Engagement

Engagement

Discover the secrets to hosting an exciting, engaging virtual or hybrid event experience that has attendees coming back for more.

Engagement

The 4 types of people you'll meet at virtual events

5
Mins Read
Pavi Sagar

Have you encountered DOVEs at a virtual event? How about PEACOCKs? Dive into the 4 types of attendees you'll meet at virtual events and also learn how to come up with a strategy that ensures that they all have a great experience at your virtual event.

Know your customers. 

Know your attendees. 

Know thy audience. 

It’s basically the first commandment of good marketing. 

In fact, where there is a marketing team, a blog about the importance of understanding your target audience is sure to be a stone’s throw away (case in point: there are over 38,70,00,000 results on Google about this topic).

But when it comes to understanding the make-up of attendees at virtual or hybrid events, it’s a little more complicated.  

But before you keep reading, let’s pause for a moment. Why exactly is it important to know your audience?

Why it’s important to know your virtual event audience

Today’s virtual event attendees come in all shapes and sizes, and of different ages and countries. They have different pain points, challenges, goals, and desires. And critically, some are digital natives whilst others are digital immigrants. That’s why you can’t treat all of them in the same way.

Going the traditional route with stereotype-based alliterative-named personas might not help because you’ll need to go way beyond basic demographics. Virtual attendees have a complex mix of needs that they’re looking to satisfy at your event, and online and digital behaviours that they expect will be accommodated. More than ever, the name of the game is different strokes for different folks.

But the reality is that while they’re all unique individuals, it’s simply not possible to cater to your attendees at an individual level. Instead, you identify several types of attendees based on their behavioral patterns, and then plan in spaces and content that really resonates with them.

So, what are the different types of attendees you can expect at your virtual event? 

We’ve done the work for you. Keep an eye out for these formidable virtual attendee types’ (we were inspired by Dean Peter’s ‘Dangerous Animals of Product Management’ and make sure you have a strategy in place for each of them.

The different types of attendees you’ll find at your virtual event 

OWL (Obsessed With Learning)

Like their figurative namesake, OWLS are knowledge seekers who value information. They’re at your event to update their professional knowledge and upgrade their skills. They want to delve deep into topics of interest with knowledgeable experts, learn about industry best practices and pick up new tips and tricks that they can put into practice right away.

How to cater to OWLs:

Leverage the capabilities of your virtual event platform to help attendees gain as much knowledge as they hoped. A fantastic line-up is the first step but there’s plenty more you can do:

  • Give attendees the ability to “talk” during sessions! Chat, Polls, Emoji Reactions, and ‘Raise Hand’ have democratized participation. Both introvert and extrovert OWLs can ask questions and chat in real-time with speakers to learn more about topics.
  • Nurture more focused conversations. Set up virtual Rooms for some good ole’ fashioned group discussions, brainstorms, or workshops so that OWLs can ask other attendees about their insights or solutions and further cement their understanding of the topic.
  • Accommodate busy lives and different learning styles. Your OWLs may have a range of learning styles so share content in different formats so everyone can engage with them. For instance, besides sessions and group discussions, set up Expo Booths with videos and downloadable material like guides and checklists so that attendees can absorb content as per their preferences. Also, make video recordings of the sessions available for attendees to watch whenever their schedule allows it. 

MACAW (Most Active Conversationalists At Work)

MACAWs are excited about and effective at building relationships and making connections. You’ll generally find them around or actively participating in group discussions, easily and impressively making conversation with people they’ve met only a few minutes earlier. So the MACAWs at your event want plenty of opportunities to meet and connect with attendees who can help further their business and career.  They have a specific aenda and will actively search for the right people at your event.

How to cater to MACAWs:

Give your attendees an easy way to connect with other attendees (right from their couches!) by organizing plenty of interaction opportunities.  And even better if you find a way to help MACAWs meet the right people who can help them reach their goals: Here’s how you can do this:

  • Create different ways for attendees to connect with each other. From small discussion groups to ice breaker networking sessions, plan in small activities during the event that’ll give MACAWs a foundation for easy conversation.
  • Make networking more effective. Leverage AI-powered matchmaking to maximize the chance of MACAWs being paired with relevant professionals who share similar interests and complementary goals, for conversations that ultimately lead to business leads or employment opportunities.

DOVE (Distracted Online Very Easily)

Distractions abound for the DOVE. As there’s so much to do at home and work,  they’re often found glancing quickly in every direction at tasks that require their attention. You’ll spot them with plenty of tabs open on their screens, switching easily from answering their email to purchasing something on Amazon to working on a office task to replying to a message on their phone. This means that keeping a DOVE’s attention on your event will be challenging. 

How to cater to DOVEs:

Use the features of your virtual event platform to the utmost to grab and retain a DOVE’s  attention and improve ‘virtual event stickiness’:

  • Use gamification to make participation fun! Gamification is a fun and powerful way to nudge <name of birds> towards taking part in more activities at your event by rewarding their actions. For instance, for each poll answered or each question asked, DOVEs can win points or prizes, which will then encourage them to keep participating. Hopefully, over time, you can use gamification to turn these actions into habits, resulting in sustainable engagement.

PEACOCK (Prefers Exclusive And Customized On-brand Content + Keepsakes)

The PEACOCK is a brand fanatic. They’re passionate about all things involving your brand and are the biggest supporters of your business. They’re proud of being a customer and enjoy the status or prestige that comes with it. So when attending your event, they’re expected to be “wowed” by the brand experience you provide. And they’re also looking to be rewarded for their loyalty.  

