Attendee engagement is one of the largest concerns for virtual event organizers and speakers, but there are plenty of ways to boost virtual event engagement – and we’re here to give you some virtual session ideas to help! 

Virtual event organizers and speakers need to work a bit harder to hold the attention of their audiences. After all, it is easier to get distracted when viewing a session from the comfort of your own home rather than in a large event center. Some attendees may fall victim to Zoom fatigue if you aren’t careful to properly engage them.  

The best way to boost engagement is to get attendees involved in the session. Here are five ideas to help you draw in your viewers and get them to actively participate in your upcoming virtual event sessions:

1. Let Attendees Join the Session 

Get attendees involved by letting them join the virtual session. Rather than reading questions from the chat or pre-submitted questions, have attendees join the session to ask their questions live, on camera. This creates a more dynamic, engaging experience for everyone. 

Social27 Virtual Event Platform’s Social27 Stream feature allows viewers to request to join the live session and gives the speaker and moderator the ability to approve or deny requests. This format is similar to Instagram Live and should feel familiar to attendees and speakers. 

You can also have attendees join to share stories, opinions, or other thoughts on the topics being discussed. Speakers can ask questions during sessions to engage attendees and invite attendees to join the session to answer those questions live. This creates a much more engaging dialogue. Attendees can also share their personal stories or experiences on the topics being discussed to add multiple perspectives to the session. 

2. Polling 

Polling is a great way to promote engagement and interaction during sessions. 81.8% of virtual event organizers use event polling to improve interaction. Polls can draw attendees back in when they’ve started to drift off by giving them an action to complete. They also help the speaker learn what viewers are interested in and what their opinions are. If discussing a topic with multiple viewpoints, a speaker can conduct a poll to see where attendees fall on the topic and encourage people to share their thoughts in the chat.  

Polling can also be done in a quiz format. Instead of polling attendees on opinions or preferences, use them in a quiz to gauge the audiences’ knowledge of the topic at the start of the session. Speakers can also use quizzes at the end to gauge whether the viewers understood or retained the information shared in the session.  

3. Live Q&As 

Attendees love participating in Q&As!  92% of webinar attendees want a live Q&A session as part of the webinar session. Integrating Q&As into sessions boosts engagement and allows the speaker to tailor their session content to the interests of the group. 

If you are leveraging a simulive approach, adding a live Q&A to the end of the pre-recorded session can also help draw attendees back in and boost engagement. And of course, you can use Social27 Stream to host a fun, live Q&A during live-streamed sessions. 

4. Interactive Workshops 

Design a session that your attendees can actively follow along with. When we polled our LinkedIn community, 53% of respondents reported that interactive workshops were their favorite type of virtual event session.

Many virtual event sessions are simply centered around watching someone speak or do something – this can still be engaging! However, it’s generally more engaging to provide viewers with the opportunity to follow along or get involved in some form of interactive activity.

There are several ways to create interactive workshops, the right approach will vary based on what the goal and intended audience of your sessions are. For example, at a sales conference, you may have an interactive workshop on different selling strategies. The speaker could discuss these strategies, but there could also integrate role-playing so that students could try out the strategies either with the speaker for demonstration or in breakout sessions. 

You can also plan activities that attendees can follow along with and work on throughout the session. This is great when the session is focused on skill-building or learning new techniques. Ensure attendees know what materials to have ready (either physical items, worksheets, or virtual programs), and let them follow along to practice their new skills.

5. Breakout Sessions 

Breakout sessions are a great way to break up a session and encourage viewers to share their ideas. Set aside a bit of time for attendees to break out into smaller groups to do an exercise or share their thoughts. 

The speaker can pop into breakout sessions to check in, provide support, and have small group conversations with attendees. This allows each attendee an opportunity to talk to the speaker more directly. It also breaks up the session so that attendees are not spending the whole session just sitting and staring at a screen by allowing them to talk to each other and engage with the content. 

Attendees can even continue the discussion after the event in Roundtables. Roundtables are virtual video meetings that can be started by anyone – including speakers or attendees – at any time. Speakers can use these to host post-session discussions as well as to supplement their sessions.

Social27 Gives You The Tools You Need To Engage Your Audience

Want to create a truly engaging virtual event? It starts with choosing the right virtual event platform! 

Social27 Virtual Event Platform gives event owners and speakers the tools they need to put on an interactive virtual event that attendees won’t forget! With in-session polling, Q&As, and Social27 Stream, it’s easy to get attendees involved in your sessions on Social27 Virtual Event Platform. 

Ready to host your own event, and try out these virtual session ideas? Book a demo today to learn about Social27 Virtual Event Platform and see how you can build a virtual event that will keep your audience engaged throughout every session!