When converting your live conference into a digital event, it is fairly easy to figure out how to digitize the main parts of your program – speakers and panels can talk in front of a camera with similar results as on stage in front of an audience. But how do you promote social interaction and networking – which are such important parts of any conference or event – when you can’t meet in person?
Choose a solution based on the purpose of your event
Begin by giving some extra thought to what your participants need – is it networking, workshops, virtual coffee breaks or something else? Then try to find a solution that matches that need. An event app can help increase the value of any event, and many of the features are just as well suited for a digital event as a live conference.
Social interaction in the Activity feed
Just like any social medium, the activity feed fits perfectly to create social interaction. Here, both organizers and participants can share their thoughts, experiences, feelings, pictures, links, resources and other things, and everyone can like and comment on each other’s posts. To get good Activity feed going, a tip is to be active yourself as an organizer and set a good example – post what you want others to post, inspire and encourage your participants!
Connect with the help of the participant list and chat feature
In the event app, it is easy to get in touch – all the participants have to do is go to the Participants list, find the person they want to talk to and send a direct message to get the discussion going in the in-app Chat feature.
Help your participants connect by arranging a networking contest or matchmaking session:
- Choose whether you want the participants to freely find anyone they want to talk to, or pair people with similar interests or experiences by using participant segmentation.
- Challenge them to start a discussion with someone they haven’t talked to before and find out a few different things about their new acquaintance.
- Have them take a screenshot of their new friend’s profile in the app or a “virtual selfie” from Facetime or similar app, which they then post in the activity feed together with a short presentation.
- The presentation with the most likes wins a prize!
Host a virtual round table discussion
With the help of push notifications, dialogue, chat and the activity feed, or a combination of an external online meeting platform and the event app, you can create valuable round table discussions during a digital conference. Prepare discussion topics to send out push notifications to your participants – you can choose to use the event app’s segmentation feature to divide participants into groups or send out the same information to everyone. Choose whether to pair up your participants and have them discuss the topics using the in-app Chat feature, create discussion groups in Dialogue, a comment thread in the Activity feed, or use external software to have a group video call.
You can create really great digital workshops with the help of an event app! Add preparatory information, reading material and instructional videos to Information and prepare questions, surveys and assignments for participants to answer in Dialogue. Choose between dividing the participants into groups (“My information” is a great feature to use, to gather information on which workshop group or teammate each participant belongs to) or let them create open discussions in the Activity feed. For larger events, it may be advantageous to prepare virtual discussion rooms using external software such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom, to simplify the discussion between the participants themselves. Another option is to create discussion groups in the app’s Dialogue feature, using questions with multiple free-text answers.
Gamification helps you reach your goal
Gamification is a great feature to get your participants to do what you want! Guide them to perform the tasks that make you reach the goal of your event by setting higher points to certain activities – eg. 200 points for a really good participant profile, 250 points for an entry in the Activity feed or 100 points for responding to a survey.