How to cater to PEACOCKs:  

Create a unique event experience that is rewarding, share-worthy, and memorable. Here’s how you can do that:

  • Customize your virtual venue to be completely on-brand. Completely brand the Stages, networking areas, breakout rooms and Expo Zones  with your designs and colours to amplify your brand and reinforce your messaging. And play your attendees an amazing Welcome Video that looks and feels like a movie trailer to get PEACOCKs excited from the get-go.
  • Give them something to crow about. Share exciting and exclusive news first with PEACOCKs at your virtual event or give them access to high-profile brand ambassadors (imagine setting up a virtual cooking workshop with Nigella Lawson or a virtual meet-and-greet with Rafael Nadal!)or let them be the first to purchase a product from your Expo Booth with one-time-only discounts.  
  • Make them feel appreciated. Gamify activities or actions at the event to let PEACOCKs win brand merchandise or experiences that reinforce brand loyalty.  Giveaway little extras like virtual swag to make them feel special and valued.

Key takeaways

Your virtual event will be full of all kinds of people, each with their own reasons for attending. Some may not fall into any of the four categories mentioned above, while others may fall into more than one. Nevertheless, being aware of these possible types of attendees, knowing what each type wants and how to create a fantastic experience for them will make your event more welcoming, valuable and memorable for everyone.  More than ever, it’s different strokes for different folks. 

Engagement
Virtual Events

Keeping burnout at bay: 4 strategies to drive better attendee engagement

5
Mins Read
Pavi Sagar

A packed day of sessions at a virtual event only leads to an endless "sit-and-watch" cycle that will drain attendees and lead to event abandonment. Prevent this from happening by employing this virtual event attendee engagement strategies.

Online burnout. It’s been increasingly cropping up in casual conversation with colleagues and friends, in Forbes articles and LinkedIn thought pieces, to say nothing of Twitter. And it’s no surprise. 

Ever since easing into a remote world of work and a virtual-first way of life, we are now all spending inordinate hours online, attending back-to-back meetings, replying to countless emails and messages, and jumping from tab to tab to tab. It can get overwhelming pretty quickly, leaving you exhausted and unable to focus. Everyone has had at least one of these days.

What does this have to do with virtual event attendees?

It’s the same principle.

Assuming your virtual event runs for 1-2 days, with each day filled with sessions and activities, there’s a high probability that your attendees too will experience online burnout. There’s no point in putting all that time and effort into organizing your virtual event only for your attendees to tune out and drop off during its run. 

It’s clear that while well-meaning virtual event organizers are working hard to make their events unique and worth attending, not all understand that simply having a great line-up is enough; that’s only one part. The other is really paying attention to the attendee experience and doing whatever you can to make sure that they feel engaged and energized throughout the event.

Here’s how to make this happen:

Attendees remember experiences over information. So when you’re organizing your virtual event, look for ways to improve the quality of attendee engagement through strategy and virtual event platform tools. Here are 4 suggestions that are simple to implement :

1.  Vary your content strategy

A “one-size-fits-all” content strategy won’t work anymore given that people prefer to consume content in different ways at different times today. Attendees want to and will consume content in a format, time, and place of their choosing. Some learn by reading, others by listening, some by watching, and some by experiencing, so the content that you offer must be customized to engage this newly empowered attendee. 

This can be accomplished by creatively using the features and capabilities of your virtual event platform. For example:

  • Invite a guest speaker to lead a session on an important topic on a Stage
  • Simultaneously set up Rooms in which small groups can watch the session on Stage whilst discussing it with other attendees
  • Set up an Expo Booth with downloadable material such as PDFs, checklists, guides etc
  • Make video recordings of the session accessible to attendees even after the event ends so they can watch whenever they want

This way, by creating different touchpoints and experiences around your content, your attendees will be able to actively engage in consuming your content according to their preferences.

2.  Get attendees involved 

Let’s be honest. How many times have you drifted off during an online meeting - checked your phone, browsed Netflix, or caught up on chores, etc.? We’re not judging. 

As per the 2020 Amex report, around 54% of event planners have already shifted their focus to enhancing the attendee experience, against the backdrop of virtual fatigue. What this means is that given the tendency for people to disconnect one’s attention, especially when they aren’t speaking, it’s critical for organizers to make attendees still feel involved and integral to virtual event sessions. 

This can be achieved by leveraging your virtual event platform’s engagement tools to turn them from passive viewers to active participants.

Zuddl, for instance, has a variety of tools designed to make attendees an active part of the conversations on Stage:

  • Chat, Q&A, and Polls can make attendees feel like their voice is heard, especially if the questions, comments or results are incorporated into sessions. 
  • Raise Hands lets attendees  talk face-to-face with speakers on stage
  • Emoji reactions are an easy, quick, and fun way for attendees to indicate enthusiasm

The upshot is that these tools help attendees quickly feel like they're part of the proceedings and realize that their voices matter - a simple but powerful way to make them want to continue attending and engaging at your event. 

3. Use gamification to the fullest

Getting your attendees involved in the first place is one thing, keeping them involved is quite another. While attendee engagement tools make it easy for attendees to participate in your virtual event, gamification will encourage them to keep at it. 

