How To Bring Interaction To Your Online Event Or Webinar!

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Written by Jorge Soares
Event Director
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So, by now, we have all realised that online events and webinars are the way to go while we wait for life to return back to normal. However, how do you avoid the sound of crickets and avoid that cringe moment where no one replies to your online question or when guests are watching but no one is talking? How can you ensure that your online guests will attend your online event or webinar? How can you make your webinar or online event more interactive?

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Think Like An Event Planner

The trick to ensuring that you get full RSVPs to your online event or webinar and attain maximum interaction is to think like an event planner. You need to think like you’re planning a real-life event; you have to approach this online webinar in the same light as you would a real event. Let us think about an event for a second. You have guests who are involved in discussions, informal chats and talk the event away. So why would you expect anything less from an online event or webinar? A real-life event host does not take the stage and preach away. So why would you have the webinar host do the same? The host of the online event or webinar needs to inspire conversation through sufficient questions. By asking questions and asking for feedback, you will not leave the online audience behind. Inspire them to ask questions in the comments stream. Questions can also be asked in an online survey where you can share the results with the audience throughout the online webinar. This of course adds to the interaction.

And speaking of interaction, a real-life event incorporates opportunities for guests to interact. Think about formal events – you have speeches and prize-giving moments. Think about informal events – you have party games, entertainment and the opening of presents. Each moment brings about interaction so apply the same thinking to your online event or webinar. Turn the tables on your audience and incorporate tests into your webinar. Yes, a test. Tell your online audience in the beginning that you will be testing them later in the webinar. By making this initial announcement you will be sure to get their attention and have them focusing a lot more. After all, we all want to get 100% on tests!

So, you have incorporated tests and questions into your online event or webinar. Great start! Now let us push the interaction button even further. Why not invite your online guests to participate on camera side-by-side with you while they throw out questions. We all know online guests want a slice of the online action so reward your audience and get them on screen!

Now add some more realness by incorporating real critiques into your online event or webinar. Oh yes, adding some reality TV flavour is sure to get online audiences interacting more. And, while you are incorporating real critiques of real products and services, why not add in real critiques of your audience’s tests which you provided in previous webinars. This successfully challenges your audience to think about the topic before the webinar begins and then you can reward them by announcing who did the best job. From a young age, we never grow out of praise so create interaction by praising or critiquing your audience and their completed tests. Through these tests you can also prepare questions and get your live participants to answer them.

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Interaction Through Real-Time Experiences

Taking into account all of the above, what does all of these interaction-inspiring opportunities have in common? Well, they are real-time experiences and participants value these. Real-time means authenticity. Funnily enough, participants value stumbles and flaws. Nothing will create a crowd of crickets than an online webinar or event that comes across as an over-produced TV news program. Can you say boring! Improvisation greatly enhances interaction and online audiences will love to interact with the real you – flaws and all.

It’s Good To Remember…

When it comes to interactive online events and webinars it is good, if not great, to make something that your audience will love. People interact with informative speakers who have settled on a specific, interesting topic that seeks to rather inform than sell. The right speaker who clearly boasts subject matter expertise will yield unexpected questions from online audiences.

Choosing the right speaker, or speakers, and the right webinar format will inspire interaction for sure. Is the webinar going to be hosted by one or many presents? Will it be a panel discussion? Will it be an interview Q & A-style webinar? Choosing the wrong format for the topic will create confusion among online audiences, and once again, crickets. Crickets can also be avoided with a strong script that does not sound like the speaker is reading off a script. We all fell asleep in school when presented with a boring Powerpoint presentation that lacked evidence, data and research. So, a strong script and a kick-ass slide deck will promote interaction.

Lastly, it is good to remember that an interactive online event or webinar is one that is attended. Sound silly right? Well, all the preparation and interactive elements you incorporate into your online event or webinar will land on deaf ears, in fact no ears, if no one is watching. So be sure that your online event or webinar is joined by many online participants through sufficient promotion way in advance. How will you publicise the online event or webinar? Email with a link to the invite? On social media channels? Co-marketing opportunities with trusted partners? No matter how you promote, you need to promote and promote hard. Get bums into those online seats as the more participants you have the more interaction you will enjoy!

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Let’s Fill Those Online Seats

Contact our event experts at Last Man Standing today if you are tired of your online events and webinars seeing empty seats and the sounds of crickets. Online events and webinars are the way to go while we wait for life to return back to normal so let’s make them interactive and successful together. Interact with us today by email or telephone!


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