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:
- The crux of success for a virtual event lies in how engaging it is for attendees.
- 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.
- 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.