event polling to increase audience interaction.

There are many ways to incorporate live polls into your online conference. One idea is to have speakers insert them during their online sessions to create interaction points and stimulate engagement. 

For example, speakers could tuck in a poll just before presenting a topic, asking the audience to share their thoughts on that topic. The poll question could be something like:

  • What’s the first word that comes to mind when thinking about ‘virtual events’?
  • What is the biggest challenge you face right now as a team leader?

PRO-TIP

Consider booking a professional virtual host to ensure nothing goes off-schedule.

2. Book Speakers who Will Actively Engage Your Audience

Too many speakers today rely on nothing but a series of PowerPoint slides to captivate attendees’ interest.

Spoiler alert – that’s usually not enough.

One of the best virtual conference engagement ideas is to book speakers who will turn your guests from passive observers to active participants.

How? By making the audience members the FOCUS and getting them involved.

This can take many forms. For example:

  • the speakers may allow time in their presentations to ask attendees questions and get them to answer.
  • The speaker could have their presentation delivered uniquely (for example, how does a presentation mix powerful storytelling with engaging magic sound?) The speaker may get your audience to participate in different online activities that keep them engaged.

zoom meeting

3. Add Something Unexpected to the Agenda

Attention spans tend to be shorter for virtual guests. Adding an element of surprise is a great way to break the monotony of a typical virtual conference and make your event more engaging.

Think about what you can do to make your virtual experience more interactive and give people something else to look forward to during the event.

For instance, consider featuring a comedian in between sessions to provide entertainment and allow guests the chance to take a mental “breather” and unwind.

This way, when your regular programming resumes, they’ll be sharper and more engaged.

Another fun idea is to book a virtual magician to energize attendees and turn your event into a memorable experience for all those involved.

4. Host a Game

Games are not just for children; they’re one of the most efficient virtual conference engagement ideas.

Gamification will add a fun and competitive element to your event.

They can also be used as an ice breaker at events involving remote attendees because they encourage them to connect more easily.

Plus, many different games work great in a virtual setting!

5. Include Wellness-Focused Breakout Sessions

Screen-time fatigue is genuine and can result in attendees becoming unfocused and disengaged.

An effective way to combat this is to allow for breaks between sessions.

Online breakout rooms should be part of the platform you’re using to host the event, allowing for relaxing, team-driven activities such as mini yoga sessions led by a professional.

virtual wellness

Virtual Conference Engagement Ideas – We’ve Got More!

The more we rely on virtual interactions, the more we need to engage audiences in a virtual setting effectively.

We hope that the ideas we included in this article were a great source of inspiration.

However, if you’re looking for more insights into planning an engaging virtual event, be sure also to check out this article.

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