Why would only a small fraction of registrants attend the live virtual conference? Because the incentive to be there is less than the pull of their daily lives. They know the meeting is going on, but their email or project or phone can’t be ignored. They know they can access the sessions later on, which further disincentives them to attend. When attendees assume the conference is a compilation of passively viewed webinar-like sessions, there’s little reason to participate live.
Of course, we know there are many reasons to attend today’s virtual conferences. Participants who attend the live conference receive the content, while those who wait for later rarely take the time to watch the sessions after the event. Live attendees have the opportunity to participate in the chat, which gives them a chance to co-create, share ideas, ask and answer questions, and connect with peers. For some registrants, these reasons are still not enough to pull them away from the day’s pressing demands.
We need to make our virtual conferences so compelling attendees feel they must participate. One way to do this is to offer value so great for the live conference that registrants cannot miss it. Here are some thought starters:
- Live exhibitor demonstrations
- Live Q&A with keynote speakers
- Job fair, mentor, or peer brain dates
- Immediate results trends forecasting
- Audience co-creation around a hot-topic idea
- Virtual roundtables everyone can participate in
- Special bonus shows, videos, and courses only available live
- Introduce the latest research insights with peer to peer discussion about the implications
- Attendee profiles that help people find the people they need to meet, like those working on similar niche projects
- An offer to participate with quality content in the chat for a chance to be featured in the post-conference ebook or for a chance to play a bigger role at the next conference
What ideas do you have that will compel your registrants to attend your live virtual conference?