It looks like virtual events are here to stay. Now that they’ve become a viable discussion platform for professionals, you’ll have to discover how to keep your virtual participants interested throughout your events.
Here’s a suggestion: don’t forget to BREATHE. These interesting break ideas can help you energise your next virtual event—and provide your guests with a more memorable knowledge-sharing experience.
Boost brain power with a bit of movement
Research conducted by UCLA has shown that stretching improves heart rate and blood flow, reducing stress and enabling higher brain functionality. A 30-second stretch break after every segment of your discussion should help your guests shake off the fatigue and clear their heads for the next part of your event.
Some of your participants may even be joining you on their mobile devices. You can encourage them to take a short walk outside so that they can get a bit of fresh air while they listen in on the conversation (only if the weather permits, of course).
Remember to break the ice
Virtual events are a great way for professionals to expand their networks and connect with like-minded peers. This is why holding icebreaker activities at the start of any event is important. As their host, you must encourage them to feel comfortable with one another before they engage in your discussion and in the socials at the end of your event.
Looking for the right icebreaker for your next virtual event should be a breeze. There are so many interesting games and activities to choose from, and Ortus Draws has compiled a list of creative icebreaker ideas that your guests can enjoy as fun warm-ups before their discussions.
Energise the mood
Staying energetic all throughout the discussion is a challenge for most virtual event hosts. Read the room from time to time. Yawns, awkward silences, and glances at their phones are clear indicators that your guests are losing interest in the discussion.
Here’s a creative solution to keep the mood lively during your event from start to finish. Ditch the slide decks and project a live sketchnote instead so that your guests can actively see their contributions to the discussion. These illustrations will surely add more colour (literally) and entertainment to what could otherwise be another bland conversation.
Allot time for team building
Aside from sharing and gaining insights into new trends and pressing issues, people participate in events to expand their professional network. As a virtual events host, you can help your guests build meaningful and lasting business relationships with one another.
Team-building activities provide opportunities for your guests to discover during event breaks whom they vibe with the most among the group. One fun and entertaining example is creating team logos. Cluster your guests into teams of three or four and give them five minutes to come up with a company logo that reflects their collective professional identity and goals. You may find that, after the event, some of them will have connected with one another over LinkedIn after the event.
Take a moment to decompress
Mindfulness breaks are perfect for the midpoint of your event. Give your guests 15-20 minutes to re-centre themselves after a lengthy discussion. That way, they can clear a bit of mental space for more new information during the rest of your discussion.
You can also take this time to let your guests ponder on the ideas shared in the discussion thus far. This allows them to reshape their perspectives on the topic at hand and develop new insights that they can share throughout the rest of the event. Either way, what matters most is that they’re prepared and energised for another round of knowledge sharing.
Hype the group with mini-games
Nothing spells excitement more than the thrill of winning, and, as professionals, your guests know that a bit of healthy competition is good, clean fun.
You can even add a new dimension to your sketchnotes by using them for a memory exercise. Have your assigned illustrator erase the captions under each sketch and ask your guests to recall each caption correctly. They’ll certainly relish the challenge—and appreciate the extra mile in helping them retain the things they’ve learned in your discussion.
Enjoy a meal together
No matter the occasion, food always brings people closer together. Breaking bread with peers fosters a more cozy and familiar atmosphere during virtual events, even if your guests are thousands of miles apart from each other.
That mindfulness break you’re thinking of could be a great time for you and your guests to share a meal together. A hearty lunch or dinner can even open up conversations that lead to new discussion points later on in your event. To make your guests feel even more appreciated, you can have food delivered to them before your event. Here’s an amazing example of how The Ortus Club treats their roundtable guests to scrumptious meals they can enjoy before their discussion.
Looking for more ways to energise your next virtual event? Ortus Draws makes conversations more engaging and exciting by illustrating ideas shared in live discussions. With sketchnotes, knowledge-sharing experiences become more interactive, vibrant, and insightful for all participants.
Contact Ortus Draws today to book a live illustrator for your next event!