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Engagement in a Virtual World

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Virtual trade shows can help you figure out messaging and content that works before investing in a real exhibit.

One very time-consuming piece of the puzzle that we mentioned above is messaging. Figuring out exactly what you want to tell your prospective buyers can be tricky to narrow down. There are plenty of ways you can go about sharing a single message, so finding out what method resonates best with your audience can be done through virtual exhibiting.

Check with the show organizer first to ensure they will be providing you proper analytics to track attendee engagement at your virtual show. If so, you could do A/B testing with different types of content. Here are a few examples:


1. You could offer two different webinars with different topics and messaging types.

2. Let your audience choose between the two, or track which one they gravitate toward first to gain some useful insight on which topic is more appealing to them.

3. You can compare which presentation attendees viewed the longest and if more people viewed an entire presentation more often than the other.

4. You can gauge how often certain questions were asked so you can prepare your trade show team to answer those types of questions when you execute your first in-person trade show.

5. You could even test responsiveness to different keynote speakers. (Don’t forget to include a bio and a list of prominent industry affiliations.)

6. Perhaps your target audience prefers to hear from the CEO of the company rather than an outside spokesperson, or maybe vice versa.

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Engagement in a Virtual World

  1. 1. exhibits.skybay.com Engagement in a Virtual World Magnetize their Minds
  2. 2. without it, your audience is happy to tune you out. Communication is the Cornerstone of Virtual Connection exhibits.skybay.com
  3. 3. Interactivity is the Proven Path to your Virtual Success exhibits.skybay.com A survey of 2,000+ professionals found that millennials, more than Baby Boomers or Gen Xers, say that engaging content can hold their attention for long periods of time without distraction. source: Prezi
  4. 4. 1 There’s plenty of opportunity to boost audience participation – you just need to know how. 47% of people are more likely to ask a question at a virtual event and 37% are more likely to speak to a person in a virtual booth than a real one. Use sticky notes to write your thoughts in each page. source: eventbrite blog exhibits.skybay.com
  5. 5. Start Brainstorming with the basics of engagement exhibits.skybay.com
  6. 6. exhibits.skybay.com Engaging their minds The need for achievement The need for autonomy The need for mastery 1 3 2 “Engaging Hearts and Minds of your Employees” by Lee J Colan How can your product or services entice your audience for elevated engagement?
  7. 7. exhibits.skybay.com Engaging their hearts The need for purpose The need for intimacy The need for appreciation 1 3 2 “Engaging Hearts and Minds of your Employees” by Lee J Colan What kind of conversation are you planning to have that will make them part of your community. Hint: Create a slack channel for inspired conversation
  8. 8. Start Engaging Long Before the Event Track which one they gravitate towards more to gain some useful insight on which topic is more appealing to them. exhibits.skybay.com Use A/B testing for topic variations Hint: Keep the content same. Play with the over- arching messaging.
  9. 9. Sample Agenda Introduction to the Session Check-in and Icebreaker Memorable Interaction Spread the word 1 3 2 4 exhibits.skybay.com
  10. 10. Introduction Clarify the goal of the session before starting. As facilitators, your role is to keep the session on track and to ensure everyone participates in the discussion. Introduce your session facilitators Tomas Chloe exhibits.skybay.com Sammy
  11. 11. Click the More tab in the editor side panel. 1 Select the Emoji or GIPHY app. 2 Browse and click the Emoji or GIF you want to use. 3 Check-in with your Audience How are they feeling? Choose an Emoji, GIF, or image from a mood meter that best represents how they feel at the moment. Ask your platform provider for these engagement enchancement tools. exhibits.skybay.com
