As event planners start tackling their first all-virtual event, one crossroad they tend to come to is…how do I harness the energy of an in-person event, and recreate that in an online environment?
It’s true that some of the activities you would normally execute in-person just aren’t possible with a virtual event. That said, there are a ton of ways to translate those activities into a virtual experience, or execute something completely different!
Here are four ideas — could any of these work for your virtual event?
This idea helps with TWO virtual event needs: engaging attendees and sponsors. Ask your sponsors to provide prizes, whether it’s a gift card or a physical item, to raffle off at the end of the day. (Keep their attention longer!)
You might also consider one Grand Prize Giveaway where the more an attendee engages throughout the day, the more entries they get into that particular raffle.
- Trivia Trivia is a great virtual engagement go-to — it’s easy to execute, fun for attendees to participate in, and yet another way to work in more sponsor engagement (let them submit questions) and/or educate your audience. There are a lot of trivia platforms out there, but to narrow your choices we recommend finding one that makes it easy for attendees to join from their phone so they can continue viewing the livestream (presumably, with the trivia questions being shown) while they play along. Kahoot and Crowdpurr are two platforms to look into.
- Social Media Contest Like with any event, you want to encourage your virtual event attendees to share their experience and takeaways on social media. (Great for attendee engagement and demonstrating just what non-attendees are missing out on!) Take it up a notch by creating a contest around posting about something specific and on theme with your event. For example, MC Thrive attendees were asked to share what makes them thrive — morning coffee, afternoon walks, petting your dog, etc. — and, needless to say, there were some great submissions:
- The ability to chat
Giving attendees a way to chat with each other is a MUST. Allowing interaction during sessions isn’t disruptive in a virtual environment like it would be if you were together in person — and in fact, it could lead to more ideas and discussion that wouldn’t have been held in-person at all. Just be sure your staff is prepared with a few ways to kick off conversations!
- Group activity
Send out pre-packaged cocktail kits ahead of time and have a bartender make it during one of your breaks, or have a chef come on and make their favorite appetizer. This will help break up the day of learning with more interactive, fun activities they can participate along with.
Planning and executing is a great learning experience for all event planners. Now, if you’re completely new to event planning, check out our guide below to learn tips from the pros!