If you’re looking to hold a virtual trade show or online webinar, you need to start preparing early. Generally speaking, you should start promoting three weeks prior to the virtual event to have the best turnout and promote in a variety of locations.
However, having a good turnout doesn’t necessarily mean that your online events will be successful. Unlike a live event, a virtual trade show doesn’t have a captive audience. Individuals are more capable (and likely) to wander off. Many individuals who have attended online webinars and events are guilty of checking their social media accounts rather than paying attention.
So how do you make a webinar more engaging and keep your audience attentive? There are a few things you can do:
Encourage Audience Interaction
The more active your audience is, the more engaged they’ll be. You should encourage them to share their personal experiences, ask questions, take polls, and show a sense of humor. What can your audience gain from your event? Make sure you’re keeping this in mind at all times. Anything to break the ice and keep them jumping in will make for a more successful webinar experience.
Develop Interesting Slides
Powerpoint presentations have received a bad reputation over the years, which is understandable given that a poorly made one can have listeners zoning out. With a webinar, a slideshow is typically your only option, which means it needs to be interesting. It’s usually a good idea to add creative elements to each and every slide. Your presentation should still be cohesive, but there’s nothing wrong with adding a short sound effect or an interesting visual. You should keep any images related and on topic to avoid being derailed, but don’t be uninteresting.
Call for Questions Often
Certain participants will have come to the webinar with their “One Big Question” that they want you to answer. If they’re forced to wait 90 minutes to ask it, they’ll think only on their question, and ignore your lesson. They might even spend the entire time on their phone, checking their emails, or drifting off until it’s question time. These people are more likely to pay attention if they know you’ll take questions throughout the presentation.
Keeping your audience entertained and engaged during a virtual trade show is vital to having a successful online webinar. Don’t make the mistake of showing up unprepared and reading off slides. Keep things flowing and engaging. Interact with your audience!