I’ve been writing a new eBook about virtual event engagement, and here’s a sneak peek into the content. Enjoy!

So you’re hosting, planning, or speaking at a virtual event soon.

Have you thought about how you’re going to engineer engagement?

In-person events naturally lead to input from a speaker and engagement from an audience. Virtual event engagement is the interaction between the hosting operation and the viewers or attendees of your event.

Large-scale virtual events are a one-way input. The speaker doesn’t receive direct feedback like eye contact, laughing, or positive verbal enforcement; engagement must be manufactured, and measurable, effective engagement must be planned into the event from the beginning.

A crowd laughing at a keynote speaker’s jokes is a form of engagement; the speaker receives audible and sometimes physical responses to their content.

Virtual engagement is naturally poor, and a lack of engagement planning can lead to a boring event.

Have you watched a pre-recorded webinar played without moderation, no chat features, and no follow-up? I have, and it was SO BORING. You might say that I wasn’t engaged in the content, the event, or the message.

In a virtual event, that engagement can still be measured and captured for live feedback to the speaker—but it takes planning, forethought, and working both the engagement concept and the production ability to make the engagement fulfilling for both the attendees and the speaker.

  • Is your event goal revenue? Great!
    Engagement helps you know who’s really watching, listening, and interacting to know who is most likely to, and should be encouraged to, purchase.
  • Is your event goal sales leads for a sponsor? Fantastic!
    Measuring and capturing engagement, along with their registration information, opens the door to the sponsor to a warm lead with full contact information, and an engaged attendee will be more receptive to a sponsor’s reach out.
  • Is your event goal awareness for a new product line, an emerging initiative, or highlighting the great community outreach a company does? Outstanding!
    Engagement can tell you what attendees think about, feel about, and know about your awareness campaign.

Good engagement will always support your virtual event’s goal. 

Just like in-person events, virtual events require tracking of total cost, revenue generated, sponsor return-on-investment, and general attendee feedback. These are the bread-and-butter essentials of event planning. You know these already! Virtual event engagement is just as important.

Planning for engagement goes beyond these basic steps and allows for deeper insights, analytics, and feedback from attendees than ever before. Engagement is return on the investment in time, energy, and effort put into the event.

  • Engagement shows your sponsors that they received eyes and ears on their name.
  • Engagement tells your speakers that their content had value.
  • Engagement proves your attendees that this virtual event is a good use of their time, money, and attention.
  • Engagement is an essential benchmark for you, the event planning team, to know what succeeded, what failed, and what was mediocre.

What are you doing to engineer engagement before, during, and after your virtual event?

Share your plans so we can learn as a community with #EngineeringEngagement on Twitter or Instagram this week and tag me!

Act like a Pro out there!
Sarah Beth Aubrey