From learning about new and exciting features soon to be released to discovering best practices to consider for your next event, Cvent CONNECT 2021 covered it all. I attended CONNECT 2021, in person nonetheless! Taking place at Caesars Forum in Las Vegas, this conference touched on several different areas and topics, but the one that stuck with me was audience engagement. This is something that all event planners are striving for, especially when faced with the added challenge of reaching people virtually. But CONNECT brought up many useful points and helpful product features that can capture and keep your attendees’ attention. Read on to learn the key insights I gained from this experience regarding engagement.

Cvent CONNECT registration area

  • Hand-Raising in Collaborative Sessions: Let’s face it. No matter how badly you’d love for everyone to be actively participating in all sessions, every attendee is different and some are just passive by nature. With the hand-raising feature in Cvent, action must be taken by both the person asking the question (who raises their hand) and the moderator (who asks them to go off camera to speak). This is a great way to get those who are camera shy to involve themselves and ask questions.
  • Expanded Profiles: With Cvent’s addition of expanded profiles, attendees can easily share both professional and personal information with others attending the event. The best part of these profiles is that they easily highlight guests’ shared interests. Anything that appears in pink on another person’s profile is a shared interest for the person viewing that profile, making it easy for attendees with similar interests to connect.
  • Discussions: This is yet another Cvent-specific feature that is a great way to boost engagement. These are completely attendee-driven conversations and involve smaller group cohorts on like-minded topics (limited to six people). Plus, you can continue to add rooms if more people are interested in speaking on a specific topic. It’s the perfect way to get people talking and connecting, even through a screen.
  • Q&A and Polling: Don’t underestimate the value of these more commonly seen elements of a virtual event—there’s a reason they are almost always utilized. Allowing people to ask questions during sessions allows them to feel more involved in the content, and utilizing polling is an easy way to get people interacting with your content. Cvent Virtual Attendee Hub also lets you extend the time when these features are available to ensure that engagement tools don’t turn off when a session runs over time.
  • Speed Networking: This is an exciting new Cvent Attendee Hub feature that will be rolling out soon. With this feature, attendees will be able to choose “set me up with someone,” and Cvent will then connect your attendee with another guest who wants to network. This is a great alternative to face-to-face connection that allows people to meet others quickly and effectively.
  • Attendee Hub Game: Gamification is a hugely discussed topic in the events industry, but Cvent has their own version called the Attendee Hub Game. In the game, there are various challenges and activities for attendees to complete throughout the event that you, the planner, set up. Attendees then earn points, which can be exchanged for rewards and prizes. Not only is this an excellent way to promote engagement during the event, but you can also tap into everyone’s competitive side by showing the game’s leaderboard (which updates in real time). Plus, Cvent will be adding group-based and trivia-style challenges for even more engagement boosts! Bonus for planners: you can access individuals’ engagement scores to see who the most engaged attendees were, which is great post-event data to collect.

Cvent CONNECT panel on stage

Utilizing all of these fantastic tips and features for your next virtual event will not only increase engagement among attendees, but it will also make the experience more enjoyable for them. Thank you to everyone who shared their incredible insights at Cvent CONNECT 2021. I can’t wait to attend next year!

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