How to Engage a Virtual Event Audience

Event Tips
March 31, 2023
March 10, 2020

Has the Coronavirus outbreak affected your planned upcoming Spring events? You’re not alone. Major events all over the world like SXSW have been cancelled due to the safety precautions advised by the CDC to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Even the NBA and the NHL are considering playing through their schedule but with no fans present. As some events are being cancelled with an unknown future of being rescheduled, others are taking the opportunity to try hosting events online using digital technologies. Whether that be through webinars, live viewing parties, streaming keynote speakers, or educational videos, a key focus of these will be how to engage the virtual audience.

Without a live experience, how can you make an impact by bringing your audience together and engaging with each other using virtual activations? Here’s a few ideas we hope inspire you…

Live Display

Live Display makes it possible to interact with a community without having to be in the same place. Your virtual attendees can share their story by displaying and featuring posts that are tagged with a chosen event #hashtag or @mention into your website or event page. Embed Live Display into your website or event page to boost engagement with your social media accounts & hashtags, as well as give attendees a place to see and interact with each other remotely. Create a campaign that allows for your virtual attendees to post selfies or photos of where they’re located and how they’re involved in your virtual event, which creates a sense of community among your audience. Reveal a hidden image as user’s posts begin to populate from social media using the Digital Mosaic layout or use the eye catching “Flip in Animation” layout to wow your virtual audience and encourage them to participate in your social media campaign.

Live Printing + Get Creative

Most people think our Live Printers or hashtag printers are only built for in person engagement, since there is a physical print that happens when attendees tag your brand on social media. But don’t forget about the ‘Shred Your Ex’ campaign from McKinney, a brand agency. They had a hashtag printer and anyone that tagged a photo with their campaign hashtag got to watch that photo print, get shredded and burnt in a fire via a live stream on their website. This is probably the most creative way we’ve seen hashtag printers used, especially in regards to inspiring people to engage with a physical printer and still be remote.

How Brands are Using Photoboxx during the Pandemic

In many cases, college graduation ceremonies, university classes, church services, conferences, and more have moved to online streaming. Photoboxx users are getting creative with ways to engage their audience remotely. University of Tennessee, Knoxville hosted a ‘Research from Home’ campaign where students posted their graduate research work from home setup on social media and tagged #volresearch. The official @ugradresearch account featured student’s photos on social with a custom print graphic design for a creative way to feature how students are researching from home.

Northwest College Student Activities started a virtual photo challenge using Live Display to curate #NWCgoesVirtual photos. Students shared their photos on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook by tagging @NWC Activities and #NWCgoesVirtual and were able view the live feed on the official website. NWC is hosting a virtual graduation ceremony this spring and sent out celebration boxes to graduating students. Students are sharing photos and videos on social by tagging #NWCgrad2020 to be featured at the end of the virtual graduation ceremony live stream.

The Association of Former Students of Texas A&M University hosted a Live Display grid for Aggie Ring recipients who received their hard earned rings in the mail. Close to 200 alumnus posted photos with #MyAggieRing to be included in the live feed.

Many churches have been incorporating Live Display into their weekly live stream services as a way to connect with their audience in a creative way. Capital Christian Center has been hosting giveaways for guests who tag their photos with #captialculture or #capitalchrisitancenter to be entered to win gift cards from local restaurants.  Foundation church created a lasting impression from this year’s virtual Easter service for attendees by personally mailing their Photoboxx prints to viewers who tagged @foundationnewnan in the caption.

Be Willing to Change the Game

8 years ago, Photoboxx was born out of frustration with ordinary. We got tired of standing in lines for a traditional photo booth. We got tired of the same experience at every event. We all had cameras on our phones and we saw an opportunity to change the game. Today our team is still committed to looking for opportunities to take ordinary experiences and make them remarkable. As we try to get a high altitude view on how the Coronavirus is affecting so many events and the experiential industry as a whole, we encourage you to think outside the box, get creative and don’t be afraid to try something new. Be willing to change the way attendees participate in events. Be willing to fail. Mark Batterson says it best in his book In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day: How To Survive And Thrive When Opportunity Roars “If you learn from every mistake, then there is no such thing as failure anyway.”

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