People love stories. Why? Stories grab and hold attention because they activate seven areas of the brain. Facts only activate two areas. Storytelling is not just for print—you can use it in your virtual event to capture attention, keep attendees engaged and add a dose of fun.
Lead with a clever introduction
Just like in a story, hooking your audience from the start is important. Start with a smooth approach. Create and rehearse a cleverly scripted introduction to set expectations (and lay the framework) for the event. If no one on your staff feels confident as a writer, consider getting outside help.
Consider kicking off your event with easy-to-win prizes. Ask attendees to let you know how they heard about your event. This will help you know which channels were most effective for spreading the word. Once they answer the question, let them choose a virtual event giveaway to be mailed to them. If you can, consider tying the giveaway back to your brand. For example, if you’re a sports brand, you could offer a sportpack. If you sell home improvement products, consider giving away a multi-tool.
Mix it up
With so many people spending time in virtual events, attendees may find it difficult to focus. Just like a plot twist in a novel keeps people on the edge of their seats, going against expectations can help keep your audience’s attention.
Announce a surprise virtual event giveaway in the middle of your event. Consider a gift card, a chocolate bar or a tin of nuts as prizes. Another way to mix things up is by announcing a free one-on-one session for each attendee and the speaker of their choice.
Make attendees the hero
Throughout your virtual event storytelling, people are more likely to stay engaged if they feel invested. So make them the “hero” of your story. This means that everything should center on them, rather than on your brand or your speakers. Start by describing how an attendee can benefit from participating in the event. Address the challenges they may be facing and show them how to overcome those challenges.
Create interactive elements
When someone’s reading a good story, they lose themselves in it. Called “transportation,” this is when their imagination takes over and puts them into the story. You can bring that same element of engagement into your virtual event by making it interactive.
Give attendees time to share. For example, during the AppExchange® Demo Jam, participants were given a three-minute window to showcase their apps via a real-time demo. Or, issue a challenge for attendees to participate in during your event. Send the winner a prize, like a wireless charging hub or a tea and coffee mug.
Capture and hold attention with storytelling
By using event storytelling with a clever introduction, a surprising “plot twist” and ideal heroes (your attendees!), you’ll wow at your next virtual event.