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Three Ways to Keep Virtual Event Attendees Engaged

September 22nd, 2023 Jade Shojaee

According to a Microsoft study, people have an attention span of eight seconds, a decrease from 12 seconds back in 2000. It’s not surprising, considering consumers have access to more content these days than they know what to do with. 

To get and keep the attention of modern audiences, marketers must deliver experiences that are interactive, personalized, informative and maybe even fun – and we’re going to show you how ON24 makes this not only possible, but easy. Read on for event engagement ideas that will help you keep your audiences on the edge of their virtual seats, from event start to finish.

Right Place, Right Time: How to Drive Engagement Across the Buying Journey 

1. Two-way interaction

Person waving hi to a laptop.

One of the best ways to keep your audiences’ attention is to make them part of the experience. For example, by polling attendees throughout the event, you remind them that they are active participants in the conversation and an important part of the event. This is your chance to get to know attendees by asking about the challenges they want to overcome, the topics that interest them most, and more. You’ll keep audiences engaged by periodically checking in and unlocking valuable insights on their unique interests. 

Question and answer rounds are a great way to keep audiences engaged with event hosts and presenters and can create opportunities to build stronger personal connections. The key to a successful Q&A is ensuring a seamless and enjoyable experience. ON24 capabilities fully support this; Q&A rounds can occur amongst all attendees or via breakout rooms, facilitating more intimate conversations between smaller groups. “Raise hand” and “reaction” features make it easy for moderators to monitor involvement and keep the Q&A on track.

Unlock more event engagement opportunities by asking attendees to turn on their cameras and break out into small groups or one-on-one discussions just as they would at an in-person event. It’s a really great way to activate attendees, foster networking and spark meaningful conversations. ON24 Breakouts is a great tool for this that enables attendees to hop seamlessly from an event session to a breakout and then jump right back into the event. Give each breakout a theme or discussion topic and make sure to staff the room with someone who can get, and keep, the conversation flowing. 

2. Relevant resource hubs

Engagement Hub - Lifestyle_500x300

We live in an age where most people have at least 12 tabs open in any browser, 20 iPhone apps, unread emails, Slack messages…and so on. To keep the attention of modern audiences, you need to give them plenty of things to do and places to (virtually) go. 

Including links to content libraries or resource hubs will give event attendees even more ways to interact with the experience and keep them on a continuous journey with your brand. These resource hubs can include thought leadership blogs, tactical e-books, on-demand webinars and event sessions, videos, case studies and more. Providing a digital destination where attendees can self-select their way through the content most relevant to them will keep them active during and after the event. 

Make it easy for visitors to filter for content by topic or type by categorizing content by topic or type and ensure that every piece of content links to something else to eliminate potential dead-ends. It’s a great way to engage event attendees and move them farther down the funnel. 

3. Virtual awards

Man happily works on his laptop

Running a virtual award ceremony is a great way to engage your event attendees and give them a stake in the game. To generate some buzz, start promoting the awards early in the promotional cycle and encourage audiences to nominate themselves and/ or their colleagues. Create fun award categories and some cool prizes (street cred also works) to excite people. 

Showing audiences how your customers use your products and services to succeed is a great way to prove the value of your offerings, give customers some well-deserved accolades, and pique the interest of prospects looking to replicate the award-winning tactics and strategies. And it’s just plain fun. 

Audience engagement is the key to a great virtual event

Keeping attendees engaged with your virtual events is not as hard as you think. Polls, surveys, Q&A, live chat, virtual awards and links to relevant resource hubs will help you turn passive attendees into active participants while unlocking valuable engagement insights that can inform future programs and help you personalize follow-up to improve conversion. 

Learn more about how to keep audiences engaged when you watch “Right Place, Right Time: How to Drive Engagement Across the Buying Journey,” on demand. 

Right Place, Right Time: How to Drive Engagement Across the Buying Journey