18 Dec 7 ideas to get the conversation flowing at virtual events
In the new-normal of often impersonal, morning-to-night video meetings, it’s no surprise that virtual events can leave attendees feeling isolated behind their screens. But just because we’re social distancing doesn’t mean we have to compromise socializing! Include these 7 ideas into your virtual event, and your attendees will spark conversations and connect with ease!
- Let attendees create detailed profiles for visibility
First & foremost, give attendees the opportunity to create profiles. It’s like a virtual nametag! We suggest selecting a virtual event platform that makes this simple. Attendees can include a bio, a picture, contact information, & more. Plus, they’ll never have to worry about losing that business card!
- Match up attendees by their shared interests
During the sign-up process, ask attendees why they’re coming to the event. This can be in the registration form or sent by email. You can encourage them to select from a list or submit other unique ideas as well. This way you can match up Joe & Jane based on their love of brand-identity marketing or Mary & Mike because they both love sushi! An easy way to do this is through a virtual event platform, but you could also manually create sessions tailored to the results.
- Spark conversations and capture the best moments in a private social feed
Give attendees a place to share their thoughts and ideas throughout the event. We believe this is best executed in a live feed. You can use the social media people know like a Facebook group or Twitter feed, or you can choose an event platform that has a fun, private, and secure live feed built right in. As the organizer, you can spark conversations by asking questions. They can be event-specific like, “Which speaker are you most excited about?” or more random like, “What smell brings back great memories?” or “What song will you never get tired of?” Encourage attendees to use the feed before, during, & after the event to stay connected.
- Create breakout rooms to encourage smaller group conversations
While having one speaker to thousands of attendees can serve a great purpose, it’s not always the best way to connect attendees. Be sure to include breakout sessions of smaller groups after the long sessions or scattered throughout the day. We suggest groups of 2-8 so that everyone can have a chance to speak. You may also consider doing a randomized one-on-one format or a “speed-dating” exercise.
- Use friendly competitions to spark a fire of engagement
Nothing like a little friendly competition to get the conversation flowing! You may consider including competitions based on specific actions you want them to take in your virtual event platform (like posting photos, accessing resources, connecting with others, etc.)” You could also organize a fun game like a virtual scavenger hunt, escape room, or murder mystery. Because nothing brings people together quite like pitting them against each other!
- Include fun sessions to encourage some bonding
Include some light-hearted sessions throughout the day or at least once at the end. The virtual happy hours have been popular, but you could give it a twist by all making the same cocktail together! This requires some planning, either you can send the physical ingredients or give attendees an ingredient list. This doesn’t have to stop at cocktails, you may also use this structure for cooking, baking, & crafting! This is also a great opportunity to include your sponsors. You can have them put their logo on glass or apron and send them to all the attendees, the VIPs, competition winners, etc.
- Give your attendees the ability to keep in contact with messaging
All of these connections are useless if they don’t have a place to chat with each other! Be sure to use a virtual event platform that allows for one-on-one and group messaging.
All in all, it just takes a little creativity from the organizer and a good all-in-one platform that encourages attendee connections. It doesn’t have to break the budget either— you can use this event experience platform for free!
Hailey is a Content Marketing Manager at Cadence. To learn more about Cadence, the all-in-one event experience platform, visit their website or schedule a free, personalized demo.