In our current world, virtual events are the reigning King. Don’t get me wrong, I love face-to-face events, and they will come back in a BIG way. However, right now we need to hone in on what’s working.

The next time you hold a virtual event, try using one of these techniques to create fear of missing out (FOMO) to keep your attendees engaged:

  1. 20 Tips in 20 Minutes – So much content in so little time. Do you think anyone is going to book a conference call during this session? Not a chance.
    • Make it even more interesting by switching up the presenters. (I.e. Four people present five tips each.)
    • Make sure each presenter has good energy. If your presenters are monotone and lack voice inflection, you can guarantee your audience will zone out.
  2. Live Performances with Live Requests – This is a fun interactive element during your lunch break or during your pre-show happy hour (the night before your event).
    • Have you ever been to a dueling piano bar? Your guests enter requests while the musicians change songs at a drop of a dime.
    • Partner with local bands to help support struggling musicians.
  3. Don’t Record Your Event – I know I’m going to get backlash on this, as this is a double-edge sword. However, you have to admit that it creates FOMO.
    • By distributing the recording of your event, you create a laissez-faire effect. Your guests know he/she can miss the event and possibly replay it at a later date/time.
    • If this freaks you out too much, then put a time frame to how long the recording will be available, only record SOME of the session, or only provide the deck post-event.
    • If you don’t record your event, it’s important to let your guests know ahead of time, with a few reminders, such as:
    • On your registration page.
    • In your opening ceremony.
    • Prior to each session.
  4. Meet and Greet (but Better) – Create a one-of-a-kind opportunity with a popular person-of-interest, such as an author, athlete, actor, musician, or professional speaker. The virtual world loses some intimacy when compared to in-person events, but this allows guests an opportunity to be seen and heard in an almost one-on-one atmosphere.
    • Duration can be up to an hour, which makes it better than most Meet and Greets where you normally only get a 5 second quick photo with the celebrity.
    • Your celebrity would answer live questions, while a person on your team acts as the moderator in the virtual room.
    • Limit the attendees according to the amount shown on one page of your video conferencing platform, so it’s engaging and personal.
  5. Involve the Family – Most business professionals work hard to keep their background calm and others in the house quiet to avoid distractions during video meetings. The more important the meeting, the more stressful this is to do. Why not let your hair down and involve all family members?
    • Make a chart where all distractions earn points: i.e. 5 points for an animal, 10 points for each kid who appears on the screen, 25 points if a delivery person rings the doorbell, etc.
    • Create a scavenger hunt around a specific theme. The moderator is the only one who knows what’s on the list, so it’s spontaneous for everyone else on video. For example, the moderator announces that each kid has 5 minutes to go and put on a sports branded article of clothing and come back to the camera to show the group. Points are awarded in order of appearance: 10 kids play, the first kid back gets 10 points, second kid back gets 9 points, etc.
    • Send a themed “Swag Bag” prior to this event so everyone in the house can start to get excited days earlier. For a camping theme, include ingredients to make smores, an LED lantern, or a pair of insulated mugs with fun phrases on them.
  6. Make it Fun, Intimate, and Educational – This is the secret formula for cherished memories.
    • Limit the amount of attendees and show the countdown of how many “tickets” are left to “sell.”
    • Make sure your content is crystal clear and that attendees at all levels (beginner, intermediate, and expert) learn something by the end.
    • Your instructor needs to have good presentation skills: enunciates well, has a sense of humor, is not quiet, smiles, feels genuine, and has good voice inflection
    • For example: Recently, we held a virtual semi-small wine tasting event for one of our clients. Prior to the event we sent one bottle of red wine and one bottle of white wine, along with some items that would pair well with them. On the day of the event, we had a highly educated sommelier lead the “class” and people were able to ask questions via the chat bar.

**Original blog post content from the Skyline E-Tips Blog, written by Heather Bundgaard.