When an organization hosts a meeting at a physical venue, it becomes easier for attendees to connect through face-to-face interactions, handshakes, or coffee talks. But, when we talk about virtual meetings, town halls, or conferences, the scenario is quite different. With attendees joining the Meeting virtually from global locations, you need to include excellent tools and features to keep them involved and hooked throughout the event.
Planning to host an engaging virtual meeting? Let us take you through some best ideas and practices;
Begin the online meeting with a casual talk
Start the meeting with a casual talk or an icebreaker activity to keep the attendees involved right from the beginning. You can think of asking exciting questions about their favourite movie, favourite holiday destination, or future goals. It is an effective strategy to add more spark to your virtual event.
Conduct shorter sessions
Diversions are just one click away for virtual attendees. So, you need to plan the duration of your meeting sessions thoughtfully. Keeping longer sessions may lead to attendee drop-off. Therefore, include periodic breaks or get a variety of incredible speakers on board to reduce the monotony of your event.
Set ground rules
The aspects of a virtual meeting are quite different from their physical counterpart. So, consider setting specific ground rules to maintain the dignity of an Online Meeting. Some ground rules include;
- The attendees see through the camera and don’t start doing other tasks along with the meeting
- Keep the mic muted if it is not your chance to speak
- Communicate through a universal language to have a better understanding
- State the ground rules when the meeting begins
- Allow everyone to keep the videos on for better engagement
- Ask them to use a raised hands feature if they wish to ask a question
Create a Meeting Agenda
Setting an Agenda for the meeting keeps everyone in the loop regarding the sequence of sessions. Attendees will be aware of the topics that need to be addressed during the meeting. Once you have planned the Agenda, make sure to stick to the same in order to keep the meeting super engaging and interactive.
Keep your attendees involved
A significant part of an online event’s success depends on how well the attendees engage and connect. With attendees or employees joining the meeting virtually, try to recreate the experiences of an in-person meeting to reduce distractions. Consider including notable speakers who are familiar with the art of delivering the content exceptionally. Skilful industry experts share useful insights and excellently answer the questions of the attendees. You can also choose to conduct live polls and Q&As to gauge the engagement level of the audience.
You can also keep a live chat feature on the online meeting platform. This feature will foster 2-way communications between the attendees, speakers, and exhibitors in real-time.
Gamifying your virtual meeting can make it even more exciting and enjoyable. Games like tic-tac-toe, temple run, spin the wheel are some excellent choices that can keep your attendees involved and engaged. The participants can play these games during the breaks or while they are not attending the session. It is an effective strategy to increase the stay time of the audience on the platform.
Besides this, you can also add a leaderboard challenge to make your attendees feel more content. The leaderboard challenge intends to award points for activities like sessions attended, games played, etc. At the end of the event, you can think of giving exciting prizes or rewards to the top 5 scorers.
More exciting features
Want to make your virtual meeting more interesting? How about including the features like a social wall, photo booths, a signature wall, AI-based recommendations, and a business card feature. Adding these innovative features can replicate the experiences of an on-site meeting.
The photobooths enable the attendees to capture multiple selfies or photos with their families and pets. These pictures are a memorable takeaway for the virtual attendees which they can cherish in the years to come.
Similarly, a social wall collects the event-specific feed or posts uploaded by the attendees on different social media handles. This way, people know more about the other attendees and find it easier to make new connections.
While talking about a signature wall, we can say it is more like a feedback portal where attendees can write short messages or feedbacks related to the event.
Next are the AI-based recommendations that aim to let the attendees connect with people who share common interests and concerns. During online meetings, people cannot just bump into each other, unlike physical events. So, the intent should be to make the virtual event more realistic and value-adding by letting people interact with like-minded attendees.
Similarly, best virtual meeting platforms like Dreamcast offer a business card exchange feature to let attendees and exhibitors exchange their business cards securely and generate leads or make new connections. Moreover, with an option of request/accept, it is a safe exchange of personal details.
Keep it short and crisp
With a large group of people attending the meeting virtually, you need to keep the sessions and content short and understandable. Include sessions with regular breaks, prepare high-level content, and get expert speakers on board. These are some of the best practices that will help you cater to the objective of the meeting. Another vital aspect that you should keep in mind is that the attention span of virtual attendees is very less. Hence, you must try excluding eye-straining presentations, videos, or slides that lead to distractions.
Online event platforms have gained immense popularity after the pandemic hit the world. The digital format of the events offers added flexibility, scalability, and convenience and has, therefore, become a priority for most event planners. But, while talking about successful virtual meetings or other events, the biggest concern is the engagement aspect. Although event planners have found the code to this, which includes an ideal virtual meeting platform enriched with stunning designs, engaging tools, and interactive features to host a successful virtual event.