10 Interactive Conference Ideas To Increase Engagement With A Virtual Audience

November 20, 2020
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Keeping your audience engaged requires interactive conference ideas that take into account how your audience is taking in information. This is especially true with the growing opportunity and popularity of virtual events.

Because your audience could be anywhere while attending through their computer, tablet, or smartphone, it can be hard to know if your attendees are participating, or if they merely have your event running  in the background. 

Taking this a step further, what about networking with other attendees? Meeting and chatting with new people is often the primary reason for attending a conference.

So how do you make a virtual conference interactive? We have good news for you. Using today’s virtual event platform’s engagement tools, it’s easy to keep your audience involved and socializing with each other.

Below Is a List of Our Top 10 Interactive Virtual Conference Ideas To Ensure Your Online Event Is a Success

Conference and Event Features to Increase Interaction and Engagement

1. Interactive Activity Feeds That Make Sharing and Connecting Easy

Your audience likely uses social media, like Facebook and LinkedIn, to engage with their friends and family, as well as their professional network. That’s exactly why this sits at number one on our list of interactive conference ideas. Activity Feeds or news feeds within virtual event platforms, work just as well for interacting with attendees.

Feeds allow hosts and attendees to share moments and insights from the event, like posting pictures or videos, and they allow users to like and comment on each other’s posts.

2. Gamifying Your Event Is the Next Big Idea For Making A Conference Interactive

Gamifying your event makes it more fun and competitive for your audience to attend. 

Use Activity Challenges to start friendly competitions within your audience. Incentivize your audience to participate in these competitions by giving them points. For example, give 10 points to attendees every time they exchange virtual business cards with others. Have the points add up to various rewards they can win.

Or consider running a photo contest on your Activity Feed. Give a gift bag to the attendee who has the most popular photo using your event’s hashtag. 

3. Add Polls

Polling allows your audience to provide streamlined interactions with your speakers in live time, whether it’s giving feedback before or after a presentation. Polling also allows the audience to guide panel discussions with their favorite topics. Polls can be as simple as giving a star rating or asking single or multiple choice questions.

Consider running a poll with a short time frame, encouraging users to give their feedback before the poll expires. Try to poll every fifteen minutes or so to actively keep your audience engaged.

4. Create Engaging Quizzes

Test your audience’s comprehension of the subject by giving them regular quizzes. Questions can be presented on the attendees’ virtual event app. After answering questions, app users can see if they answered correctly or not. 

Quiz results will be collected and visible for event hosts to analyze, to gauge how knowledgeable the audience is, and to guide presentations if certain topics need more clarification.

5. Engagement Requires Breakout Sessions

Breakout sessions allow for small groups of attendees to join their own private video chat room, where they can discuss the specific topic at hand. 

Using Participant Matching, you can ensure compatibility within your breakout sessions by matching people with similar interests. 

Try to hold several breakout sessions throughout a presentation to increase engagement. Get creative with your interactive session ideas by swapping breakout room attendees each time. This allows for more networking among your audience.

Allow Guests to Interact into Breakout and Networking Groups
6. Guests Love Interacting at Special Events That Invite Networking and Exclusivity

Be sure to allot free time for users to just network with each other virtually. Create a “virtual happy hour” for networking. Attendees can browse their contact lists and connect with new people while everyone is online.

Chats are a great way for users to set up private or group conversations with one-another. Or consider asking fun questions on an Activity Feed post to allow others to comment and interact with each other.

7. Feature an Entertainment Act

Virtual conferences don’t have to be 100% serious. Lighten up the mood by bringing in a performer like a magician, comedian, or musician to entertain your audience. 

Attention spans tend to be shorter for virtual conferences, so providing entertaining and stimulating content allows your audience a chance to take a mental “breather” and relax for a bit, so that when your regular programming starts back up, they’ll be sharper and more engaged. The entertainment can help to lighten the mood and help attendees strike up conversations over their shared experience.

8. Push Notifications and Daily Reminders

Conferences can be multi-day affairs, often featuring several presenters and webinars. Make sure your attendees stay up-to-date on any changes or call-to-actions by using notifications.

Notifications allow you to send personalized or general updates to make your audience feel included and remind them of upcoming events on the agenda.

Consider the idea of using push notifications to increase conference interaction by promoting special offers and sponsored messages to your audience.

9. Live Q&A and Applause

When exploring ideas for making a virtual conference interactive, remember that one of the main draws for attending conferences is the opportunity to ask questions and receive answers from experts in their given fields.

Using Live Q&A, participants can ask questions before and during a live stream. 

Using a moderation panel allows the moderator to see user-submitted questions and lets them pick and choose what questions are displayed for the audience.

Instead of clapping to show approval for your guest speaker, attendees can press the “applause” button to show their appreciation. Data insights gathered during presentations, like applause, can be analyzed to see which moments were the most popular among the audience.

10. Offer Live-Presentations and On-Demand Presentations

Creating an organized agenda filled with live speakers and webinars makes your event feel lively and urgent, and can encourage engagement from your attendees. But you should also add on-demand content to your virtual event for your audience to browse through as well. 

Conferences are often full, multi-day engagements, and it’s simply not possible for attendees to watch every presentation. Sometimes their schedules or attention spans simply won’t allow it. By adding on-demand content, you allow attendees to learn at their own pace and get as much as they can from your event.

Which Ideas Will You Use to Make Your Virtual Conference Interactive?

We’ve listed several interactive conference ideas to make sure your event is a success. Because you don’t just want your audience to be educated and well informed, but also entertained and interested as well. 

Explore other guides like 10 Ideas to Get Higher Participation at Digital Experiences and 11 Ideas to Get Higher Experience Attendance for other interactive engagement ideas.

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