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How to Create Engaging Virtual Experiences

Virtual Events 5/27/2021

Consider these two indisputable facts: #1, video is here to stay, and #2, we are more distracted than ever. So, as the world turns to video for more and more virtual experiences, it’s a constant challenge to keep audiences engaged and focused on the screen.

Brightcove gathered a group of seasoned pros who discussed how they’re keeping the attention of viewers for virtual conferences, meetings, educational sessions and more.

  • Rob Anderson, Customer Education Manager at GoDaddy
  • Kate Nordstrom, Event Project Coordinator at Keller Williams Realty
  • Nigel Reeves, Technology and Innovation Director at YPO
  • David Towers, Senior Director of Digital Marketing at Arbonne

Here are just some of the topics our panelists covered, along with recommendations for making sure your virtual experiences capture attention.

SWITCH SEATS WITH YOUR VIEWERS

Start by thinking about your viewers or attendees. They’re sitting in an office or on a couch, ready to click away and enjoy all the other joys of the internet. How can you hold on to them?

  • Think about how they are taking in this experience…through a screen…by themselves.
  • Show them something new. Break away from the same old onscreen routine they have every single day.
  • We live in a TikTok world. Keep it moving by breaking longer topics into multiple shorter pieces.
  • Make the breaks between sessions entertaining and informative. You can have an announcer recap the session, or bring in a DJ, show funny videos…something they aren’t expecting.
  • Think quality vs. quantity. Remember your audience will remember 15% of what they hear at best. Give them one gold nugget to hold on to, not 100 pieces of clay.

HIGH PRODUCTION VALUE, HIGHLY ENTERTAINING

Viewers expect the same robust viewing experience they get on TV. It needs to be packaged in an interesting way. A screen of talking heads won’t cut it anymore.

  • Picture quality and sound quality must be pure, strong and clear.
  • High-quality graphics that enhance the story you are telling will keep your audience’s attention.
  • Your host is a key factor in retaining your audience’s attention. The highest-ranking officer in your company may not be the most relatable host.
  • The greatest speakers in the world don’t just share data; they tell a story that allows the listener to relate.
  • Where networking is the focus, breakout rooms offer a more intimate environment that encourages networking. Consider topic or region-based rooms.
  • Integrating prerecorded material with the live event allows you to invest in higher production values as well as deliver it multiple times to accommodate different time zones.

USE DATA TO CREATE MORE ENGAGEMENT

A unique advantage to online events compared to in-person is the data that is generated about your audience. Fine-tune your content; focus on your best-performing pieces and make sure they really grab their attention.

  • Learn what videos or content were watched most often and reorder your presentation to have a stronger impact.
  • Replace low-performing content with something else. Try something new and learn what your audience connects with.
  • Segment your audience based on the type of content they are consuming. Then follow up with unique messaging that resonates with each group.
  • Use the engagement data to help you develop new content for your next event, ensuring ever-increasing engagement.

The need to engage and connect with your audience is more crucial than ever. From the world’s most high-profile events to company town halls, Brightcove knows this world backwards and forwards. Easily plan and host an event with live and on-demand video with our Virtual Events Experience. Generate content you can use again after the event. Create unique, interactive experiences with monetization options that are customized for your brand.