Audience attention is a fickle thing at the best of times and if it’s a virtual trade show, it becomes more difficult.
The entire enterprise of marketing is based on sustaining audience attention long enough for it to translate into sales.
Similar challenges exist for trade shows and retaining audience attention is not only one of the most frequent challenges for trade show events but also a common objective. This is why we gathered some of the most important tips to help you retain audience attention in your trade shows.
The challenge to retain the attention of the audience becomes manifold for virtual trade shows which are already limited compared to physical events in the ways they can engage the audience. Couple that with more opportunities for and ease of distraction in virtual events and it only makes it harder.
There is some factual basis to this since research indicates that our brain cannot focus beyond 30-45 minutes in a single sitting and needs a break.
So, the question is, how exactly do you sustain and continue to engage audience attention in virtual trade shows?
Chalk this one up as a no-brainer but that is exactly why it must be emphasized.
Ensure that your content is engaging and tailored to the needs and format of a virtual trade show.
The biggest mistake you can do in a virtual event is to have a presenter drone off on a long speech. Think about it.
Why should your audience engage and attend your virtual trade show if all it consists of is a long speech which they can watch later or read about later? Research shows that 43% of virtual event attendees do so live, therefore, they need credible reasons for doing so.
Visual delivery of information is paramount in virtual events and therefore if your content isn’t visually stimulating and engaging then you can say farewell to audience attention for a sustained period.
The buck doesn’t stop with engaging content.
That is the basis and starting point for any successful and credible virtual trade show which is keen on high levels of audience attention.
You can, and should, take a step further by making your content interactive.
Engaging content goes a long way, but it won’t take you to the final destination. Even the best-designed and engaging content will have people zoning out by the end of 60 or 90 minute sessions.
Your audience will need a break from the onslaught of information and that is where interactive content can shine. It breaks the monotony and brings some much-needed variety and diversity to the format and schedule of a virtual trade show.
Not only does it provide a source of interactivity and audience participation which thus boosts audience attention by revitalizing their energy, but also, interactive content can aid in better content retention.
Simple games or puzzles at the end of every section which pull answers from the prior presentation will have audiences recalling and revisiting what they just heard.
Choice of presenter
You can have the best content in the world. It can be highly interactive with multiple points of participation from the audience.
All of that will do nothing to sustain audience attention at your virtual trade show however if your presenter isn’t the right fit.
If they don’t have the energy, passion, commitment, and enthusiasm which shine in their delivery and grab the audience then your virtual audience will not be compelled to stick around.
These qualities are immediately apparent on their own and show the speaker is serious about what they’re speaking about which in turn invites a more genuine and positive reception from the audience.
If the speaker is dull and a bore, then why should the audience care to give them their attention?
Incorporation of technology
There exists a plethora of modern technology from augmented reality to virtual reality to touch screens and more which can greatly expand the horizon and scope of your virtual trade show.
There are no boundaries and barriers to what is possible and melding these technologies can make your virtual trade show stand out from the rest and raise higher levels of audience attention.
VR in particular can be used in innovative ways to boost the delivery of your content and take graphics and visuals to the next level. Rather than just being a virtual event, your virtual trade show will become an experience for your audience.
Care must be noted here however that the incorporation is done well, tested, and synergizes with your overall presentation. Using it for the sake of a gimmick might lead to a short burst in audience attention but it will taper off as audiences realize it doesn’t coalesce into a whole.
Opportunities for networking
One of the advantages of physical trade shows is the opportunity for networking and making contacts.
Face-to-face interactions with other attendees during presentation breaks not only provide a break from the monotony but also allow attendees to mingle.
That is not possible in a virtual trade show so instead, you can incorporate networking sessions and open live chats and group caucuses in your event schedule.
Such open sessions can not only allow the audience to engage the presenter on specific questions but also discuss amongst themselves which leads to higher audience attention at the end of the day. Social interaction charges people up and raises their energy thus leaving them receptive and attentive for the next scheduled event.
Professional services specialized in the virtual trade show industry
Lastly, the services of experienced professionals like AladdinB2B can go a long way in boosting your audience’s attention. Professional services know what makes audiences tick and what is likely to generate higher audience attention in virtual trade shows.
They can suggest numerous ways to boost audience participation and also have technologies and tools to deliver the most innovative and exciting experience to your attendees.
If you are worried about audience attention at your virtual trade show, then worry no more and make a wish upon AladdinB2B’s genie.
Aladdin specializes in in-person, virtual, and hybrid trade shows but particularly provides optimal solutions for digitizing trade shows. Not only that but our powerful B2B matchmaking formula determines perfect matches for qualified, pre-targeted meetings which will only further increase audience attention and participation.
So if you want to digitize your next event and boost audience attention in it, then Aladdin will show you how.