Most people think of virtual events as a series of webinars but you can make your virtual event much more engaging than this. One of the simplest ways is by incorporating various interactive elements into your sessions including chat, polls and question and answer sessions (Q&A).
Chat conversations are a great way for speakers to engage their audience throughout the course of their presentation. They allow the audience and attendees to interact real time with the Speakers and/or co-hosts. We highly recommend you always have a Presenter or Co-Host to help manage your chat conversations. This includes, but is not limited to, acting as a moderator to ensure you’re getting appropriate responses.
Polls are another great way to engage your audience. Polls give your Speakers and co-hosts the ability to ask pre-planned, uniform questions with single or multiple choice answers. Speakers and Presenters can share the poll for a period of time and see the live results as they are coming in from your audience. Speakers and Co-hosts then have the option to share the final poll results with the attendees live, on-screen or to keep them a secret. Polls are a great way to keep your audience engaged throughout your session.
Question & Answer Sessions
Q&A periods are another great way to engage your attendees during your presentation. Some experts suggest keeping your Q&A sections confined to a few minutes towards the end of your presentation. This can act as a “reward” for your attendees to sticking around until the end. We tend to suggest a different route and encouraging you to answer questions throughout the session.
Q&A Module Using Zoom
You can manage Q&A sessions on Zoom using the Q&A module. This module provides a formal framework for your audience to ask questions. There are also options that will allow users to anonymously ask questions, allow other attendees to upvote questions and also allow attendees to comment on questions. This is a great way to encourage interaction among attendees and your team and can help attendees to feel more engaged.
Download Your Q&A
Most platforms, including Zoom, will allow you to download all of these questions asked during your Q&A session. We encourage you to keep these questions and follow-up with those who asked questions and provide potential answers. This includes those who had questions answered and those who were not able to get their questions answered. This will help your attendees to feel more engaged and deliver value to your audience they may not have otherwise received.
Depending on the platform, you have the ability to capture responses to polls and Q&A modules anonymously or actually track the individual responses. Keeping track of these responses will allow you see which attendees are engaged and participating and which attendees are not. Reminding your audience that you will be paying attention to this information can be a powerful motivator for attendees of mandatory events.
Leverage Your Co-Hosts & Moderators
We highly encourage you to have a panelist or co-host to manage and moderate these questions. The reason for this is because it can be a material distraction for your Speakers to have to focus not only on their presentation but also on the responses that may be coming in across the various communication channels.
Using Chats, Polls and Q&A are a powerful way to keep your audience engaged for your event. We encourage all Event Organizers to have their Speakers and Panelists to incorporate these elements into their presentations. Doing so can help to ensure that your virtual event is a success.
Interested in learning more?
Check out our webinar How To Run Successful Virtual Events. This hour long webinar will help you become a virtual event maestro answering questions such as:
- How do I prepare and plan for my virtual event?
- Who do I need on my team to ensure my virtual event’s success?
- How do I create an interactive experience with my virtual event?
- What software, equipment and infrastructure do I need to organize and run my virtual event?
- What are the best ways to market my virtual event?
- How do I follow-up with attendees after the event is over?