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5 tips for creating engaging online events

28 Jan 2021
Read: 3 min

Our client Protection Review has lots of success transitioning their events online

1. Think about the why

  • Who is your audience?
  • Why are you doing this event?
  • What do you want your audience to take away from it?

Once you have answered these, you can then start to develop the content, your speakers (ideally crowd pulling ones), your marketing comms for the event and how you want to engage with your audience, which leads onto...

2. Choose the right platform for the right job

By now, everyone is used to video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Webex and Teams, however, they are not ideal for hosting engaging online events. Small meetings or presentations are fine, but when you want to invite larger audiences above 5 to 10 people, dealing with the technical challenges (like constant interruptions and required muting) can destroy any credibility, fast.

If you want your event to look professional, then you should be opting for a webinar platform, or going a step further by streaming to your owned channels using streaming software like Wirecast, and incorporating bespoke branded graphics. Why? You will get much more control over the look and feel, how people register for your event, how they interact and how professional it looks, to name a few, it also enables you to...

We worked closely with the EU Parliament on Multiple live online events, utilising webinar platforms and streaming live to YouTube & Facebook

3.Use pre-recorded video and animations

Webinar platforms and livestreaming programs enable you to play videos to your audience, which, when utilised correctly, are extremely engaging. Some examples of how to use video include:

• Incorporate eye-catching introduction graphics.
• Have some self-filmed footage cut with pictures and stock video as a keynote speaker.
• Have an animated video explaining a product or service, or even a comedic sketch during an interval to keep your audience around and interested.

If the quality is good and the content is too, you really should be using video to stand out from the crowd, as it increases...

A client’s opening graphics for their conference & awards we took online for them.

4. Audience engagement and interaction

Decide where you want your audience to engage with you and then double down on it. A client of ours decided to use Twitter and was able to get their event trending in the UK by using interactions like a ‘Thunderclap’ (getting everyone at your event to send a tweet at the same time).

Others may want to use functionality like polling and Q&A that webinar platforms have. Or use a third-party platform like Whatever one you choose, use it and keep encouraging your audience to use it, as the interaction keeps viewers engaged and feel part of the event, not just a by-stander. But none of this matters unless you...

5. Test, test and test again

This cannot be stressed enough. Make sure you test everything.

Test your guest speakers can connect, that their sound, camera, and internet connection is good enough. Rehearse your event, testing every aspect of it. The more you test, the more you can identify any faults and correct them.

Things may still go wrong on the day, especially when dealing with live elements. But once you understand what might go wrong, you have the knowledge and experience (and hopefully time) to correct them or find a way around them.

Without doing so, you run the risk of your events not running as intended, with awkward pauses and glitches instead of smooth transitions from one section to the next – which event would you’d rather be at.

Key takeaways

In summary, the biggest tip for creating engaging online events, is to invest time (and budget) into it, thinking you can just build it and people will come will result in limited to small numbers attending.

Think about the right formats, platforms, and time to host your event. Then get to know how to use the platform and its functionality, so you can utilise its biggest assets. Think about the content, the audience interaction, the videos you will play and most importantly, how you can make the most of the opportunity of a captivated audience to reap the rewards.

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