In our last blog we introduced our series on conquering Zoom fatigue by sharing questions we should ask ourselves when planning our virtual meetings. While technology has been embraced as a great business tool during these challenging times, the initial enthusiasm for virtual meetings has worn off. How do we fight the fatigue and turn our meeting participants from passive to active?
You have asked yourself the questions, considered meeting length and frequency, and included relevant and fun experiences in your planning. Now it’s time to put your planning into action. Today, we focus on engaging participants through interaction.
Andrea Driessen, Chief Boredom Buster at No More Boring Meetings, has some great tips to turn passivity into activity—in essence, delivering a ROAR (Return On Attendee Relevance) versus a BORE experience. These include:
- Incorporate break-out sessions where participants can join a smaller group discussion on the topic that most interests them. When choosing the topics, avoid the one-size-fits-all approach. Session subject matter should be selected based on your participants’ interests and should be tailored for each audience.
- Offer live building or site tours. If, for example, you recently upgraded your facilities or have some interesting site updates, grab your laptop or phone, take a walk with your meeting guests and do a show-and-tell.
- Invite a surprise guest speaker to make a cameo appearance. They don’t have to be a celebrity to generate excitement. It could be a popular speaker from a previous conference your participants attended. Consider “unmuting” your participants when the speaker appears so everyone can hear the cheers and applause.
- Add some F.U.N. to your meeting with some unusual experiences like an online escape room, trivia games, a lip-syncing contest or a cocktail hour. Award prizes and giveaways based on a range of criteria like best trivia answer, worst singing, most original cocktail or best interruption by a child or pet.
- Track the questions and comments throughout and respond accordingly, whether during or after the meeting. Consider using a Q & A and polling platform which can help you gain critical insights by capturing the unfiltered thoughts of your audience.
Additional ideas to deliver a ROAR experience include delivering a goodie bag or lunch to each participant, and switching content styles (i.e. mix things up with guest speakers, break-out sessions, “Ask an Expert,” quizzes throughout, etc.)
Most will agree that face-to-face meetings are more energizing than virtual. But, when meeting in person is not an option, delivering a virtual experience that will bust your participants’ fatigue will keep them coming back for more.