24 Virtual Event Engagement Ideas for Event Professionals

Virtual event engagement ideas

In recent years, virtual events have become increasingly popular, and with this shift, it’s more important than ever for event professionals to focus on keeping attendees engaged. According to Grand View Research, the global virtual events market size is expected to reach $774.0 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 23.2% from 2022 to 2030.


This blog post is dedicated to sharing 25 virtual event engagement ideas that will make your online events more impactful and memorable for your audience. Whether you’re an event organizer, planner, or marketer, these tips will help you create experiences that resonate with attendees and maximize their participation.


Understanding Virtual Event Engagement

Why Engagement Matters

Engagement is the backbone of any successful event. When attendees are actively involved and invested in the experience, they are more likely to absorb information, form valuable connections, and walk away with a positive impression of your event. High levels of engagement lead to better attendee satisfaction, increased networking opportunities, and a higher likelihood of generating positive word-of-mouth promotion for your brand.

A few reasons why engagement is crucial:

  • The impact on event success: Engaged attendees are more likely to actively participate in sessions, network with other attendees, and share their experiences on social media, contributing to the overall success of the event.
  • Retention and networking opportunities: Engaged attendees are more likely to return to future events and establish long-lasting connections with fellow attendees, presenters, and sponsors, helping to build a loyal community around your event brand.

By focusing on virtual event engagement, you can ensure that your events are both successful and memorable for attendees.

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Challenges of Virtual Event Engagement

Creating engaging virtual events comes with its own set of unique challenges. Here are some of the most common obstacles and tips for overcoming them:

  • Overcoming digital fatigue: With the rise of remote work and online communication, digital fatigue has become a common issue. To combat this, design your virtual event with shorter sessions, built-in breaks, and a mix of content formats to keep attendees engaged and energized.
  • Competing with distractions: Attendees at virtual events are more likely to face distractions from their surroundings. Encourage attendees to dedicate time and space to the event, and create engaging content that captures their attention and maintains their focus.
  • Building connections remotely: Networking and relationship-building can be challenging in a virtual setting. Provide ample opportunities for attendees to interact with one another, such as breakout rooms, chat features, and networking activities, to facilitate connections and conversations.

By addressing these challenges head-on and implementing creative solutions, you can create engaging virtual events that capture and maintain attendee interest.

In the following sections, we’ll explore 25 ideas that can help you capture and maintain the attention of your attendees.


Creative Virtual Event Engagement Ideas

Send Event Reminders

Boosting virtual event engagement starts with getting registered attendees to show up. To ensure a high attendance rate, consider implementing the following:

Event reminders: Send personalized event reminders via email or SMS to registered attendees a few days before the event, and then again a few hours before it starts. This not only helps prevent no-shows but also keeps the event top-of-mind for attendees.

Make sure you also add a downloadable meeting invite to ensure that attendees are adding and blocking time in their personal calendar. You’ll benefit from their additional personal calendar reminder settings!

Now, let’s dive into 24 creative virtual event engagement ideas that can make your event more impactful and engaging for attendees.

Interactive Content

Interactive content is a powerful way to keep your audience engaged and invested in your virtual event. Here are three ideas for incorporating interactivity:

  1. Live polls and Q&A sessions: Encourage attendee participation by conducting live polls or Q&A sessions during presentations. This not only keeps the audience engaged but also provides valuable feedback and insights.
  2. Breakout rooms for discussions and a dedicated networking experience: Utilize platforms like Braindate to facilitate meaningful connections and conversations among attendees. Braindate can be an excellent solution for engaging attendees at events, as it allows users to create and join topic-based discussions in small groups. The idea is to design a networking activity and make it participatory so that people are actively engaged in choosing who they want to meet and what they want to discuss.
  3. Gamification and virtual scavenger hunts: Integrate games or challenges into your virtual event to motivate attendees to explore the platform and interact with the content. Virtual scavenger hunts can be a fun way to encourage attendees to visit different areas of the event, interact with sponsors, and network with other participants. 59% of event organizers have gamification strategies to improve audience engagement.

By offering a variety of interactive content options, you can create a dynamic and engaging virtual event experience for your attendees.

Personalized Experiences

Creating personalized experiences can make attendees feel valued and connected to your event. Here are three ideas for adding a personal touch:

  1. Customizable event programs: Allow attendees to create their own personalized agendas by choosing the sessions and activities that interest them the most. This not only caters to individual preferences but also encourages attendees to take ownership of their event experience.
  2. AI-driven content recommendations: Implement AI algorithms to analyze attendee preferences and behavior, and then provide personalized content recommendations. This can help attendees discover relevant sessions, exhibitors, or networking opportunities they might have otherwise missed.
  3. Personalized event swag: Offer digital swag bags that attendees can customize with their choice of downloadable content, such as eBooks, whitepapers, or exclusive videos. This adds an element of personalization and makes your virtual swag more memorable.

By focusing on personalization, you can create a more memorable and engaging experience for your virtual event attendees.