Organizers can set up a point system, wherein attendees can earn coins or points by completing actions or activities at the event,  set up a leaderboard to encourage friendly competition, and award prizes to the top performers.

It’s an extraordinarily fun way to remove the drudgery that can come from attending many online sessions, and instead make your attendees feel excited and motivated to keep their focus on the event.

4. Give attendees downtime to recharge

It’s only natural for people to get a bit virtual-ed out so break up a packed day of long sessions with mini-breaks for attendees to recharge their bodies and minds.  Not taking this into consideration is a virtual event planning mistake you’ll want to avoid.

  • Use push notifications on the platform to remind attendees to get up, stretch their legs and make themselves a cup of coffee. 
  • Plan in micro self-care activities, such as yoga or meditation
  •  Set up gaming zones within the virtual venue 

This will definitely earn you goodwill from your attendees and as an added bonus, it will also help to increase attentiveness after the break. Research shows that taking brief mental breaks when faced with long tasks can dramatically improve one’s focus. 

To sum up…

Now more than ever, virtual event organizers need to remember that attendees are already inundated with talking-head programming; they’re looking instead for an exciting, engaging attendee experience that feels valuable and memorable.

A combination of the right strategy and the tools and features of a customizable virtual event platform can help you deliver a memorable attendee experience. Book a demo with Zuddl today to learn more.

Engagement

Design your own virtual or hybrid retreat to build trust & connection

5
Mins Read
Pavi Sagar

Team retreats are a great way to build trust, interpersonal connections, collaboration and cohesion - but how do you hold them if your workforce is now hybrid? Here’s everything you need to know


You've probably heard the expression, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” This proverbial saying continues to hold true, even in the age of remote working, and the great pivot to virtual and hybrid workforces. One of the greatest challenges company leaders and organizers face today is building connectivity and cohesion between employees working from different locations, some from the office and others from home.

And one way to do this is through hosting team retreats that bring everyone together to have fun and socialize.

Retreats, as we all know, allow colleagues to relax, recharge, exchange ideas, work through their problems, and get to know each other better. This also leads to organizational benefits, such as a rise in productivity and creativity. 

But how does this work with a hybrid or virtual workforce? How can you plan a company event when some of your attendees are at the physical venue and the others are tuning in virtually? Designing a hybrid or virtual team retreat comes with its own sets of challenges and will require extra planning. But with the right ideas, the right tools, and the right virtual platform, you’ll be able to deliver an experience that everyone will be raving about all year. 

Designing a virtual or hybrid retreat

Virtual or Hybrid Retreat - Zuddl


To start, remember to accommodate the behaviorisms and needs of both your virtual and in-person team members; for one, no one wants to remain glued to their screen for hours on end. You want to reinvigorate your team, not contribute to digital burnout. Your schedule of activities, therefore, requires intentionality and attention to detail. Here are a few tips to help you with this:

1. Plan in a mix of time-sensitive activities and recorded sessions

One of the biggest benefits of organizing a hybrid or virtual retreat is that every employee can participate, regardless of where they are located. But this also means you’ll need to take into account time zones when planning your scheduling to ensure that important activities can be attended by a majority of your team.

So for instance, you can kickstart your retreat with a pre-recorded video of your company’s year so far and major milestones accomplished - a unifying experience for everyone. In fact, we would recommend making all sessions available as recordings so those unable to join live can watch them at their convenience. You can also consider hosting sessions that go live at different times for different time zones, but with the same content.

You’ll also need to plan in activities that bring team members together such as Networking sessions. Give your attendees a variety of options so that they can choose that which is most convenient for them.

Virtual or Hybrid Retreat - Zuddl -1


2. Choose a venue suitable for both in-person and virtual attendees

This can be tricky. Most team or company retreats are usually held at holiday locations, away from the city so that employees can relax and have fun at the beach or mountains. You can still do so, provided you find a venue at the location with the capability and technology to host a hybrid event. 

Remember that you’ll need a space that can accommodate your in-person attendees, and can support a high-quality event production, such as audiovisual equipment, streaming capabilities, reliable Wi-Fi, and on-site experts. Virtual and in-person attendees need to be able to see each other, and talk to each other in real-time. You want to create an experience that is interactive, engaging, and free of buffering issues. The last thing you want is for your virtual attendees to feel like second-class citizens at an event that is all about making everyone feel valued and supported.

Click here to read more about what to look for in a hybrid event venue.

3. Keep things interactive

Central to your hybrid or virtual team retreat is creating spaces and facilitating discussions that are lively, inclusive, and fun - which you can do by leveraging the features of your virtual event platform. Here’s how:

  • Host small group sessions and team-building activities (click here to read some ideas you can steal) by using virtual Breakaway Rooms. You can use these rooms to let virtual and in-person attendees go simply socialize and just chat, or for brainstorming sessions, inter-team roundtable discussions, etc.
Virtual Events with Zuddl


  • Boost team and company camaraderie and cohesion through Networking sessions. If you use a virtual event platform like Zuddl, you’ll be able to employ Smart Networking, which matches attendees based on mutual interests (Click here to read more about Smart Networking in detail). This is a simple way to create authentic 1:1 connections.
  • Make  every attendee feel seen and heard through the use of in-platform attendee engagement tools.  Chat, Polls, Q&A are all simple but powerful ways for everyone to feel  like they are in the same space, ‘seen’, and connected. 
Virtual Meets with Zuddl
Chat, Polls and Q&A are powerful ways to make attendees feel 'seen'


  • Gamify activities to make engagement more fun! Setting points to tasks can nudge your team members into participating more, especially if there’s a reward to those who score the most. Gamifying actions or activities like networking or team challenges is a clever way to motivate your team and make the event experience more productive and fun for everyone. 

