How to Drive Better Online Engagement

Sponsored Content from Interprefy

Author: Jennifer N. Dienst       

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Organizers who quickly adapt to new technologies and presentation methods will ultimately benefit from increased engagement and higher attendance rates at their digital events. (Matheus Bertelli/Pexels)

Throughout the past year, digital events have been firmly cemented into the events landscape and are expected to continue altering the DNA of physical events in the future. But with rapid adoption comes teething issues — and one of biggest is engagement. Without the stimulation of a real-world environment and face-to-face conversation, how can organizers make digital and hybrid events more engaging for attendees?



“In addition to the challenges of hosting an exciting, stimulating online event, we’re living in what many are calling ‘Zoom fatigue,’” said Annett Polaszewski-Plath, CEO at Interprefy, a global provider of remote interpretation software. “From non-verbal cues to body language, humans rely on more than words to understand what’s being conveyed. In the virtual environment, however, we’re missing out on critical information to decode body language, which forces our brains to work harder and can lead to exhaustion.”

Tools like Interprefy — which works with video-conferencing platforms like Zoom to offer participants real-time language interpretation — are helping to correct some of these issues. Interprefy aims to democratize access to digital events by empowering people to join the discussion in the language of their choice. And in the past year, said Polaszewski-Plath, they have seen their business “increase sevenfold.”

Other examples of innovation in this particular space include the NVIDIA Maxine software, which uses AI to automatically adjust the position of a user’s face to allow users to face each other while videoconferencing. And OnZoom, an extension of the original Zoom platform, now offers users a beta marketplace for immersive virtual experiences.

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More than 50 percent of organizers surveyed in Event MB’s recent State of the Industry Report said that one of their primary frustrations with virtual event technology is its inability to match the level of engagement at in-person events. (Josh Sorenson/Pexels)

“Online events must provide — and exceed — the value, engagement, and interactivity that their live counterparts do,” continues Polaszewski-Plath. Below, five strategies organizers can employ to help their digital events do exactly that.

  1. Build anticipation. Social media and e-mail marketing play a key role in generating hype for a digital event. Paid media ads, sponsored posts, and pop-up forms on Facebook and LinkedIn can target those most likely to register and bring them directly to the event registration page. When followed up with an e-mail campaign, this strategy can both build excitement and provide attendees with content that will enrich their event experience.
  1. Create a seamless onboarding experience. Before the event, onboard registered attendees so that they can explore the platform ahead of the event. This ensures the audience can focus on the event itself instead of wasting time figuring out how to log in or use features like chat.

  1. Offer downtime through gamification. Make space in the schedule for activities like trivia, puzzles, and quizzes to give attendees a break, especially if the content requires intense focus or collaboration. Advertising that there will be prizes ahead of time can also help incentivize prospective attendees to register.
  1. Keep it short. By trimming the fat and keeping sessions to digestible lengths, an audience’s attention span is less likely to waver. Remember to allow for breakout sessions and ensure that there is allotted time at the end of each presentation for Q&A.
  1. Bridge the language gap. Digital events make it easier than ever to bring people from all corners of the world together. For people of different nationalities to engage in real-time, they require intuitive tools and software that offers seamless translation as the event unfolds. Real-time translation tools like Interprefy promote inclusivity and allow attendees to enjoy an event in the language they’re comfortable with — hassle-free.

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