After months of living through a global pandemic, most people are becoming accustomed to participating in online meetings or events. So for many, Zoom meetings are a standard part of their lives at this point. But even after communicating with people virtually for this long, one unpleasant fact remains: virtual fatigue is real.
Spending all day working and meeting with others via computer can be taxing and can make it easier for people to zone out. When people attend virtual events, it can be difficult to focus in the same way they were able to when they were at a live event. Luckily, there are effective ways to combat virtual fatigue and make guests feel as if they are attending an actual event rather than just another Zoom meeting. The following virtual event ideas can help elevate your event and engage your attendees.
Though the pictures above were taken during a live event, having a real-time illustration occurring during your meeting or event is still a fantastic virtual event idea. Having an artist create visuals in real time to represent the information you want your attendees to receive is a creative and memorable solution. Live illustrations like the one above not only increase attendee engagement by capturing and keeping their attention, but it also enables them to better retain the information you are giving them. Additionally, you can send your guests the finished illustration post-event, so they have it for reference to further their retention of your meeting’s objectives.
Another important element you may want to include in your next virtual event is gamification. Including different types of games within your event can increase engagement by immersing them further into your program while adding some fun. Gamification can be as simple as creating a leaderboard showing who is the most active during your event (measured by the amount of sessions attended, polls participated in, chats sent, etc.) or constructing a social media photo competition that relates to your event’s goals. You could also bring out your attendees’ competitive sides with a fun-filled live game, such as a trivia game show. Make sure to provide a reward or incentive to participate in your event’s games to make it worth their while.
At this point, we are all aware that there is a huge push to incorporate health and wellness into live events by including activities like group yoga or meditation. But who says that these same ideas can’t be used during your online program? This virtual event idea is on trend and will show your attendees that you care about their health. Whether you gift your attendees with a free fitness class or start a stream with a meditation expert that all your attendees can join, there are tons of ways to include health-conscious activities. You could even include healthy snacks, such as a granola bar or nuts, in a gift delivered straight to your attendees’ doors.
Speaking of gifting guests—sending a gift to your virtual attendees not only shows your appreciation of them, but it also builds excitement for your meeting or event. Plus, certain gifts can even help your guests stay more engaged throughout the event. The gift you send to attendees will depend on your events’ objectives. Want to celebrate your attendees? How about sending them some non-alcoholic bubbly or confetti to shoot off? Or maybe you want to make your attendees feel truly connected to your event. Try sending them a whiteboard to write down comments or answers for other attendees to see. Check out our friends over at Eventure Gifting to see all of their virtual gifting solutions, including their Applause Boxes, Connect Boxes, Wellness Boxes, and more!
Want to gift attendees with something other than a box of goodies? Send them free courses instead! This virtual event idea shows your appreciation for them while making your event more exciting. These classes can be pre-recorded videos that your guests can access, or if you want to customize the experience, you could hold the class live and allow your attendees to interact with the course’s teacher. The possibilities for free courses are endless, but some of our favorites are cooking, mixology, painting, photography, and exercise classes. Looking for more unique ideas? Try including dance lessons, courses on brain health, social media classes, or on-trend bread baking courses. You can even allow your guests to learn like Harry Potter in classes from Hogwarts (yes, this really is a thing)! Truly, the possibilities are never ending.
Think of theses as virtual excursions for your guests. While they may not be able to travel across the world, there are still opportunities to see all kinds of places virtually. Whether you want your attendees to experience a tour of Machu Picchu or travel to Paris to see the Louvre, there are tons of online opportunities that you can gift your guests. If you want your guests to experience more behind-the-scenes types of tours, there are plenty of those, too. From breweries to aquariums, there are many behind-the-scenes tours to choose from online.
This virtual event idea is crucial for a program occurring on a virtual platform. Because attendees are unable to see other guests in person, it is important for them to interact with each other in alternate ways. Implementing a chat feature is a must to allow attendees to network with others. Your event can also include sessions devoted entirely to networking, allowing guests exclusive time to get to know others attending your event. You could even utilize a platform that helps match people with similar backgrounds or interests in order to facilitate the networking component of your event.
Did you know that 38% of corporate event attendees consider entertainment their priority? Knowing this, it is important to remember to include performers to entertain your guests. This virtual event idea will help to create excitement for your event and increase the amount of people who wish to attend. With a virtual event, you can either book entertainment to perform live and record them (allowing for more customization), or you can request a pre-recording from the entertainer.
This virtual event idea is one that we at Bishop-McCann specialize at. We ensure that our virtual events never feel like just another online meeting. Instead, we make our virtual meetings and events play out like a broadcast. Using eye-catching designs from our incredible graphic designers and incorporating movement with these elements make your event appear more like a television show than a meeting.
No one wants to attend an online event that feels like the Zoom meetings they attend daily. That’s why implementing these virtual event ideas is so crucial. If you put these ideas into action, your attendees will be more engaged, more educated, and more excited to be a part of your event. So what are you waiting for? Use these ideas to enhance your next virtual event!