Looking out at your audience and wondering when you lost their attention and how you’ll ever get it back? Chances are, you just need to rethink your strategy when it comes to live events to boost engagement and keep your audience on their toes. And one of the most effective ways of doing this is offering an online chat for attendees!
It’s true: live chat and live events go together like peanut butter and jelly, and today we’re going to cover everything you need to know about this dynamic duo.
Live chat and live events
We all know that some live events look a lot different than they did last year. While they may still be “live,” many events are now held virtually. But rest assured, whether in person or conducted virtually, live chat and live events can work wonders together.
Unlock networking opportunities
It’s easier to network with people at your table during a live event, but when there are hundreds or even thousands of attendees, this is tougher to do. Not to mention, if it’s a virtual event we’re talking about, it’s almost impossible to network if attendees aren’t given the tools for doing so.
When you offer attendees the ability to interact with one another, they get the networking opportunities they want from a live event. Not every interaction at live events is all about networking, although that’s a huge plus! But with the ability to send written messages to fellow attendees via a live chat, it helps keep chatter and noise down during presentations.
When your audience is actively involved in a live chat, they’ll be a lot more engaged in the event than they would otherwise. Rather than having attendees use their phone or laptop to browse the internet and entertain themselves, they can use these same tools to chat with other attendees, ask questions, and share feedback throughout.
Interacting with attendees
As the event host or presenter, interacting with attendees during events is another benefit of live chat. With live chat and live events, you can ask your audience questions, including getting their feedback. Then, you can use this feedback to guide the course of your event. This helps you make sure your audience is as happy as can be. Not to mention, when audience members get the chance to hear directly from YOU, they’ll feel special and more engaged.
Speaking of engaging and interacting with your audience members, there’s nothing quite like a Q&A for getting the job done! Unlike traditional Q&As where you need to call on each person individually, live chat at live events makes this process far more seamless.
Just imagine: audience members can simply type in their questions as you present, without interrupting the course of the event. Then, when you reach the designated time slot for questions and answers, you can answer questions accordingly.
If you do conduct a Q&A during a live event, you’ll want to assign a moderator. It will be the moderator’s job to remove repetitive or offensive questions and keep the chat on track. The moderator can also remove chat members if they don’t stick to chat guidelines.
(We’ve got a whole post with tips on moderating a group chat! Find it here)
Creating chat groups
When you use live chat and live events together, you can also separate each chat into different groups. For example, each table at a live event could have their own room. Or, you can create different chat rooms based on different topics and members can navigate between groups as they please.
Another advantage of offering a live chat is the ability to export the conversations to use later. (Just make sure attendees know their messages could be saved!) Looking back at these live chats can offer you valuable insight you can take forward to your next live event.
What to look for with an online chat platform
Not every online platform for group chat is the same. For example, some don’t include the ability to moderate or export conversations. Similarly, some don’t include the ability to navigate between different chat rooms.
Before you use live chat and live events together, be sure the platform you choose offers these features:
Customization and branding: Keep your live chat and live event aligned with one another by using your brand colors and logo in the live chat.
Adequate group size: Make sure the platform you choose can accommodate enough members, based on how many live event attendees you’ll have. For example, Swift Chat allows you to have 4000 concurrent members, friends, or fans in your online group chat rooms, and up to 10,000 messages per channel. This is more than enough for most live events!
Moderation: The ability to moderate a group chat is another must-have feature in an online chat platform. Otherwise, your live chat could get out of hand right before your eyes. Be sure the moderation tools include the ability to block or remove members, give users verified status, and to delete messages.
Now you know why live chat and live events go together so well, as well as how to choose a live chat platform that’s right for you. So, what are you waiting for? Host your first live chat today!