Immersive Environments

Immersive environments can help transport attendees to a different world, making your virtual event stand out from the rest. Here are three ideas for creating immersive experiences:

  1. Virtual reality experiences: Incorporate virtual reality (VR) elements into your event, allowing attendees to explore 3D environments, interact with objects, or even participate in VR simulations.
  2. Augmented reality elements: Integrate augmented reality (AR) features that attendees can access through their smartphones or tablets, such as virtual product demonstrations, 3D animations, or interactive maps.
  3. Themed and customized virtual spaces: Design your virtual event platform to reflect a specific theme, such as a tropical island, futuristic city, or historical era. Customized virtual spaces can help create a sense of immersion and make your event more memorable.

By creating immersive environments, you can offer a unique and captivating virtual event experience for your attendees.

Collaborative Activities

Involving attendees in collaborative activities can foster a sense of community and encourage interaction. Consider the following collaborative activities for your virtual event:

  1. Virtual team-building exercises: Organize virtual team-building activities that require attendees to work together, such as solving puzzles, completing challenges, or participating in online games. This can help attendees bond and improve their communication skills.
  2. Crowdsourced content sessions: Allow attendees to contribute ideas, questions, or content for specific sessions or workshops. This gives them a sense of ownership and encourages active participation in the event.
  3. Live brainstorming and ideation: Host interactive brainstorming sessions where attendees can share their ideas in real-time, using virtual whiteboards or collaboration tools. This can lead to valuable insights and foster a sense of collective accomplishment.

By incorporating collaborative activities, you can create an engaging and interactive virtual event experience that promotes networking and teamwork.

Entertaining Performances

Entertainment can be a welcome break from more serious event content and can help keep attendees engaged. Here are three ideas for incorporating entertaining performances:

  1. Live music or DJ sets: Feature live music performances or DJ sets during breaks or at the end of the event to provide attendees with a fun and relaxing experience.
  2. Comedy or improvisational acts: Schedule comedy or improvisational performances to inject humor and lightheartedness into your event. This can help attendees unwind and enjoy a shared laugh.
  3. Talent showcases and contests: Organize a talent showcase or contest where attendees can showcase their skills, such as singing, dancing, or playing a musical instrument. This adds a fun and interactive element to the event, and it encourages attendees to share their unique talents with others.

By integrating entertaining performances into your virtual event, you can create a well-rounded and enjoyable experience for your attendees.

Educational Opportunities

Providing educational content can keep your audience engaged and provide them with valuable information they can apply in their work. Here are three ideas for offering educational opportunities:

  1. Expert-led workshops: Schedule workshops led by industry experts or thought leaders, where attendees can learn new skills or gain insights into relevant topics. This not only adds value to the event but also encourages active participation.
  2. Interactive training sessions: Offer hands-on training sessions that enable attendees to practice new skills or techniques, using virtual tools or software. This helps reinforce learning and ensures attendees can apply their newfound knowledge.
  3. Virtual mentorship programs: Set up a virtual mentorship program, where attendees can connect with industry experts or peers for one-on-one guidance and advice. This can help foster meaningful relationships and provide personalized support.

Social Media Integration

Leveraging social media can help amplify the reach of your virtual event and encourage attendee interaction. Here are three ideas for integrating social media:

  1. Event-specific hashtags: Create unique hashtags for your event and encourage attendees to use them when posting on social media. This can help generate buzz, promote your event, and provide a way for attendees to connect with each other online.
  2. Social media walls and contests: Display a live social media wall during your event, showcasing attendee posts, photos, and comments. You can also organize social media contests, where attendees have the chance to win prizes for their participation.
  3. Influencer partnerships: Collaborate with influencers in your industry to promote your event and create exclusive content for attendees. This can help increase your event’s visibility and attract a broader audience.

Post-Event Follow-Up

Maintaining engagement after your virtual event is crucial for fostering ongoing connections and reinforcing key takeaways. Here are three ideas for post-event follow-up:

  1. Virtual event replays: Offer attendees access to recordings of the event sessions, allowing them to revisit the content at their convenience. This can help reinforce learning and provide value to those who may have missed specific sessions.
  2. Community forums and discussions: Establish online forums or discussion groups where attendees can continue conversations, ask questions, and share insights from the event. This can help maintain connections and encourage ongoing engagement.
  3. Personalized content recaps: Send personalized emails to attendees with a recap of the sessions they attended, key takeaways, and additional resources. This can help reinforce the event content and demonstrate your appreciation for their participation.

Accessibility and Inclusivity

Considering accessibility and inclusivity when planning virtual events is essential to ensure that all attendees can participate fully. Here are a few ways to make your event more accessible and inclusive:

  • Provide live captions: Offer live captioning during presentations and discussions to make your event more accessible for attendees who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Ensure platform compatibility with screen readers: Choose an event platform that is compatible with screen readers, allowing visually impaired attendees to navigate the event easily.
  • Offer content in multiple languages: Provide translations or interpretation services for attendees who speak different languages, helping to make your event more inclusive and welcoming.

Measuring Virtual Event Engagement

According to a Kaltura report, organizers of large-scale virtual events recognize the top three benefits as increased registration (36%), greater return on investment (ROI) (26%), and greater attendee engagement (25%). This emphasizes the importance of focusing on virtual event engagement ideas to maximize the potential of your event.

