With the rapidly changing workflow, virtual events have become the new normal. They provide a significantly larger scale for highly engaging events that help businesses network, make meaningful connections worldwide, and build a strong community around their brand.
With their cost-effective nature and lack of geographic and time boundaries, virtual events provide your business with excellent opportunities to widen the reach and engage people with your brand for the long term.
So how exactly can you leverage the vast potential of virtual events to foster strong communities? Here are some strategies you can adopt:
Use a Robust All-In-One Platform
Using a strong virtual events platform is crucial for a well-executed event that drives attendance and engages the audience for community building. Leveraging an all-in-one and feature-rich platform like Onlive helps you present your brand in a more polished and professional manner, thanks to the immense branding, networking, and interaction opportunities it provides.
Engage Your Attendees the Right Way
A virtual event becomes successful not by getting more attendance but by retaining it through the right attendee engagement practices. It all starts with providing them with visually-appealing event content, from pre-event invitation emails to an attractive brand landing page.
Next, it is essential to provide your attendees with opportunities and tools to connect.
An excellent way to initiate conversations among attendees is by conducting virtual icebreaker questions and games sessions. Virtual games during the event further serve as great community-builders after the ice has been broken. Other activities like live polling also help engage attendees instead of just being passive listeners.
Conducting Ask Me Anything (AMA), Q&A, and online fireside chat sessions help boost transparency in your community and allow members to get to know your brand at a more intimate level.
Moreover, hosting virtual performances as add-ons for online entertainment like live concerts or stand-up comedy shows will keep them engaged and create a common wonderful experience.
Gazing at the screen during a virtual event for long hours can be exhausting. To avoid event fatigue and break up the schedule, small event breaks with activities like workout sessions can be immensely refreshing for your attendees.
Use Virtual Breakout Rooms
Using small productive groups is a core community-building tenet. People can get disconnected and lost if groups are large. Breakout rooms help your attendees create groups small enough to understand the event material, discuss productively, and connect with each other.
With Onlive, you can create your breakout rooms that can hold 19 attendees each. These rooms provide better networking opportunities to make valuable connections.
The platform also provides a 1:1 video meeting feature for the attendees to have valuable intimate conversations. It helps you drive up your event value and take community building a step further.
Offer Event Content in Multiple Ways
It is great to provide your attendees with different ways to access your event. Using Onlive, you can offer on-demand recorded video sessions besides live sessions. This way, attendees can be a part of your event at their convenience. That is very helpful when attendees are spread across different geographic regions and time zones!
Onlive also provides the facility of downloadable session recordings, which allows your attendees to access and discuss your event content days after it’s over. This increased content accessibility increases engagement, fostering healthy communities.
Virtual Events to Help Build Communities
Here are some types of virtual events you can host to build a strong community around your brand:
The term ‘virtual events’ has become synonymous with ‘virtual conferences’ as that’s the first thing people think of when they hear about virtual events. Virtual conferences are popular because of their ambitious and impactful nature and creative scope.
With Onlive, you can host effective and meaningful virtual conferences with up to 100K attendees, multiple speakers, live and on-demand content, and numerous networking and engagement opportunities.
Virtual Interviews/Fireside chats
Interviewing the CEO, Founder, or senior employee of your company can be a great way to take your audience behind the scenes of your business. Depending on your event agenda, you can also interview an expert on the covered subject and ask them relevant and interesting questions.
Consider taking questions and feedback from the audience to increase their engagement.
Virtual Networking Events
Conducting networking events allows your attendees to interact with like-minded people and have meaningful discussions about the event content. They can either use breakout rooms to create small networking groups or have one-to-one video meetings to have more productive and intimate conversations.
With easy-to-use platforms like Onlive, you can facilitate such networking and easily create a better sense of community among the attendees.
With webinars, you can effectively showcase and demonstrate the usage of the products and/or services your brand provides. You can give product demonstrations to provide your attendees with exciting insights and value. Offering them the opportunity to share their own tips can also help the audience connect better with the community.
By hosting a virtual summit, you can enable company heads and top execs to interact, debate, and do business. The attendees are given a pre-arranged agenda to be discussed so they can come prepared with relevant information to contribute to the discussions. Such events usually have multiple topics and last for a couple of days.
Through summits, your attendees will get to voice their opinions, debate, network with influential industry leaders, and grow their businesses.
Online workshops enable you to offer attendees practical information about your product or service while maintaining their interest and engagement.
For an engaging workshop experience, it is recommended to make your sessions shorter, somewhere between 30minutes to 1hour. Besides that, you can have smaller audience groups for enhanced engagement and add a personal touch to your sessions with breakout rooms.
No matter how amazing your virtual event is, following up after the event has ended keeps the momentum going and enhances community building. Sending personalized follow-up emails helps in acknowledging audience attendance and participation. You can also share event clips on social media handles and share info about near-future events to keep the hype train going!
To know more about how you can effectively leverage virtual events to build a strong community and convert your audience into connected customers, employees, and stakeholders, try Onlive for free!