Engaging Your Audience in a Virtual Conference: Best Practices
In the age of omnipresent technological advances, it may be extremely challenging to keep the audience of a traditional conference or event engaged and excited. The growing popularity of virtual conferences has simplified the job, with the opportunity to connect with global audiences.
In this article, we will explore the best practices for engaging your audience in a virtual conference, including scientific posters.
Engagement starts long before the conference
You may be surprised to read that the engagement of your conference attendees starts long before the opening day.
Take advantage of this and utilize pre-conference activities. There are some recommended steps you can take, such as sending out an informative newsletter, organizing pre-conference webinars, or creating engaging social media campaigns.
The participants should e excited to network and share their expectations, which will generate buzz around the event. With the sense of community and excitement you foster, as a result, you may get actively participating attendees.
Keep attendees busy with interactive elements
The advantage of online events over traditional ones is connected with the ability to use cutting-edge technology, making the event interactive and engaging. When long sessions are planned, including polls, live Q&A sessions, or interactive chat features.
Keep attendees busy with multimedia elements, such as videos or slideshows to make their presentations gripping and inspiring.
Allow for direct interaction by hosting panel discussions or fireside chats, to maintain participants’ interest at the highest level. Participants being able to interact directly with industry experts will stay active and excited throughout the conference.
Utilise scientific posters
There is no greater way of sharing research findings and sparking discussions than by showing them on a scientific poster. It’s best if participants present their work in a digital form, so provide them with a platform to present it.
A scientific poster is an excellent way of presenting the work in digital form. They can include text, graphs, images, and videos, all used to showcase their findings in a creative way. Together with a live chat or comment section, the engagement between presenters and attendees will be amazing.
However, it’s not enough just to present the poster – organize a poster session or virtual poster exhibitions dedicated to exploring and engaging with the research.
Create a virtual exhibition hall
The fact your attendees and presenters are present online doesn’t mean you can’t recreate some elements of a traditional conference. With modern virtual events technology, it’s possible to provide attendees with a virtual exhibition hall.
Give the opportunity of using virtual booths or exhibition spaces to showcase the products or services of sponsors and partners.
To keep the audience busy, incorporate interactive elements, for example, live demos, chat support, or virtual swag distribution. As not all participants may be willing to visit the exhibition hall, promote it by offering incentives, such as contests and giveaways. All of the activities will not only keep attendees engaged but it’s also a great way to foster connections and initiate potential collaborations.
We started with pre-conference activities, and we will finish with post-conference ones. The participants will surely appreciate the access to conference recordings, presentation materials, and any other resources, available through a post-conference portal.
Continue discussions on dedicated forums or social media groups. And last but not least, conduct post-conference surveys to get feedback and suggestions for future events. The impact of the virtual conference will even grow with engaging post-conference activities.
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