4. Give everyone company swag

If you do plan to host your team retreat at a fancy hotel or exotic location, find ways to make virtual attendees feel pampered as well. This could be as simple as sending them meals and gifts that in-person attendees receive such as personalized gift hampers and goodie bags. 

5. Choose the right technology 

For a hybrid or virtual retreat that effectively brings your team together, you first need a virtual platform that can facilitate this. Look for solutions like Zuddl that has a range of features and tools you can use to bridge the gap between in-person and virtual attendees such as Networking or Chat, and that makes the retreat a fun experience for everyone, like Gamification. 

To sum up...

Energized employees, tight-knit teams, fun workplaces - all are essential components of a successful organization. Done right, your hybrid or virtual team retreat can help nurture all three. With the right planning, platform and tools, you will be able to curate a remarkable experience that drives long-lasting value.

Virtual Events
Engagement

Networking not working? Use these 6 ideas to connect virtual event attendees

7
Mins Read
Pavi Sagar

It’s no secret that people attend events with the intention of meeting new professionals in their field, but facilitating these interactions can be challenging. That’s why we’ve come up with 6 simple ideas you can use to curate your attendees and bring the right people together.

If you’re an event organizer or a marketer for your business, you’ll already know that networking is one of the most integral parts of virtual events.

In fact, a survey by Markletic  points to networking being the second most popular reason people choose to attend events, with educational reasons being the first. And it’s easy to understand why.Networking gives you the opportunity to build business relationships and learn more about different industries, and new job prospects. It opens up new doors for your career and business.


However, facilitating this at an event is also one of the trickiest to get right. 

At in-person events, a multitude of factors can result in a networking session proving ineffective. The challenge for organizers has always been to create a space where attendees feel comfortable and confident, and are able to meet the right people. Now, thanks to virtual event platforms like Zuddl, organizers can do exactly that.

But finding a conducive virtual networking platform is just one part of the equation. Organizers need to be creative in coming up with ways to effectively leverage the features of the platform.  Lucky for you, we’ve done the hard work already and come up with 6 ways you can boost networking at your next virtual event.

Virtual networking ideas for external events (virtual conferences, trade shows, summits, etc.)

1. Pre-event/Pre-session chat

There’s no rule stating that networking needs to occur at a specific time at your virtual event, so why not start even before your event begins? Create a private space for attendees to connect and chat with each other ahead of the event kickoff. This makes socializing at the virtual event less awkward for attendees.

Creating a pre-event chat can help to take the stress away from having to find someone to talk to at the virtual conference. Connecting with even one other person ahead of time can make attendees feel more comfortable and confident in attending the event and meeting others, and can even embolden them to participate more during the event.


Setting up a pre-session chat is another way to create a low-pressure, fun space where like-minded attendees can make connections.

2. Birds of a feather sessions

Organizing birds of a feather sessions is one of the most effective virtual networking event ideas you could implement. It’s basically hosting a breakout activity that is based on a shared interest during the event.

Similar to the pre-session chat, the birds of a feather session act as an informal and relaxed town hall-like space where like-minded attendees can chat about their interests, leading to potential collaboration. You can choose to invite a speaker to the session to facilitate group discussions, or you can make it more informal and simply encourage attendees to have unconstrained conversations about the topic. 

An important factor to be considered while organizing a BoF session is limiting attendance. This should be an intimate gathering so that every participant is comfortable and can talk easily.

3. Speed Networking

Speed networking, which works in a similar fashion to speed dating but with the advantage of AI-matchmaking, helps attendees connect with the right people at your virtual event.  For this activity, you will need a virtual event platform like Zuddl that has this feature capability (Click here to read more about our Zuddl’s Smart Networking platform feature in detail). 

Prior to entering Speed Networking, attendees will need to fill out profiles on the virtual event platform, that include their interests. When they enter the Speed Networking session, they will then be matched with attendees who share those interests for 1:1 video calls. It’s a great way for attendees to network with those in the same industry, or who are trying to solve the same problems. When matched attendees connect for their meeting, they can skip the small talk and get right down to business.

Speed Networking is great for use at internal events as well as it’s a simple yet effective way to bring together a remote workforce, and build connection and camaraderie. Zuddl, for instance, organizes a Speed Networking session every Friday so that colleagues from different teams who may not have much opportunity to connect and speak throughout the day, can meet and learn about each other. 

4. Pre-event photo competition

This simple activity can be a great way to interject more energy and fun into your online networking events. All you need to do is to ask your attendees to share a photo ahead of time - but keep in mind that this should be in line with your event. For example, if you are organizing a virtual wellness summit, you could ask attendees to share a photo of how they unwind after a long day. 

You can set up an Expo Booth at your virtual event venue (check that your virtual event platform has this feature), at which you can display the photos, and promote a visit to the Booth via social media or email to registered attendees. This way, attendees will be able to learn the names, businesses, and personalities of other attendees before the event begins - and can seek them out for 1:1’s if they spot a potential business collaboration.

Virtual networking ideas for internal events (company offsites, company meetings, team building, etc.)