  12. 12. What's your morning routine? What’s a random act of kindness you did for a stranger? What's the most challenging thing you've done in life? What are your hot buttons? What are you passionate about? Suggestions for icebreaker questions: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5.30 morning run - Lily C. 5.30 morning yoga - Steph G. 6.30 morning meditation - Laurie G. 6.30 morning journal writing - Peter G. 6.30 morning commute - Radha B. Get to Know your Audience exhibits.skybay.com Know the answer to these questions and ride the wave of 'personalization'.
  13. 13. Begin Session Memorable Interaction exhibits.skybay.com
  14. 14. Arrest Their Attention exhibits.skybay.com Attendees can only give their full attention for so long. Work moments of pause into the rhythm of your event. Encourage participation through polls, trivia, Q&A, ask for volunteers — Make your audience feel like they are part of the event rather than talking at them. Ask questions that matter in their work life. Hint: Use social listening to figure out the challenges in your industry
  15. 15. Make Them Feel Valued exhibits.skybay.com To be valued is, the want to be seen, heard and understood. To be valued is, to belong. To be valued is, to be appreciated.
  16. 16. exhibits.skybay.com Value Enahancers Ditch the Mask of Anonymity1 Encourage your Attendees to Put in place profile creation on your event platform as the norm. Encouraging attendees to fill in their profile information so they can be seen and known by other attendees is crucial. It’s easy for virtual attendees to hide behind the mask of their computer screen. This is what your virtual audience feel: “If I don’t show up much here, then I can avoid the potential pain of not being noticed, heard, or understood.”
  17. 17. exhibits.skybay.com Value Enahancers Prolific Partipication2 Reward your Attendees for Provide incentives and awards for participation. Award points for completing polls, social challenges like networking with other attendees, or meeting with exhibitors (if applicable), submitting a question, filling in their profile, or similar activities. Incentivize different levels of performance. Use gamification to map out a clear path of progression.
  18. 18. exhibits.skybay.com Value Enahancers Being Seen3 Give Them the Recognition of Recognize engaged attendees on camera. Plan to have your host recognize engaged attendees by name on camera so that they feel validated and seen. This way, your entire online audience knows that their participation can lead to them feeling seen. Not everyone is looking for an answer; often people just want to be seen and heard.
  19. 19. exhibits.skybay.com Value Enahancers Icebreaker Games4 Entice them to Participate in Plan Networking Activities with Icebreakers Tools like Zoom, Hopin or SpotMe offer great online networking features for both small breakout groups or one large group. Consider a virtual trivia mixer or virtual escape game mixer as a networking hour for your online audience. 1. Six Word Memoirs 2. Desert Island Intelligences 3. Speed Networking 4. Hometown Map 5. Psychology Masks 6. Achievements Under 18 7. Myers-Briggs Session 8. Jenga Questions 9. Time Heist 10. I’m a Brand Manager
  20. 20. exhibits.skybay.com Value Enahancers Humanize Your Event Enhance your Presence Don't Skim on Staffing In addition to your in-person host or emcee, hire at least 3 moderators. It is the people that will make your event sing, dance and pulsate with life sustaining energy.One moderator should be dedicated to be responding to comments in live chat. The second moderator should serve as the on-camera host, so that audience members connect with the face and personality of a host and feel seen by them with direct “eye contact” through the camera. This moderator may be responsible for session transitions, announcements, etc. The third moderator should be busy encouraging the less active participants to get involved. 5
  21. 21. Make Their Journey exhibits.skybay.com It's the journey that matters. Help them to soak it in. Impart lessons. Impact positively. Become a resident in their memory palace. Worth it!
  22. 22. Spread the Word exhibits.skybay.com Reward and Recap Dedicated Hashtags in Social Channels Become a Content "Chop Shop". Relentlessly, Re-purpose and Re-integrate.
  23. 23. The mind is just like a muscle — the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets and the more it can expand. Keep exploring Keep experimenting — Idowu Koyenikan exhibits.skybay.com
  24. 24. Thank you exhibits.skybay.com
  25. 25. STOP START KEEP GOING Icons and Illustrations Resource Page Use these free recolorable icons and illustrations in your Canva design. June 1, 2021MDM Company

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