Virtual events have become the new norm in terms of both professional and personal engagements. The power of digital space has become nearly limitless. It’s helping people connect with one another in spite of the current circumstances. However, although remote interaction offers a plethora of safe and innovative opportunities, there’s no denying it: “Zoom fatigue” is real, and it’s a real bummer.
Ask anyone who spends extended amounts of time staring at a video chat through a screen, whether it be for work, school, or anything in between–it’s far too easy to lose interest and motivation. This sense of disillusionment can definitely carry over to digital events of all types, from webinars and conferences to birthday parties and family reunions. Thus, it’s become increasingly important to recognize that for many people, the novelty of virtual events is wearing off and Zoom Fatigue has begun to set in.
So how can we combat Zoom fatigue and keep our audiences interested in our events?
1. Focus On Content
First and foremost, your actual content–the information, message, and purpose–is what makes your event important and meaningful to both you and your audience. Before adding the bells and whistles, take a hard look at what you want to say by asking yourself:
- How will you make your attendees genuinely care?
- What should be their big takeaways?
- What kind of impression do you want to leave?
To battle zoom fatigue, as a host, it will be your responsibility to ensure that the content provided is both interesting and presented in an engaging manner. This means trying not to spend too much time lecturing; rather, open discussions and guided conversations are great accompaniments to sections packed with info.
2. Consider Your Platform
Another crucial facet of planning is choosing an event platform. Your platform can make or break your audience’s experience. There exists a vast selection of digital event platforms that each offer their own set of opportunities, features, interfaces, and restrictions–so choose wisely! Some important considerations to take into account include:
- Whether your account is hybrid or strictly virtual.
- How you plan on advertising and marketing your event.
- The volume of people you expect to attend.
- The tone of the occasion.
OutSnapped’s Interactive Virtual Photo Booth
3. Build in Participatory Activities
One of the easiest traps to fall into is merely speaking at your audience instead of allowing them get involved with the experience themselves. Just because you’re not in the same room doesn’t mean you can’t reach the same level of connection. For example, open dialogues, Q&A sessions, games, friendly competitions, networking opportunities, and live entertainment can be amazingly effective in keeping the attention of your attendees. Even something as simple as implementing a Virtual Photo Booth can open the door to tons of new possibilities and help your audience feel closer to one another.
4. Include Sponsors
Getting sponsors involved can be a key element in the success of your event, and it can certainly be a win-win situation. Because your event is a means for them to spread the word about their company or brand they have a stake in the event and might be willing to offer new ideas or resources to help increase audience interest. So don’t be afraid to reach out and collaborate with your sponsors; after all, they want the event to be successful too!
5. Surprise Your Audience
Don’t forget to add a cherry on top of all the goodness of your event! Put in a little extra effort to delight your viewers with something unexpected and exciting. For example, a relevant surprise guest or a big announcement. Perhaps you or your business recently reached a milestone or accomplished something positive, something that makes the event extra special; share that with your audience! Not only does this lift spirits and keep a high energy level, but your attendees will also walk away feeling like they were part of a unique moment in time.
6. Follow Up
Finally, it’s always a great rule of thumb to follow up. End your event with closing remarks, expressions of gratitude, and a recap of the festivities. If possible, making a recording available immediately after your event can be incredibly helpful for your attendees who missed a section, want to reflect upon what they’ve learned, or are simply engaging from a different timezone. Your captured content will also create opportunities for youto reach out to your guests with updates. Be sure to reiterate your mission statement and share some event stats and highlights. Always, make sure your audience knows that the time they invest in you has been worthwhile!