5. Gamify your event

Gamification is one of the most effective and fun networking ideas on our list because of the way it encourages attendees to get to know each other. Through gamification, you can assign points to specific activities to be carried out by attendees, such as taking part in a group conversation in a Breakaway Room, or connecting with an attendee for a 1:1 video call. And you can award prizes to attendees with the most points!

Using a virtual event platform like Zuddl which has a Gamification feature can make this entire process even easier. Simply create your point distribution list, set up a displayed leaderboard, and you’re ready to go! (Click here to read more about how Zuddl’s gamification takes engagement to the highest level.)

6. Virtual watch parties or karaoke

If you’re looking for a lighthearted and fun way to get colleagues together as your virtual company meeting winds down or during the day when people need a breather from sessions, a virtual watch party or karaoke session might be just the ticket. There’s nothing like singing a terrible rendition of ‘We are the champions’ to bond a group of people together.


While you can run this activity in any virtual meeting space, you might find using a virtual event platform that has Breakout Rooms (like Zuddl) advantageous. In a Room, a small group of people can chat with each other via a video call - but that’s not all. You can also at the same time watch a presentation or video being played on Stage. So, just like a virtual watch party, you can take in a movie and react to it and discuss it in real-time. 

In conclusion...

One of the most integral parts of organizing a virtual event is providing your attendees with an opportunity to network with each other. This can be in different shapes and forms as you can see.  With the virtual networking ideas, we’ve shared, you should be able to create a delightful experience that your attendees will value and remember. 

If you need any help setting up networking at your next event, or want to know more about how to make all aspects of your event more value-driven and effective, just let us know. Talk to our team!

Virtual Events
Engagement

The secret to creating introvert-friendly virtual events for a higher ROI

5
Mins Read
Pavi Sagar

Introverts make up at least half of your event attendees yet only a small percentage of event organizers consider introverted needs and behaviorisms when building event design. Read on to learn what strategies you can use to organize a more inclusive event, which can help to make your event ROI more profitable too.

Did you know that introverts make up nearly half the world's population (a recent MBTI® global sample puts it at 56.8%), and therefore form half of an event’s attendees? We’re not surprised if you don’t. It’s a quiet detail that event organizers often overlook; after all, most activities at events are typically high-energy formats and activities that lean towards extroverts.

But when it comes to virtual events, putting the experience of introverts at the core of event planning is important for organizers, in more ways than one. 

Besides the obvious reason that virtual events should be exciting, engaging, and impactful experiences for all attendees, paying a little attention to introverted needs and behaviorisms when building your event design can help to make your event ROI more profitable too.

To this end, there are three statements that organizers need to keep in mind:

  1. The crux of success for a virtual event lies in how engaging it is for attendees.
  1. While extroverts inherently look to form social connections, a trait that lends itself well to virtual events, introverts are known to prefer one-on-one experiences and intimate interactions, according to Psychology Today.
  1. Introverts are truly empowered by digital and virtual platforms. The internet, writes Susan Cain, the author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, offers introverts “the chance to connect — but in measured doses and from behind a screen.”

Therefore, as a virtual event organizer, understanding how to leverage the features and capabilities of a virtual event platform to better connect and engage with introverts is key to driving better results from the event. Here are a couple of suggestions.

Tools that encourage communication are critical

Think back to the last in-person event you attended. Chances are that when the floor was opened up to audience participation, attendees who wanted to ask a question or offer their commentary were handed a mic and asked to speak up in front of the audience. Not an ideal situation for introverts who usually hate being put on the spot.

Introverts can be critical of their social performance, as per Dr. Elias Aboujaoude, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Stanford University, and may even “second-guess what they have said in social settings.” With virtual event platforms, organisers can give introverts tools that make it easy, comfortable and fun for them to share their thoughts and opinions. With the right tools, an introvert will use technology as a way to participate more fully.

Polls, Emoji reactions and text-based Chat help to remove inhibitions to participation that stem from fear of social judgment and self-consciousness. These tools make it far easier for introverts to take part in a discussion and join in on a conversation when they want and choose to; typing a question in a box on a screen, expressing support and enthusiasm via a 😃 , and answering a Poll, may seem like small actions, but they can make introverted attendees feel seen, heard, and most importantly, included.

By ensuring that all your attendees feel comfortable and empowered enough to speak up, you can derive more insight about your event - for instance, you can ask which topics they enjoyed the most, and which they wish had been covered. This can help direct your strategy for future events as well as your content marketing efforts.

Furthermore, attendees whether introverted or extroverted who take the time to respond to Polls or interact in a Chat, are usually engaged and invested. They’re more likely to convert into leads. If attendees use your app or platform tool to express interest or register for sessions, you can capture their data. This in turn contributes to more targeted marketing campaigns, and more effective lead nurturing.

Safe ways and spaces for interaction = more ROI

While extroverts inherently look to form social connections, a trait that lends itself well to virtual events, introverts are known to prefer one-on-one experiences and intimate interactions, according to Psychology Today. If organizers can build their event with this in mind, they can make their introverted attendees feel more confident and empowered to meet and connect with new people. Here are a couple of ways to do this:

Searchable attendee list - Introverts are natural planners, reveals research by Dr. Laurie Helgoe, which helps them ease into social interactions. Contrary to popular belief, they aren’t really antisocial; in fact, they can be extremely social — with people they know or want to interact with. That’s why a searchable attendee list, a feature provided by some virtual event platforms, can be such a great way to get them to engage right at the onset. 

