Boosting Attendee Engagement

5 Tips for driving attendee engagement in virtual events

From live webinars, virtual conferences, trade shows, and virtual expos we are seeing more and more virtual events take place as part of an effective marketing strategy. Compared to a standard in-person event, virtual events benefit from location flexibility and reduced running costs however they come with their own set of challenges. 

Due to the nature of virtual events, crafting an engaging and creative experience for attendees is one of the main struggles we see when hosting an event. 

The Challenges of Virtual Event Engagement

Traditional in-person events allow for immediate connections and interactions creating a personal experience that is hard to recreate with a virtual conference. So how do we compete with this? 

We’re not quite at a point where everyone has access to fancy virtual event technology with AR and VR headsets to bridge the gap between online webinars and in-person shows. However, tackling some common issues and following virtual event best practices is a good place to start. This includes overcoming distractions, interruptions and potential technical issues through thoughtful planning, interactive content, and technological solutions to ensure a successful and engaging online experience.

With creativity and thorough planning, there's no reason you can’t provide a virtual event that keeps attendees focused and engaged with their screens. To give you a head start we've pulled together five useful tips to engage attendees with your next virtual event.

Interactive Quiz and Gamification

Tip 1: Use Interactive Tools and Gamification to Increase Audience Engagement

Incorporating interactive tools and gamification into virtual events is a great way to make them more fun and engaging. This can involve fun competitions and rewards to encourage attendees to participate and interact with one another. This will not only make the event more enjoyable but also provide an incentive for attendees to get involved.

Polls, surveys, quizzes, and trivia are all effective options to consider. They help participants retain information better and provide valuable real-time feedback. Leaderboards can also be used to display participant rankings and encourage healthy competition and engagement. Additionally, live chats and breakout sessions provide opportunities for attendees, speakers, and organisers to interact and network in real time.

Diverse Online Event Formats

Tip 2: Incorporate diverse online event formats

It's important to keep your online event content interesting and varied. One way to achieve this is by using different event formats that cater to different learning styles and preferences. 

There are many options available such as webinars, podcasts, workshops, panel discussions, informal chats, networking sessions and virtual tours. By mixing your format, attendees are more likely to stay engaged and attend future events. This variety of content also leads to more effective learning and engagement, making it a win-win for everyone involved.

Coffee Break Networking Opportunities

Tip 3: Emphasise Networking Opportunities 

Embracing the networking opportunities of virtual events can massively increase event engagement. Especially when you embrace the more informal approach of virtual networking and create virtual lobbies This encourages your audience to not only interact with you but between themselves. 

The main challenge with networking in virtual spaces is the lack of face-to-face meetings. We suggest trying to make these networking opportunities less formal and mimic those natural in-person events. These work best when implementing some of the other tips we’ve suggested alongside this to break down those barriers people can find when in a virtual networking zone.

Zoom, vFair, Livestorm and Filo are good examples of virtual event platforms that brands are using for their events. With several account tiers from free to enterprise, any size virtual lobby can be hosted for your audience. 

Question and Answer Feedback

Tip 4: Q&As and Feedback 

Q&A sessions are pivotal for a virtual event. They provide attendees with the opportunity to engage directly with you the host, speakers, presenters, or panelists and gain a deeper understanding of the content being presented. They also allow participants to ask specific questions and delve into topics that are relevant to their interests or concerns, enhancing the value of the event for your audience.

Using the built-in live chat features in your chosen platform can work extremely well as they facilitate real-time interaction among hosts and attendees. This can create a sense of community and collaboration during your virtual event. If your platform doesn’t offer this feature another great option is integrating social media platforms like X, Facebook and Discord allowing you to interact with your attendees during and even after your event.

Slido and Mentimeter specialise in these Q&A and feedback sessions. These tools offer everything you would need for a feedback session including; user-friendly interfaces, moderation tools and seamless integration with various virtual event platforms.

The continuous loop of feedback is key for improving attendee experience in virtual events, ensuring that organisers can adapt and optimise content and format based on real-time attendee input. Also hosting regular dedicated Q&A sessions can play a crucial role in developing participant engagement.

Webinar On-demand Content

Tip 5: On-demand Content for Flexible Accessibility

Not everyone can attend your live event so catering to as many people as you can is great for audience growth and engagement. Posting your webinars and events online is crucial as it allows you to cater to bigger and global audiences across time zones. 

Certain live event platforms allow you to post your events automatically but if your chosen platform doesn't support this we recommend uploading recordings to YouTube, Vimeo or Linkedin. This is so your audience has access to missed events and also to a back catalogue of your content. 

We’ve also seen a recent trend in long-form webinars and podcasts being edited into multiple short-form videos for TikTok and Reels. Having high-quality recordings of your events is useful so that can then be utilised across multiple platforms.


Driving engagement is vital for ensuring a successful virtual event and impactful experience for all participants. 

With virtual gatherings increasing across various industries, it's essential to implement strategies that effectively address the unique challenges and opportunities presented by online platforms. By incorporating these top tips, you as organisers can create dynamic and engaging virtual events that foster meaningful connections, collaboration, and learning. 

Out of event engagement ideas?

If you need a hand with virtual events here at h2o we can help maximise attendee engagement and create memorable experiences that leave a lasting impression on your audience.