3 Novel Tips for Better Virtual Event Engagement

Do you want to know the secret to a successful virtual event? Don’t give short shrift to engagement.

Kirk Hendrickson, May 21, 2020

If you’ve organized many face-to-face events, you probably take engagement for granted. People rarely walk out of a convention center after five minutes.

With virtual events, people are more easily distracted and frequently leave early. You will need to raise your engagement game to compete and thrive in this hyper-online time. 

What can you do to reach even more attendees, more profoundly?

  1. Speak their language. I don’t mean this metaphorically. Actually let them read captions and hear audio in their own language. Real-time translation AI, also known as simultaneous interpretation, is mature enough that almost any virtual event can offer attendees a link to hear the audio in the language of their choice. Millions of potential international attendees benefit from and appreciate event presentations they can keep up with, understand more deeply and actually enjoy. This appreciation may manifest itself in higher registration rates, more repeat attendees, better word of mouth for your brand, and better sales conversion rates. Glisser partner Wordly.AI offers an enterprise-class real-time translation solution in 16 languages that is very easy for presenters and attendees to use. 
  2. Take live audience polling to the next level. Usually your first polling slide should ask which of A, B, C, or D problems is of greatest concern? This alerts attendees that there are several kinds of problems you can help them solve, implies answers are coming, and that poll results will show what their peers think is most important. Always position this poll by saying, “We’ll try to spend extra time on whichever issue you’re all most concerned about.” This tells attendees they have some control over the presentation, increases their expectation of value, and invests them more in listening to the end. Of course you will read poll questions aloud and let Wordly.AI translate them to better engage your international audiences as well. 
  3. Create a sense of drama. Use storytelling principles. Try using two or more presenters to vary the voices, tones and points of view. Make it a conversation attendees feel part of. Do not telegraph a preordained conclusion. Assign roles to the panelists, potentially in opposition to each other. This conveys a more rigorous exploration of the issues, and creates higher stakes and curiosity about how the discussion will conclude. Have a moderator adjudicate the “winner,” or perhaps tease at the beginning that the winning position will be decided by audience poll at the end. Take the results of this audience poll to end on a high note leaving the audience wanting more. If you really want to create a sense of novelty, have panelists speak in different languages and let everyone in the audience use Wordly to hear it all in a single language. That would make the event much more distinctive. 

However you choose to strengthen engagement in your virtual events, the benefits are well worth the effort. Translating your events from face-to-face to virtual gives you extra opportunities to translate them to other languages, greatly extending your reach and returns.

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