Feeling the heat while planning virtual or hybrid events? Not sure how to make attendees stick to their screens like bees to honey? Buckle up, event maestros! Let's delve into the challenge and hack the science of attention.
So, What's The Big Deal About Attention in Virtual Events?
Let’s get real. Tuning into a virtual event doesn't come naturally to us humans. We are creatures of 'embodied cognition,' says brain whiz Albert Moukjeber, who knows a thing or two about the mind (he's a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and a clinical psychologist!). Our attention thrives on shared physical spaces and mutual interactions. In the digital sphere, that vital connection dwindles. But hey, don't lose hope! Tools that stimulate the senses can turn the tide and keep the audience hooked.
Digitalization, while having many pros, can be a party pooper when it comes to non-verbal cues. As Élodie Laye Mielczcareck, a noted semiologist, explains, you miss out on the body language. The nuanced blush, the subtle dilation of pupils, and the likes become harder to perceive. But guess what? Our brain is a smart cookie. It tries to fill these gaps and reconstruct the missing data constantly - that's exhausting!
Bringing The Buzz Back: The Virtual Talkshow
Régis Clinquart’s 7 Keys to Attention Nirvana
Régis Clinquart, a virtuoso creator, writer, and scriptwriter for hybrid and virtual events, has his magic keys to 'create retention'. Let's borrow his wisdom.
- 100% Value Content: Let's cut the fluff! Avoid anything that might make your audience think, "Oh, the real content hasn't started yet." Repeated content or unnecessary overviews? Chuck them out.
- Freshness Is Key: Monotony is the attention-killer! Spice up your event with changes at regular intervals - switch between interviews, movies, slide shows, live, and recorded content. Play around with setups, introduce new speakers. The aim? Keep the audience intrigued enough to stay.
- Two-Way Street: Make room for audience interaction. Pull them into polls, quizzes, surveys, or use advanced solutions like Sparkup. Engage, don't just present.
- Entertainment, Entertainment, Entertainment!: A dash of humor, a sprinkle of gamification can do wonders. For instance, Clinquart recommends the Metaverse's virtual world, where attendees feel like they're living an adventure rather than being rooted to a chair.
- Harness the FOMO: Tease them with something they can’t resist! It could be a concert at the end, a celebrity speaker, a gift, or an irresistible game. The aim is to keep them on tenterhooks.
- Pause and Play: Breaks are your friend, not foes. It might sound counterintuitive, but according to Clinquart, planned breaks of 20-30 minutes give attendees a breather. They can take care of their business and come back refreshed, ready to give you their undivided attention.
- Chat Moderation? Maybe Not: Let your chat room buzz! Let people voice out, stir up a bit of a storm (within limits, of course!). A lively conversation can keep the audience engaged even when the main content doesn't.
The Bottom Line
Remember, it's not just about these strategies. Consistently delivering relevant, quality content, and adding movement to your virtual and hybrid events is key.
Now that you have these tips up your sleeve, go rock your event! And if you're looking for a solid solution to pull off a stunner of a virtual or hybrid event, give Sparkup a try! Let us know how it goes.