After a full year of online meetings and virtual events, it’s only natural that some of us are experiencing “Zoom fatigue.” Events that use online meeting platforms can be difficult due to unstable internet connections and the requirement to learn new social skills, like predicting when someone else might speak. There are also safety concerns to consider, like the potential for disruptive activity.

But with plenty of benefits from bigger audiences to cutting costs, online events are set to continue alongside their in-person counterparts. So if you’re organising a virtual event, how can you prevent attendees from zoning out halfway through? Here’s how to keep them engaged from beginning to end and ready and willing to attend your next Zoom online meeting.

How do I create content that my audience will care about?

The best way to come up with virtual meeting ideas is to ask your audience. Conducting a pre-event survey is a great way to find out what interests your target audience, what kind of formats they’re into, and how long they like online events to be. For example, 45 minutes can often sound a lot more manageable than an hour. Make your content engaging by mixing up your delivery with videos and polls, rather than long lectures with text-heavy slides.

When’s the best time to schedule an online event?

When hosting your event, consider your audience’s routines and locations. Where are they likely to be based? Try to find a time that suits the relevant time zones and that aren’t too late at night for your attendees to participate energetically. When it comes to days of the week, think about your attendees’ schedules. If they’re professionals working from Monday to Friday, consider scheduling it for the weekend or a weekday evening, for example.

How do I encourage people to sign up?

When it comes to your marketing strategy, combine newer forms of promotion like social media with older ones like good old-fashioned word of mouth. Consider creating hashtags and short videos to tease your event, while also asking your speakers to share details across their own networks.

How do I re-engage attendees when their energy has dipped?

As your event goes on, shifts in energy are inevitable. A good way to refresh the mood is to alternate formats. Introduce a quick quiz or poll to make your event more interactive, or put a live performance in the middle to re-energise attendees.

How do I recreate the feel of a big venue online?

Create opportunities for attendees to socialise and network with others by using breakout rooms. This allows them to “meet” in more manageable groups, so their interactions feel more like natural in-person engagement. You can allow attendees to dip in and out of these breakout rooms, so that they’re effectively walking around the virtual venue of your event, just as they would in a physical space.

How do I give attendees a chance to connect and network?

This can also be achieved through breakout rooms, which can help to foster relationships and connections between attendees. You can opt for small groups or even one-to-ones ,so that people can have longer and potentially more in-depth chats. It’s also a good idea to create a Facebook group for your event, so that attendees can get to know each other in advance and continue meaningful conversations after the event.

How do I keep attendees coming back for more?

The art of surprise is key. You could give people unexpected freebies for attending, or invite a well-known speaker or celebrity to feature without announcing it beforehand. These kinds of bonus extras add an element of excitement and unpredictability, helping to increase positive associations with your event. Attendees are also more likely to come back for more if they’ve had a seamless and high-quality experience, so make sure that the technology you’re using is as reliable and accessible as possible.

Taking your virtual event to the next level

Wondering how to make virtual meetings fun? Eventbrite offers a wide range of tools to help you host unforgettable virtual social events and avoid the dreaded Zoom fatigue. From innovative integrations which simplify the set-up and sign-up experience to automated features like reminders, they’ll help you to deliver exceptional content online and have your attendees signing up for your next event ASAP. Get started with your next virtual event.

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