8 ways to boost networking and engagement at virtual events

Dan Vanchieri, chief revenue officer of Aventri, offers a list of best practices to ratchet up attendee networking and engagement during a virtual event.

Online networking will be around for awhile

One question many event organisers face today is: “How do I keep remote audiences engaged?”

Online attendees face many distractions, and they’re always one click away from leaving your event.

Online networking and virtual events will be around for a long time to come

It’s no surprise that deeper engagement is the number one way organisers want to improve their digital meetings and events, cited by 68 per cent of respondents in a new global survey by Aventri.

While producing a riveting virtual experience may seem daunting, new tools and smart event design make the job much easier. Try these eight tips below:

  1. Short, snappy sessions work well with this audience. Build an engaging event agenda with live-streaming and on-demand content. Mix keynotes and main stage presentations with interactive meetings and small, collaborative breakout sessions.
  2. People today are hungry for interaction. Keep sessions lively with insta-polls, Q&A’s, chat, social feeds, gamification and other interactivity tools.
  3. Use matchmaking software to connect like-minded eventgoers. Attendees who opt in can get suggestions, view profiles, click a button and start a video chat. With targeted recommendations, they can interact naturally over shared interests, like they do at in-person events.
  4. Keep it simple. Matchmaking software uses artificial intelligence to analyse profiles of attendees, sponsors and exhibitors and find networking opportunities based on mutual interests. Modern all-in-one platforms collect data across your portfolio of virtual, hybrid and in-person events. This means you capture more data for more precise recommendations.
  5. Equip virtual breakout rooms with video chat and interactivity tools to foster meaningful connections. Attendees can meet up for one-on-one conversations or gather around a whiteboard to solve mutual industry problems with experts and peers.
  6. Provide real-time, multilingual interpretation and closed captioning capabilities to make events accessible to diverse audiences. Cloud-based technology helps organisers scale events easily for a large global audience.
  7. Energise the experience with creative content. Options abound, such as live concerts, deejays, improv comedy teams, photo contests, mini yoga sessions, teambuilding challenges, mixology classes, and more.
  8. Finally, don’t let new contacts go unnoticed. Integrate your virtual event platform with marketing automation and customer relationship management (CRM) systems. You’ll streamline follow-up and keep conversations going after your event.

Complexity doesn’t work in a challenging economy, when planning teams are smaller. For successful events, thoughtful event design and technology help you do the heavy lifting.

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