Virtual events are awesome, aren’t they? They allow us to gather and connect with one another effortlessly. No need to make travel arrangements or get dressed up. Just fire up the computer or mobile device and we can join from anywhere in the world — even while wearing sweatpants.
The problem is that it’s just as easy to bail on a virtual event. If your audience isn’t engaged, there are more than a billion websites for them to browse, millions of apps vying for their attention, and many other distractions that could take them away from your event.
Most event professionals know that amazing content (delivered by amazing speakers or hosts) will get people’s attention. But that's not all you can do to boost engagement at your virtual events. Through a recent analysis of product usage, we discovered four tools that can keep your audience engaged longer and amplify the outcomes of your event.
1. Embrace the chatter
Great event content gives an audience something to talk about. This is why almost every virtual event platform offers chat functionality.
Event chat is a simple and effective way to encourage interaction and make your events more enjoyable for everyone involved. And, as you might have already guessed, it’s also a proven way to increase engagement. How much? According to our product usage analytics, organizers who enable chat for their segments (stage or sessions) see a 25-55% increase in the share of attendees who remain engaged until the end of that segment.
If you want to encourage attendees to engage in a lively chat, take advantage of the full range of capabilities your virtual event platform offers. On Hopin, for example, event attendees can express their enthusiasm through words, emoji, and GIFs. Event organizers can also pin important chat messages to the top of the chat and analyze chatter after the event to gather insights.
Already using Hopin for your virtual events? Check out this support article to learn how to manage and moderate your chat.
2. Offer a live poll
Live polls invite your virtual audience members to become active participants in their experience. A few well-placed prompts can also have a measurable effect on audience engagement.
Event organizers on Hopin who run polls and are able to encourage more than 10% of their attendees to respond see, on average, a 53% increase in the share of attendees who remain engaged until the end of that segment.
On Hopin, for example, you can conduct polls across your entire event or choose specific sessions or expo booths to engage. You can even poll your audience before the event begins. Polls give attendees a voice, instantaneously, while collecting useful feedback and data to inform future events.
If you’re a Hopin customer and want to learn more about event polls, start with this support article.
3. Make time for Q&A
During speaker sessions and presentations, your audience will be filled with exciting thoughts and burning questions. So why not give attendees the opportunity to express themselves and pose those questions directly to the people who sparked them?
Question-and-answer sessions (or Q&As) not only give attendees the opportunity to directly engage with speakers and presenters, they’re also proven to increase engagement 24-40% for Hopin organizers who host them.
With a platform like Hopin, your Q&A sessions can run smoothly and produce satisfying results. For instance, you can announce when your Q&A starts and direct attendees to add their questions or upvote existing questions they’d like to have answered. As the questions come in, your team can moderate by choosing from popular questions and flagging ones that have already been answered.
Want to learn more about using Q&A during your Hopin events? Head over to this support article to get the skinny.
4. Keep the party going
If you think there aren’t opportunities to engage your audience after an event ends, think again. Most virtual event platforms allow you to record live content for later consumption. But if your platform forces you to download, encode, and upload event recordings to a separate platform, you could be losing precious momentum.
On Hopin, organizers can bridge this post-event content consumption gap and extend the value of their event with Hopin Replay. This simplified workflow cuts down on the time it takes to give registrants a high-quality on-demand experience.
Know what else Hopin Replay can do? You guessed it: Up your engagement. Organizers who leverage Replay increase engagement 25-50% — long after the event is over.
Dive deeper into Hopin Replay with these support articles.
Power meaningful engagement and feel closer with Hopin
Nearly half of event professionals claim engagement is the biggest contributor to their success and their greatest challenge. If you want to improve audience engagement at your virtual events and increase your ROI, let’s talk.
Our experts work alongside customers from a wide variety of industries around the world. If there are new and unfound opportunities to better understand and engage your audience, they’re the first to hear about it. Contact us today to find out how Hopin can help you reach and retain a wider audience.