One of the most challenging aspects of all virtual conference sessions is coming up with creative ideas to engage and inspire your audience. In order to help you get started, we’ve come up with a few ideas for how you can structure your session, and keep your audience interested.
1. Picture tasks with an event app
At the UX To The Future, an e-government conference held in 2018 in Estonia, we came across a creative panel idea that quickly pulled people in and enlivened the audience. We used imaginative picture tasks through an interactive event app Worksup where people were creating tasks, taking pictures, and uploading them in the app. This assignment made the participants think about how they could solve the task. And also, creatively think about how they will use the event app in its best way to bring out their ideas.
The participants cut out their answers from a series of pre-prepared sentences. While they did this, the organizers posed the same questions to the audience through fun live polls. In the end, each team compared and commented on the results.
Overall, this format stimulated focused thinking among the attendees. As a result, the session achieved a remarkable level of engagement with over 200 members participating at the same time.
2. Fireside chat during virtual conferences
Firechat chat creates a smooth conversation between two or more people. It helps to make the atmosphere more comfortable and engaging. In this year’s Esha 2018 conference, event managers used the fire chat method quite effectively. The idea was to bring out the points which needed more insights and thoughts behind the concept.
Mindvalley CEO, Vishen Lakhiani
Vishen Lakhiani, the founder of Mindvalley, was talking inspiringly about how to transform education and leadership in an age of exponential technologies. After his presentation, he answered various questions from the audience and moderators. Lakhiani was so inspired by the fireside chat, that he stood up and explained passionately about the idea behind is the company even more in-depth.
Extra tip: If there are too many unanswered questions, write these on your virtual conferences blog.
3. Campfire storytime
To take the interaction a step further, you could have few speakers at the same time, telling their inspirational stories in a short period of time. It creates a campfire feel where people tell their stories, which enables them to relate to each other. This kind of storytelling is a great way to stimulate people’s learning process.
EDU EXEX in Tallinn
These sessions are usually short and last about 20-30 minutes altogether. For example, Education Technology EXEX 2018. We had different schools on this stage, talking about their success stories regarding technology usage. Also, there were about 3-4 teachers on the stage at the same time, where everyone had a piece of the story to tell. The audience had a chance to rate each speaker and ask questions through the Q&A session. Campfire sessions create an excellent place for people to learn from their peers, share experiences and build new connections.
4. Interactive quiz with a mobile event app
To conclude, if your event has multiple sessions running at the same time, help the attendees choose the right sessions by running an introduction quiz or in other words – live polling. In addition, create a pre-event survey and let the participants guess the answers. Lastly, when the answers have rolled in, you can send back the feedback. For example, in the Worksup event app, you can easily create polls on this kind of occasion and later export data and share it with your attendees. Leverage these tips to deliver an outstanding virtual conference experience for your attendees.