If 2020 has taught us one thing – it’s that we crave human connection. Lockdowns, restrictions and working from home are causing many people to experience isolation and other mental health issues. We know that events are a key driver in creating connection, but what do you do when they are banned? Online events have been the go-to for many companies however we are seeing over and over again that the connection is lacking and the team are disengaged.
Zoom Fatigue is real and many businesses are unaware of the ways to keep their audience engaged and invested. How many times have you been on a video call and considered whether anyone would notice if you slipped away for a second? While working from home has been beneficial for many, the isolation and distractions far outweigh the time saved in transit. So how do you conduct an online event that creates connection and ensures that your team are engaged? Here are a few top tips:
1. Ask your attendees
Most online events we see are all about the organiser and fail to consider how the event will benefit the attendee. Prior to planning an online event, send out a survey to your attendees. Survey Monkey is fantastic for this and simple to use. Ask them about their experiences working from home, what they feel would help make their life simpler/easier/less stressful. How they would suggest you improve your events. Ask them what they would like to learn.
Involving your attendees in the event from the planning process enables you to curate an online experience that meets their needs and aspirations. They will in turn feel more engaged in the event as they feel they are a part of it.
2. Engage more of their senses
The definition of Zoom Fatigue is mental exhaustion caused by video conferencing. During a standard video call/online event the only way to show that you are paying attention is to look at the camera. In a normal situation you would not sit cm’s from the speaker staring at their face so it’s no wonder that video calls are so exhausting.
Involving more of your attendees senses during the online event increases engagement and opens people up to connect. This can be achieved by running an event that involves physical items, sent to the attendees home for use in the video call. It makes your attendees feel involved (who doesn’t love receiving a package!) and more importantly means that they are utilising more of their senses during the event thereby reducing Zoom Fatigue.
3. Utilise breakout rooms
Some video conferencing providers offer the option to use breakout rooms. These allow you to split a larger group into smaller groups in order to create more connection. These can be used for networking and allows attendees to create deeper relationships with one another.
4. Have some fun
Our final tip for today is to try and have some fun with it! We haven’t met anyone who enjoys online events that are essentially hours of sitting and listening to someone else speak – especially in close proximity to their face! Break up your event with some fun elements – include a “fitness break” to get everyone up and moving, hire some entertainment, run a fun activity. Mixing things up for your online event will do wonders for your engagement.
Creating connection with your online events doesn’t have to be difficult. We are all experiencing this pandemic together and we have seen that people are craving human connection. Take some time when planning your next online event to ensure that it will help to create connection and engage your attendees. If you would like some assistance with some creative options for your next online event, please give Events Outsourced a call. We have just released a new immersive online events package with options for all tastes and budgets. Creating connection and engaging attendees are our specialty!