Digital Event News January 2022 - Page 58

58 Top Tips January 2022

1 ) Design schedules that are adapted to online events People don ’ t have time . They want a hyper-focused , niche schedule that answers their very specific needs and learning goals . So break-up your topics and ideas . Make sure under each topic or idea , you include targeted content to keep your audience focused . It ’ s incredibly easy to walk away or log-off from a session when it wasn ’ t what you expected . So give your audience exactly what they ’ re looking for and they won ’ t be going anywhere .
2 ) Short , focused offerings for rapid learning Make sure to create short , focused offerings in your schedule . These will be aimed at engaging smaller groups of people for

Six scheduling ideas to avoid a virtual event flop

Make sure your schedule is designed with a virtual audience in mind , keep your sessions concise , make sure you offer unique or niche content , and don ’ t forget to find ways to get your audience involved , advises Swapcard ’ s Annahita Mirsalari .
rapid learning . For example , 30-minute webinars every week or month on a specific sub-topic of your industry ’ s current challenges . The idea is to do more with less . Identify what ’ s trending or , if you have a mailing list , survey your potential audience to ask them what they ’ d like to hear about . From there , take the highest ranking topics and begin organising a schedule with sessions and speakers that will address these points quickly and effectively .
3 ) Get niche experts to talk and give masterclasses Niche experts provide insight and information that isn ’ t readily available . By providing your audience a unique experience with information that can ’ t easily be found at other events , you ’ ve almost guaranteed they ’ ll be fully engaged . A masterclass is a great draw for individuals who would like to learn directly from someone that is a “ master ” in their field and who is ready to share their knowledge with an eager audience . The more opportunities attendees have to engage directly with the expert speaker and draw on their niche knowledge , the better .
4 ) Provide concise content in half-day intervals Plan half a day of solid content , followed by another half-day of networking and discussion only . Leave space for people to do both if they choose , but don ’ t design a schedule that requires a full day out of your audience ’ s week .
It ’ s not realistic to expect your audience to be able to put that much time aside and dedicate it to your event . Attention spans aren ’ t what they used to be ( maybe they never were that high in the first place ) and many probably want to do more with their day than just sit around and watch sessions all day . By giving your audience a choice , you ’ re respecting their time and making sure they can enjoy your content as they like .
5 ) 20-minute sessions will keep your audience ’ s attention There ’ s been a lot of trial and error when it comes to figuring out the best session length to maximise audience engagement and keep them interested . Original research conducted in September by Swapcard ’ s data squad looked at over 400 virtual events in order to gauge what the ideal session length would be to keep audiences interested and engaged . They found that audiences stayed for the duration of the session when it was between 20 – 23 minutes . Ultimately , the data is showing us that sessions should be kept short and sweet . Any longer , and you risk losing your audience ’ s attention .
6 ) Give your audience a voice Audience engagement is a major challenge at virtual or hybrid events , so put in the effort to draw your audience into the session and help them get involved . Make sure you set time in the session schedule for Q & As and polls to stimulate discussion . Roundtable sessions are also a great option to provide your audience with the opportunity to connect with the speaker and ask their questions directly . Whatever you choose , be sure that your audience has a chance to have their voices heard and they know that their cont .