After one too many virtual events, the Zoom fatigue is real. It’s not just because we’d rather be hanging out in-person — socializing on a screen is uniquely exhausting.
Event planners need to think strategically about how to host virtual events when many people are frankly sick of connecting on-screen. You need to elevate your approach to keep attendees engaged.
Remember that we’re no longer just adapting in-person events for a virtual audience. Virtual events are distinct from IRL gatherings — not just substitutes for in-person events.
We’ll walk through a few common pitfalls that can lead to virtual event burnout. We’ll also share tips for keeping your audience engaged and energized.
The problem: People are flaking on your virtual events.
The solution: Send a reminder. And then send another reminder!
Send an email an hour before your event starts, and another email right when the event begins. Always remember to include the link to the call or livestream. Consider taking advantage of other channels for reminders, like using push notifications in a browser or text reminders.
The problem: Nobody’s attending your virtual events.
The solution: Give people a good reason to attend live.
Your attendees need a strong incentive to show up to your event in real-time (rather than catching a recording of the event or reading a recap later on). Find ways to make your live events interactive for guests.
That could mean offering interaction with the host and speakers, like a Q&A or shoutouts to attendees. You could also offer special deals to people who attend, like a chance to win prizes in a raffle by showing up live.
The problem: You have zero audience participation.
The solution: Step up your moderation game.
A successful virtual event needs a good moderator to read the room and keep the conversation flowing. That could mean encouraging participants to chime in via chat, or calling on people by name to encourage participation.
Create opportunities for your audience to get involved. Leave time for a Q&A, keep the chat open, and let people ask questions or share comments with their cameras and mics on. Be clear with attendees about how they’ll be able to participate, and build in pauses so they have a chance to engage throughout the event.
If your event doesn’t feel any different than watching a video on YouTube, guests won’t have much incentive to attend, let alone engage with the event host or each other.
Embrace virtual events and avoid burnout
Ready to optimize virtual events with Zoom integration, email marketing, and more? Check out our Virtual Events add-on for The Events Calendar. For more tips on hosting online events, head to our virtual events resource page.