It doesn’t matter if the event is virtual or otherwise, attendee engagement is always a priority. In a real-world environment, it is easy to initiate and retain attendee engagement. The speakers can observe the audience sitting in front of them, and change their tone and style accordingly. However, this is not always possible in the virtual world since there are multiple distractions and barriers in the way.
However, technology does provide options and high tech solutions that will help you to keep your attendees engaged and attentive. The current list of options provided by rapidly evolving technology continues to grow on an almost daily basis. This means that you will have to focus on the right tools and tactics that will work best for you.
If companies fail to create employee engagement amidst the pandemic, it will mean that companies are incapable of keeping up with the challenges of the present time. In the long run, it can lead to a steep decline in productivity.
The concept of ‘continuous engagement’ includes every facet of the event. I.e. starting from before the event and continuing both during as well as after the meeting. Today many cutting edge tools have been designed to do that.
As of now, many tech-savvy event planning services have started putting these tools to good use. They create '360-degree' awareness all around the event throughout its cycle. From the point of view of corporate events, only continuous engagement can ensure high levels of attendee interaction.
Corporate event management during the novel Coronavirus outbreak is more centred around staying in touch with remote workers. Managers must have mandatory meetings to touch base with their teams along with individual staff members. Such meetings can become excellent platforms that will allow team leads and other employees to discuss plans in real-time with the help of audio/visual conferencing options.
If the managers opt for daily team meetings, they will have to ensure that they take feedback from all the participants to ensure higher levels of engagement. They will have to work together to identify various areas of concern or anything else on the agenda that might need escalation.
Low levels of interaction will lead to boredom and lack of interest. In short, if the participants are not engaged enough, they won’t be able to work together to achieve organizational goals.
Two-way communication is one of the most important aspects of corporate event management. Low engagement levels are inevitable if a teleconference is restricted only to staff members reporting to the management. Similarly, if an online event is merely used as a tool to pass on instructions, the odds are that no one will take the event seriously.
Informal and personal communication also plays a very valuable role when team members are separated by vast distances. In this case, small talk can also allow team members to catch up with each other. Once that happens, they will all be on the same page and concentrate completely on the meeting instead of other issues.
Apart from corporate communications, commercial event planning services also have been forced to change the way they operate during the COVID 19 era. This is what they can do to ensure higher levels of attendee engagement at their next event:
Let us suppose that you are interested in a commercial event and want it to be a resounding success. If you want stratospheric levels of engagement, you should develop a plan beforehand. It is very simple. If the attendees feel engaged even before the event ever begins, they will likely stay with you for its entire duration.
Your plan must include the following:
You will have to identify the channels of communication that are most effective for your target audience. If your audience is part of the Twitter crowd, a few targeted ads can set the ball rolling. You can also set up a social media fan page and advertise it on other groups and pages related to your audience. Here, it is imperative that your communications should address the following key points:
Your next step is to think about sparking their collective interest. It could be anything from a great keynote speaker to a superhit concert. Once you know what they like and want, you can pitch the right product to ensure that your audience stays engaged throughout the life cycle of the event.
This is the part where the whole plan starts to come together. You should create a timeline starting from your initial engagement all the way up to the start of your event. You can also create last-minute incentives to foster a certain sense of excitement as well as urgency around your event.
Both corporate events or even commercial ones require high levels of attendee engagement. Here, great event planning services can prove their worth and make sure that every participant remains riveted to their seat throughout the event.
Sarah Hill is a content writer at Seven Events Ltd – leading venue finder in Birmingham specialised in organising event and conferences. She started her career in the events industry almost a decade ago as time progressed she became an avid event blogger sharing her insight on corporate event planning.
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