Key Metrics to Track

To assess the success of your virtual event engagement strategies, it’s essential to track specific metrics. Some key metrics to consider include:

  • Time spent at the event
  • Content interaction and feedback
  • Social media activity
  • Networking connections & meetings between attendees

Analyzing Engagement Data

Analyzing engagement data can help you assess attendee satisfaction, identify areas for improvement, and develop future event strategies. Consider the following steps:

  • Assessing attendee satisfaction: Analyze feedback from attendees, including survey responses, session ratings, and social media comments, to gauge their overall satisfaction with the event.
  • Identifying areas for improvement: Review engagement data to pinpoint areas where attendees were less engaged or where there were technical issues. Use this information to refine your engagement strategies for future events.
  • Developing future event strategies: Use the insights gained from your engagement data analysis to inform your strategy for future virtual events. This can help ensure that you continue to provide engaging and valuable experiences for your attendees.

Here are some ideas to help you increase engagement and drive more interactions with your virtual event attendees:

Pre-event engagement ideas

  1. Host a social media contest: Consider running a contest on your social media channels to promote your event and increase engagement. Come up with a creative and exciting contest and offer great prizes to the winners. This can help generate buzz around your event and encourage attendees to participate.
  2. Provide exclusive content before the event: Create content experiences that drop before the event, such as special panels, checklists to prepare for the event, or Q&A sessions with the keynote speakers. This will help generate interest in your event and build excitement among attendees.
  3. Ask your speakers and hosts to post about the event: Encourage your speakers and hosts to share information about your event on their social media channels. Make the posts more interesting than standard promotions with polls, teasers about different experiences, and insights into professional content. This will help generate more interest in your event and increase engagement.
  4. Elevate your confirmation and reminder emails: Highlight the most exciting sessions and speakers in your confirmation and reminder emails. Make sure attendees know what they can’t miss and what makes your event unique.

Post-event engagement ideas

  1. Add value in your follow-ups before making a request: Provide value in your first follow-up email to attendees. Offer something extra like a voucher, additional content, or event quotes. Also, ask attendees for feedback to improve future events.
  2. Make a highlight reel for target accounts: Put together a highlight reel of the best moments from your event for target accounts. Include attendees’ selfies or posts about the event with some great content snippets for a 30- to 60-second highlight reel.
  3. Let people who didn’t make it know what they missed: Give non-attendees a variety of content formats, such as a blog recap, 10-minute snippets, and a link to the full replay and on-demand content. This will help keep them engaged and excited about your next event.
  4. Create a post-event page: Create a post-event page that directs attendees to additional resources. Include highlights of the interactive chat and polls in addition to replay videos.
  5. Send an exclusive invite for your next event: Invite event attendees to your next live event and personalize the offer based on the sessions they interacted with. This will help build a deeper relationship with your attendees and keep them engaged with your brand.

Why Braindate is the perfect platform for increasing virtual event engagement

Braindate is a collaborative, experiential peer learning platform ideal for virtual events. It facilitates engaging and participatory networking experiences by allowing attendees to create topics, which in turn reveal the collective knowledge of the audience. This enables participants to find and engage in conversations that truly matter to them.

By sharing knowledge and learning from one another, attendees build relationships and actively contribute to the community. This recognition and value create a rewarding experience, fostering a sense of belonging among participants. Consequently, attendees become more compelled to actively engage in the event.

Here are some features that make Braindate a must for increasing virtual event engagement:

  1. Curated Conversations: Braindate sessions are topic-driven conversations that allow attendees to learn from others, share their expertise, and spark ideas. Attendees can choose from a range of topics and join conversations that align with their interests and goals.
  2. Seamless technology experience: Braindate is a fully integrated solution with an open API to connect with your registration system and your virtual event management platform. Its scheduling system is easy to use and eliminates the need for back-and-forth emails. Attendees can easily find and book conversations that fit their schedule, helping to increase commitment and networking opportunities.
  3. Analytics and Insights: Braindate provides organizers with analytics and insights into attendee engagement and interaction. This data can be used to improve future events and increase attendee satisfaction.

Here are some virtual event engagement statistics from recent studies, reports and surveys:

  • 49% of marketers say that audience engagement is the biggest contributing factor to having a successful event.
  • 80% of people join virtual events for educational purposes. The next biggest reason for joining virtual events is networking. (Source: Markletic)
  • According to a recent report by On24, over 50% of B2B event marketers consider customer engagement as their top priority. This indicates that customer engagement is a significant event goal for more than half (51%) of those surveyed. It highlights the importance of the attendee experience in ensuring the success of any event. (Source: On24)

With Braindate, you can drive more engagement and help attendees connect with the right people to have meaningful conversations. Learn more about Braindate’s virtual event engagement tools and book a demo today!

Conclusion

Creating engaging virtual events is both an art and a science. By incorporating these 25 virtual event engagement ideas, you can ensure that your event resonates with attendees and leaves a lasting impact. Remember to keep experimenting and adapting your strategies to find the perfect balance that works for your audience. Don’t forget to check out more content on our blog for additional tips, ideas, and insights to elevate your event planning game.

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