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Avoid a Distracted Audience with Our Tips on Webinar Engagement Strategies

Avoid a Distracted Audience with Our Tips on Webinar Engagement Strategies | MCI Group | Events

Calendar icon September, 08 2020

Audience engagement was never an easy feat to achieve. Now, with most audience engagement initiatives happening virtually in the form of webinars or online events, other challenges come in to play.

In the few months since COVID-19 abruptly came into our lives, we had to get used to new ways of conducting business. Zoom, Microsoft Teams and what have you have replaced office spaces, event halls and meeting rooms.

We're witnessing a cultural shift that requires us to think differently and plan strategically.

At live events, speakers can expect a certain level of attention – rooms are designed for that purpose with big stages, bright lights, music.

Online, well, it’s a completely different story. People tune in from their homes, where distractions abound – children, pets, emails, social media. On top of that, it's a very stressful period doomed with uncertainty for everyone, so sitting through a 45-minutes webinar might not be a top-of-the-list priority right now.

And there is so much that a meeting platform can give you in terms of features to make sure your audience is paying attention.

Hence, it is critical to ideate virtual events that are designed for attention in the digital space and that ensure a proper ROI for your business.

Here's our advice on how to do that.

1. Design for attention

Attention is everything, and a poorly design set of slides can make the difference between an attentive audience and one that checks their email while you’re speaking.

The first and most important thing to do when designing an online session is to think of it as a story. Stories have been a powerful communication tool for centuries because our brains are wired to remember facts much better if they’re told as a story instead of just mere facts.

What are the elements of a good story?

  • A strong opening
  • Chapters
  • A strong ending.

So put thought into your content and wireframe your session so that you create a logical structure that’s easy to follow. And in-between, remember:

  • Don’t clutter your slides with too much content. Your listeners will go in information overload and simply tune out.
  • Keep it simple thanks to lists and bullet points – they’re easier to digest.
  • Make your story interactive, with questions, live polls and other engagement features.
  • Use images, they’re the most powerful communication tool there is.
  • Think about your audience experience: make sure that your audio and video quality are good and be mindful about how you present yourself on camera.
  • Make sure to practice in advance so that everything goes as smoothly as possible and prepare for last-minute inconveniences.

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2. Drive revenue

One of the most effective ways to generate profits for your business is hosting sponsored webinars. How do you convince a brand that sponsoring your webinar will be good for their business?  

Gathering a target audience who is interested in a specific topic and matching it with the right industry players is already a good place where to start. When pitching your idea to potential sponsors, make sure you underline that: 

  • They’ll raise brand awareness amongst their target audience.
  • They’ll educate the market about their products and offering. 
  • They’ll be provided with tangible leads to grow their sales contacts. 

Then, create an attractive sponsorship package backed by data and measurable results. 

Just remember: don’t make your webcast sound like a sales pitch. People want to be informed and educated; not sold things they haven’t asked for. 

3. Attract the right audience 

There's no webinar or revenue without an audience. Even more, there's no webinar or revenue without an audience interested in what you have to share and who is willing to listen. 

So, make sure you have a target audience, make them aware you’re holding a virtual event and promote your effort.  

In that sense, email marketing and social media – both organic and paid – are an effective tool to let the word out. 

Make sure the registration process is as easy as possible to avoid any barrier of entry or drop-outs.  

And prepare content that is timely and relevant for the audience you’re promoting it to. Nothing is more alienating than tone-deaf content that doesn’t speak to your targets. 

Are you looking for new strategies to engage your audience and need guidance when it comes to ideate winning online activations? Our design thinking method was created to give you an agile, effective and scalable framework tailored to your brand’s objectives. Discover more at divebymci.com. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Benedetta Fadini

Benedetta Fadini
Benedetta Fadini

Benedetta is a Content Creator with a passion for storytelling and new technologies. She covers stories on the latest innovations in the event industry with lots of research and a pinch of humour.

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