As technology worldwide continues to improve, many of us are spending more and more of our time online. With that, our lives are becoming increasingly virtual - with many of us working, socializing, and having the majority of our interactions via synchronous chat or live online conferencing.
While there’s lots of talk that the “metaverse” is coming and that pretty soon we’ll all be living our lives in virtual reality, we here at Virtually believe that the metaverse is already here.
We believe that people's online lives won’t take place in virtual reality, they’ll take place in live online conferencing tools like Zoom. Live online communication (with our real faces and bodies!) are the true future of how we’ll meet, socialize, and learn.
With live online conferencing taking center stage in our lives, it’s essential that we develop tools, processes, and structures to enhance these kinds of interactions. Organizations and communities that thrive will be the ones that crack the code to live online engagement.
But how can we ensure attendance, overcome boredom, and boost engagement in live online events? And how can we start leveraging existing products and services to do it the right way right now? Here are a few ideas:
How to build great virtual experiences
- Choose a great community platform. We recommend Discord or Circle. The key to a great platform is that it’s intuitive, easily accessible, and facilitates interaction by enabling commenting, private messaging, and organizing topics and themes.
- Create a community calendar. It’s important for organizations and communities to have consistent interactions and shared experiences in order to create and maintain connections. Creating a community calendar with both recurring and one-off events that members can add to their own calendars will help members pick and choose where and when they want to engage. Extra points for organizations that enable members to “subscribe” to specific types of events.
- Send reminders. We’re all busy. Make sure your members get quick reminders - 1 hour before, 10 minutes before - for any given event so that their day doesn’t get away from them.
- Ensure your Zoom/conferencing settings are set up accordingly. It’s important that community events are both professional and accessible. Muting upon entry prevents new attendees from disrupting the flow of a call (especially if they happen to arrive late!). Auto-recording an event ensures that members that had to miss the call for one reason or another still have access to take part in the event experience on their own time.
- Send a post-session recap. We’re only human and we can only take in so much information at a time! That said, sending a post-session recap can help members retain the top take-aways of what was said, while also giving them an easy way to go back and review the content on their own time.
- Send a post-session feedback survey. It’s essential to keep iterating on your community events! The best communities are co-created, so keeping track of what members enjoyed, what they’d change, and what will keep them coming back is key.
We know. That sounds like a lot of work, right?
Making sure you have engaging content is hard enough, let alone all of the additional logistics that go into making a live online event as delightful as possible!
Leveraging an event management tool like Virtually can help. Get your event logistics fully automated in the following ways:
- Create Zoom links
- Send Google Calendar invites
- Send dynamic event reminders via email and Slack
- Send announcements via email and Circle
- Event security
- Track attendance
- Send post-session feedback surveys
- Export attendance and feedback data to .csv or straight to Airtable
- Keep your roster fully up to date with Zapier
Learn more about how to use existing tools to build delightful virtual experiences for your online community or business through our upcoming webinar How to Build Better Virtual Experiences for Your Online Community within the "Metaverse".
Join us on Thursday, Dec. 9th @ 1pm EST. Register here!