Interest-based social Rooms - When attendees walk into an event, they tend to sit with the people they know. So in-person events can make joining cliquey groups and socializing challenging for introverts. Virtual event platforms give organizers a way to make group socializing easier for introverts via Rooms. Interest-based rooms facilitate small group conversations within a larger 10,000+ audience.

These are spaces where introverts can relax and connect with other attendees who share their interests, whether that’s Mutual Stocks or TikTok Trends. Introverts can really open up when they’re truly interested in a topic. With only a limited number of interested people attending, everyone can bring in their experience and knowledge. Furthermore, some platforms like Zuddl even allow attendees to create their own private rooms, invite other attendees, watch sessions together, have discussions and more. All this makes for quality attendee engagement!

Anxiety-free networking - Think of an on-ground event, and it is not surprising to see that most attendees are naturally anxious about going up to someone and striking up a conversation, especially if that person is already conversing with a group. The easier you can make this for introverts at virtual events, the better. Smart Networking is a gamechanger for virtual events in this regard, and one that serves introverts as well as their more gregarious counterparts. It takes the guesswork out of the network-building process and allows attendees to book 1:1 video calls with top matches. (Click here to read more about ature).

This AI-driven feature aids the process of fostering deep and thoughtful interactions, something that is cherished by introverts. Other tools like those that allow attendees to share contact information easily or those that offer the convenience of pre-booking meetings, for instance, can facilitate easier connection and better conversations as well.

Why does this matter for your ROI? 

Firstly, research shows that if a conference attendee can make 10 good connections in the first3 hours, that person is 92% more likely to return to the conference. So, helping your attendees make valuable connections is a no-brainer. 

Second, you can measure which networking activities and/or areas were most popular, as well as specific attendee feedback. 

And third, helping your introverted attendees connect with others is a way for them to feel a part of your community. Community management efforts work to create positive references about the business, drives organic leads and referrals.

Interactive Expo Booths elevates brand awareness and gets you leads

Introverts hate being put on the spot, whether that’s taking part in a conversation or making a decision about a purchase. This is where interactive Expo Booths come in. Unlike in-person events where you have to jostle with a crowd and compete for attention with a salesperson or a company representative, virtual Expo Booths make life much easier for an introverted attendee. 

Introverts can visit Expo Booths to learn more about a company and its offerings. They can watch product demos. They can download marketing materials such as documents, audio/ video clips, website links, surveys, business cards, and more. And, features like the live chat manned by booth staff put introverts in the driver’s seat. Never has it been easier to access info and make a decision.

To sum up...

It is no surprise that virtual events can be a boon for introverts, allowing them to interact, listen, learn and participate at their pact tools in your virtual event platform arsenal, you can not only boost engagement for introverts, but drive more and better-qualified leads and create loyalists. 

While most attendees of your virtual event will fall along the introvert-extrovert spectrum rather than at the two ends of it, planning to maximize engagement with something for everyone isn’t just clever — it makes better business sense too.

Virtual event hosting platforms like Zuddl offer all the features you need to make introverts feel like they’re at home. Find out more with a demo.

Engagement

9 best team building activities to unite your virtual or hybrid workforce

6
Mins Read
Pavi Sagar

With virtual and hybrid teams here to stay, the need of the hour is for managers and leaders to bring distributed organizations together. Here are 9 ideas you can use to build trust, camaraderie and connection within your team, and your company.

With the pivot to remote working here to stay, but with businesses also slowly opening up offices again, there’s one question on every company leader’s mind: how do I effectively manage a virtual or hybrid workforce?

It’s not easy keeping your in-person and remote employees in sync. Beyond the day-to-day tasks that need to be completed, managers and leaders need to also figure out how to build connection, trust, camaraderie - all those things essential for team members to work well together.

“The biggest dilemma for us in the current scenario of work from home model is…how to translate the same level of 'belongingness' in the virtual space”, says Anita Bhatia, HR Director for the Times Internet, the digital arm of the Times Group, the largest media conglomerate in India. “[This is important] to ensure seamless engagement, motivation, and retention of our key talent…”

The need of the hour is therefore for managers and leaders to work with purpose towards uniting their team, regardless of whether their colleagues are at the office or are half the world away. Technology can help — but only to an extent. But if you are deliberate about helping your team to bond and build relationships, it can yield great benefits in teams of communication and productivity.

One way to do this is through virtual team building activities. 

But let’s come back to this in a second, and cover the basics first.

Why team building is important for your bottom line

Yes, it’s true that suggesting team building activities for employees is often met with a roll of the eyes, but there’s no doubt that they’re effective.

A study  by Gallup reveals that “Virtual team building activities lead to an  increase in employee engagement  & performance rate, claiming 41% lower absenteeism and 21% higher  profitability.”

These findings are buttressed by a new research from Better Up which show that workplace belonging leads to a 56% increase in job performance.

Team building is central to this. According to the Gensler US Workplace Survey, people see team building as the most important aspect of great workplaces, with 43% choosing ‘promotes team building and collaborate’ as a key attribute, 20% choosing ‘foster camaraderie and fun’ and 18% choosing ‘build social connections and community.’

Now that this is clear, here are some simple but effective  virtual team building activities you can use to strengthen your team.

