One of the main reasons for this fatigue is the sheer number of virtual events that have taken place over the past few years. With many in-person events being canceled or postponed, organizations have turned to virtual alternatives as a way to continue connecting with their audiences. This has led to a flood of virtual events, with many people being invited to attend multiple events each week. The result is a feeling of being overwhelmed with little time for rest and relaxation.
Virtual events also lack the personal interaction and connection that is often present at in-person events. Consider this factor when you ask yourself, why is my attendance low? While virtual events can be a great way to connect with people from around the world, they can also feel impersonal and lacking in the sense of community and networking (connection) that is often found at in-person events. This can make it difficult for attendees to feel engaged and motivated, leading to a sense of boredom.
So, what can you do to help combat virtual event fatigue and keep attendance up and keep attendees engaged and motivated during virtual events?
Limit the number of virtual events: While it may be tempting to schedule multiple virtual events due to the costs savings and ease of running them, it’s important to be mindful of the impact this can have on attendees. Consider limiting the number of virtual events you promote, or offering a mix of virtual and in-person events to give people a break from the screen.
Encourage your presenter to limit presentation time as well as tighten up their content for online viewers. It’s important to have good flow, deliver on the promise made on what attendees will get from the event as well as keep off topic discussion to a minimum.
Foster a sense of community: Virtual events can often feel impersonal, so it’s important to find ways to foster a sense of community and connection among attendees. This could be through question / answer sessions, breakout sessions, or networking opportunities.
Make sure the technology is working properly: Technical issues can be frustrating for attendees and can make it difficult for them to fully engage with the event. Make sure to test all technology beforehand and have a plan in place for addressing any issues that may arise.
It’s obvious that virtual events won’t replace in-person events, but also obvious is that virtual events aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. You still need to maximize attendance to ensure future events can occur. When promoting your virtual event, offer valuable informative content, look for high profile speakers and cutting edge topics. Look into cross-promotion with other companies and offer prizes or giveaways. Doing these few things can help to create a unique experience for attendees, making your virtual (or in-person) event stand out from the crowd.
Overall, it’s important to be mindful of the impact that virtual events can have on attendees and to take steps to keep them engaged and motivated.