Virtual events have become a staple in the event industry. However, there is a problem with these events: monotony. According to the study “Forrester Opportunity Snapshot: A Custom Study Commissioned by Airmeet,” only 23% of event attendees consider virtual events unique, and only 33% find them engaging. The days of simply hosting a speaker and their slides on MS Teams or Zoom are long gone.
Virtual events act like a magnifying glass on the difficulties of events in general. Your attendees want experiences and not lecture style events. In in-person events they will resort to playing with their phones and in virtual events, you get the data points because they leave or not join any more in future events.
Identifying the common factors causing monotony
To break the cycle of virtual event boringness, we have to identify the elements that contribute to this pervasive issue. Understanding these factors will enable you to address create more engaging, unique, and memorable experiences for your attendees.
Static, one-way presentations
One of the primary contributors to virtual event monotony is the prevalence of static, one-way presentations. Many virtual conferences rely heavily on speakers delivering content in a lecture-style format, with minimal audience interaction. This passive approach to content delivery can quickly lead to disengagement, as attendees struggle to maintain interest and focus in the presentation.
Lack of personalization and customization
Another factor that contributes to the monotony of virtual events is the lack of personalization and customization for your audience. Virtual events often employ a one-size-fits-all approach, failing to consider the diverse needs and interests of their attendees. This can result in content that is either too broad or too niche, alienating segments of the audience and contributing to an overall sense of dissatisfaction.
Minimal interaction between speakers, MC, and attendees
Virtual events require interaction, even more than in-person events. Limited opportunities for interaction between the speakers, the MC, and attendees can lead to a monotonous virtual event experience. Attendees may feel disconnected from the presenters and their fellow participants, reducing the likelihood of meaningful engagement and networking. This lack of connection can make the event feel dull and isolating, detracting from the overall value of the experience.
Limited platform features
Finally, the monotony of virtual events can be limited by platform features. Many virtual event platforms offer a basic set of tools, such as chat functionality and presentation of slides, without providing features desperately needed for interaction like reactions, polls, asking questions, etc and advanced networking features. This can make virtual conferences feel repetitive and uninspiring, as attendees are confined to a narrow range of interactions and mostly listen.
By recognizing these common factors causing monotony in virtual events, organizers can take the necessary steps to address them and create more engaging and memorable experiences for their attendees. This will ultimately lead to greater satisfaction and better outcomes for both the event organizers and their audience.
Ways to make virtual events unique and special
Creating unique and special virtual events requires a comprehensive approach that combines personalized content and experiences, innovative technology, and a sense of community. By doing so, event organizers can overcome the challenges of virtual event monotony and create unforgettable experiences for attendees.
Your audience and their needs
Understanding your target audience and their needs is paramount. Ask yourself, why should they like to attend this virtual event? And define where they are in the customer journey to buying your offerings: Where are they coming from and what is the next step in their journey? This insight allows you to curate content that addresses their specific interests and preferences.
By moving away from static presentations, you can introduce dynamic formats like fireside chats, live demonstrations, or virtual workshops, which engage the audience and encourage active participation.
Networking as an integral part of your virtual event
Leveraging technology can greatly enhance interaction within virtual events. Providing virtual networking rooms and breakout sessions allows attendees to connect in smaller groups with each other and your sales reps. Facilitated discussions or collaborative activities after an input session is a great way to engage deeply with your audience and make a relevant impression.
Creation of a community
Fostering a sense of community is another essential aspect of a successful virtual event. By engaging attendees with pre-event activities, such as content sharing, or social media conversations, you can create anticipation and a sense of belonging. Post-event follow-ups and continued interactions, such as sharing recorded sessions and facilitating ongoing discussions, not only sustain the sense of community but also provide valuable feedback for future events.
Lastly, customized event branding and design can set your virtual event apart from others. Collaborate with designers to develop a unique visual identity that includes event-specific logos, colour schemes, and graphics. A well-designed virtual environment reflecting your event’s theme or industry can enhance the overall experience for attendees.
In summary, transforming a virtual event into a unique and special experience involves a multifaceted approach that caters to the interests of the audience while embracing innovative technology and fostering a sense of community. By implementing these strategies, event organizers can break free from the boringness of virtual events and create lasting impressions for their attendees.