9 fun virtual team building activities for your hybrid workforce

1. Virtual scavenger hunt

As you’re running this activity for a virtual or hybrid team, keep in mind that you’ll need to try to find items for your list that can be found by colleagues in the office or at home, such as books or keyboards. To up the ante, you set riddles as scavenger hunt clues, for instance “I have a spine, but no bones” (answer: books).

To make it even more creative, your list doesn't have to comprise physical objects - they could be people at the company instead. So your participants will first need to figure out who the person is and then take a picture with them either on-screen or at the office. 


This is one of the best virtual team building games that can also help build inter-company camaraderie.

2. Cultural celebration parties

When you have a diverse workforce, with employees from different parts of the world, it’s important to recognize and celebrate the cultural environment and location where each person works. Cultural celebration parties are a great way to do this. On the day of the celebration, you can decorate the office. 

Your team members whose culture you are celebrating can attend wearing cultural clothing, while others can dress up too in support. They can hold virtual cooking classes to teach others how to cook a national dish, and you can order delivery of the dish to the houses of remote colleagues.


Though these are small activities, they’ll go a long way in making each person feel like they’re part of your company community.

3. Online adventure games

Online games are a fun way for virtual team members to work together to solve puzzles and riddles, usually against a clock. They are great exercises in creative problem solving and collaboration. Some popular options for your to consider:

  • Heist

Your team will have to solve a series of challenges to find the jewels before time runs out. Or, you can take this up a notch and make your team the bad guys who have to escape from the police with the jewels. 

https://try.outbackteambuilding.com/ap-virtual-escape-room/?utm_source=timedoctor 

  • Murder Mystery

Assign a character to each of your team members. They will have to put on fancy costumes, learn about their characters, and solve the clues to identify the murderer. 

4. Virtual house tours

A virtual house tour is a fun way to let your team members show off their creativity and personality! Each week, ask a different team member to take the others on a virtual tour of their house. To make this even more entertaining, everyone can present their homes in the style of MTV Cribs or Architectural Digest just like celebrities do.  

This activity allows team members to learn about each other on a more personal level and see colleagues as parents and hobbyists too.  It deepens relationships and fosters greater understanding.

5. Virtual deserted island game

You’ve probably played this one before as it’s a classic team building activity for employees. Ask team members to pretend that they are stranded on a deserted island with an object that each possesses (distributed from a list or picked on their own). They will then need to work together to come up with creative ways to combine the various objects to improve their chances of survival. Working together in unfamiliar territory has a way of creating bonds that cannot be created in any other way.

6. 20 questions

This is another classic, although there are different variations. 

Ask each employee to choose an item and tell everyone what category it belongs to (for instance, if they choose ‘ball’ as an item, then the category will be sporting equipment). Everyone else must guess the item by asking 20 yes or no questions. You can award points based on how many questions it took for the team member to guess the item. It is a simple game that can be played during a tea time break. 

7. Two truths and a lie

This is another fun and light-hearted team building activity. To play this game, ask team members to write down three statements - two that are the truth and one that is a lie. Each team member will read their statements aloud in a random order, and the other participants will need to guess which one is the lie.  The winner of the game is the team member whose lie wasn’t caught. 

It’s a fun activity that’s a lot of laughs and helps your team learn more about each other too!

8. Idea workshops

The aim of organizing an idea workshop is to give your team a platform where they can brainstorm and work together to solve a problem. 

It could be something that solves a problem the team or the company is facing. Or it could be a more lighthearted workshop wherein your team discusses ideas to make the company more fun - perhaps debating the merits of a pool table or casual Fridays. 

9. Lunch and learn!

Eating lunch together is a simple way to strengthen the connections between hybrid team members. You can order a catered lunch for employees at the office, and food delivery for virtual teammates. As everyone eats their meal, they can relax and socialize. 

In conclusion...

It takes effort to nurture communication and camaraderie among virtual or hybrid teams, but by using team-building activities such as the ones mentioned in this article, you can turn your distributed team into a well-functioning unit. 

Virtual Events
Engagement

6 ways to support, engage and motivate remote teams with virtual platforms

6
Mins Read
Pavi Sagar

With the rise of remote work, it’s become more important than ever for organizations to support and motivate employees, and keep them in synch. Here’s how virtual platforms can help.

Everyone knows that our world of work has forever changed. The massive pivot to remote working a year ago has shown business owners that employees are as productive when they are working from home as when they were in an office. In fact, according to a Great Place to Work study, remote work productivity was stable or increased when working remotely from home, according to a 2-year study of 800,000 employees.

So it’s no surprise then, that according to a study by Enterprise Technology Research, the percentage of workers who are permanently working from home is expected to double this year. Clearly, remote work is here to stay, which means that platforms and tools that facilitate communication, collaboration, and community are more important than ever.

Now, with great platforms come great capabilities - but only if you know how best to leverage them towards supporting your remote workforce. So first, it’s important to identify the ways in which your employees need to be supported.

Research shows that working from home has its own set of challenges for workers. For instance, being always accessible by technology has led to the blurring of work and home life, which contributes to burnout. Or a lack of face-to-face interaction with colleagues can contribute to a feeling of isolation, which can negatively affect collaboration and motivation.

What’s needed to deal with these challenges are clear: empathy, support, communication, rapport . And to this end, virtual platforms can help. Here’s how:

Hold interactive sessions with employees

When you don’t have any in-person office parties, coffee breaks, watercooler hangouts to bring employees together, virtual event platforms can come to the rescue - in a way that tools like Slack cannot.

In a Medium post, software programmer Alicia Liu wrote last year about how the ease of using Slack can actually result in lower quality communication. She comments, “[it’s] far too easy for everyone to default to using Slack for communicating, even for all the myriad things that don’t make sense to use Slack to communicate…” So by defaulting to dropping a message onto Slack channels, and responding via emojis, all the work you would otherwise put into building cohesion and trust with your colleagues when you were in an office, disappears. 

That’s  why virtual platforms like Zuddl are so important. With platforms like these,  you can host virtual events, as well as create a virtual office space.  Within this virtual workspace, you can set up areas for different interactive  employee engagement activities, and build interpersonal relationships.

The best thing about Rooms is how versatile they are. You can use them to hold different sorts of fun, interactive activities with employees. For example:

  • Virtual watercoolers
  • Brainstorming sessions
  • Project discussions
  • Daily standups
  • Movie nights
  • Trivia nights
  • Coffee-break hangouts
  • Or even for karaoke session!

But remember, a helpful virtual event platform is only one part. It’ll take dedication from leaders in the organization to bring everyone together to overcome distance, both physical and figurative.

Recognize and appreciate a job well done

It feels great when your manager or colleagues appreciate your effort and hard work in reaching a target or goal, right? Not only do you feel encouraged and motivated, but also more connected to your team. In fact, a lack of recognition at work can lead to increased stress and anxiety, and can lead employees to quit. 

Case in point: a whopping 44% of employees switched jobs because they didn’t receive any recognition or reward, according to this Achievers study. And in another study, it was found that 40% of employees said they would put more energy into their work if they were appreciated more often.

That’s where a virtual engagement platform comes in. Virtual appreciation makes your remote workers feel seen, and valued - and you can do this in a variety of ways on a platform:

  • Host a virtual party to celebrate birthdays or work anniversaries
  • Plan an employee appreciation day, and use the virtual event platform to make the celebration special, by for instance setting up an Expo Booth celebrating Employees of the Month, or creating small videos thanking an employee for their effort.

A little appreciation can go a long way!

Make your employee onboarding amazing

Employee engagement platforms can make the onboarding process an easy and fun one. Instead of walking an employee around the office and introducing them to countless people as you would pre-pandemic, you can now host a mass onboarding event. This may sound impersonal, but it’s actually not. 

With a virtual event platform, you can 

  • Easily set up a meeting Room for new joinees and hold an intro and Q&A session for them.
  • Direct them to meetings with their teams held in adjacent Rooms.
  • Set up a branded expo booth that presents the company’s story, values, norms, and team achievements 
  • Set up another expo booth that acts as a repository for information or documents that are important to new and current employees alike, and can be downloaded, such as a holiday list, procedure documents, reimbursement format sheets etc.
  • Or set up a photo gallery booth to give employees a trip down memory lane with videos of photos of events, team building activities, conferences, CSR activities, etc. conducted throughout the year

Don’t squander the opportunity to make a great impression that will stay with new employees for the duration of their careers.

Use gamification to make even mundane meetings fun 

Remember pre-pandemic meetings? We’re guessing that half of your colleagues felt that the meetings held were a waste of time, while the other half felt that they were anxiety-inducing. Remote working has helped a little on this front. Now, asynchronous and synchronous communication has cut down the need for many, many meetings, and people who do attend meetings can do so with their mics and videos off, speaking only when they need to. 

While that’s all well and good, it does raise the question of how effective virtual meetings held among remote workforces are. With everyone now hiding behind their screens, it makes it difficult to know whether or not they’re actually “attending” the meeting.

With virtual engagement platforms like Zuddl, you can use Gamification to make meetings actually fun to participate in. Gamification lets you add game mechanics to the virtual meeting, allowing you to award points to colleagues for completing tasks, such as asking questions, answering a team poll, doing quick research tasks, ie. actively participating in the meeting. You can award the top three on the virtual leader board with gift coupons or something of the sort. After all, everyone is happy to have their efforts recognized.

Make it easy for employees to get to know each other

Using  AI-powered matchmaking, companies can organize inter-company smart networking events. This is a fun and easy way for employees to meet colleagues they normally would have not had the opportunity to meet in person. And it helps every one to get to know each other just a little bit better beyond just their work roles. This can help build trust amongst teams, and across the organization. Win-win.

And what’s work without a little play

Everyone needs to take a break in between tasks, so give your remote workforce ways to relax and re-energize.

For instance, you can set up a gaming zone on your virtual meeting platform. Employees can let off some steam by playing games before refocusing on tasks.

Or keep energy high by using Stages to host a variety of entertainment, whether that’s performances by musicians, speeches by leaders in the field, quiz nights, movie nights, and more.

In conclusion…

As  the workplace itself continues to be redefined, companies need to be a  support system for their remote workforce as they navigate uncertainty. To  this end, employers and managers can use virtual platforms like Zuddl to keep  remote employees in sync and motivated. Talk to one of our experts  today on how you can use our platform to improve employee well-being,  improve attendee engagement and  perform better as team members and collaborators.


No Results found. Please try another search.

If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, then please use the topics on top to browse through all content.

Subscribe to our blog now!

Get fresh ideas, actionable insights and expert guidance for your hybrid and virtual events delivered directly to your inbox!