Virtual Events


Avoiding Virtual Event Fatigue: Strategies to Boost Engagement


Ashley Levesque


Virtual event fatigue is about more than people feeling bored, distracted, and overstimulated after staring at their screens for too long. It’s a major challenge for marketers looking to get the word out about their products and build lasting relationships with leads.

After all, the last thing marketing teams want is for event participants to sigh and think *not another webinar* when signing into their digital event.

That’s why we’ve dedicated this article to showing you why virtual event fatigue happens — and what you can do to fight it. We’ll give you six innovative strategies that not only make your digital event more interesting and engaging, but also result in higher conversions and produce a more significant ROI in the long run.

Digital Event Fatigue: A Major Challenge for Marketers

Picture this: You’ve been jumping in and out of check-ins, team meetings, and client calls all day. You love interacting with your colleagues and using tech for work, but feel like you just can’t look at another screen. You might feel distracted, tired, bored, overwhelmed, or even burned out. Sound familiar? Most modern professionals know this feeling of digital event fatigue all too well.

The more we rely on online communication tools, the higher the risk of virtual event fatigue becomes — especially if webinars and digital sessions aren’t designed to engage and captivate attendees. 

Digital event fatigue is one of the biggest challenges in running virtual events. It can deeply impact the KPIs (key performance indicators) and objectives marketers set for their virtual events and the effectiveness of their event programming. 

For example:

  • Attendance metrics might suffer as people don’t want to commit to yet another online event
  • Engagement metrics can decline if participants are more distracted and less receptive to content due to an overload of digital interactions
  • Conversion metrics may go down as people are less focused on promotional efforts

6 Strategies to Beat Virtual Event Fatigue

While there’s no magical solution that can banish virtual event fatigue once and for all, there are several killer tactics you can use to proactively capture your attendees’ attention and make your virtual event planning more effective. Here are six of our favorites.

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1. Design Events that Resonate with Your Audience

We’ve all got priorities in life. Someone who only has the capacity or motivation to attend, say, one digital event per week, will generally choose the one that’s most relevant or useful to them. It’s as simple as that.

Let’s imagine a marketing manager who works for a quickly scaling B2B SaaS startup. Their biggest objective for the quarter is learning more about analytics to maximize their upcoming marketing campaigns’ ROI. If they had to choose between attending a webinar on data-driven marketing analytics and a virtual conference on innovative content marketing tactics, it’s obvious which event they’d choose.

Being strategic and targeting your audience’s real needs and pain points is the best way to get butts in (virtual) seats. A virtual events tool like Banzai’s Reach can also help you increase registrations and foster meaningful engagement. How? By connecting you with quality leads from your ideal target audience.

Want better results for your virtual events? Use a tool like Banzai’s  to get in touch with participants who perfectly align with your target.

2. Choose the Right Virtual Event Platform

Not all virtual event platforms are created equal. When considering the best option for your event planning needs, it’s important to prioritize a platform that includes strong engagement features and analytics and is capable of running fun virtual event activities.

Banzai’s digital event platform, Demio, was designed to do just that, helping marketers create engaging virtual experiences and get clear, actionable analytics. That means developing online events that are meaningful for your participants and let you pinpoint promising leads to drive more conversions and sales.

Demio’s powerful analytics don’t only tell you how many people attended your event. They give you granular insights about how long they attended for, how focused they were, and how much they interacted with polls, the chat, and featured actions like CTAs during the session.

Modern digital event platforms like Demio let you dig deep into attendance data and understand how engaged people were with your event.

3. Get Interactive

One of the main reasons people suffer from virtual event fatigue is that it’s hard to replicate the experience individuals have interacting with each other in-person online. Luckily, the latest virtual event tools prioritize audience engagement features that make participants feel connected, motivated, and like they’re actually in a room together. 

Here are just a few examples of innovative virtual event ideas that prompt people to interact:

  • Q&A sessions: You don’t want your virtual event experience to feel like a one-way conversation. Modern virtual event platforms like Demio let participants chat in real time and allow hosts and moderators to tag specific questions for a dedicated Q&A period at the end.

A screenshot of the polling feature within Demio's virtual event platform.
Modern virtual event platforms like Demio make it easy to engage with participants with features for chats, polls, and downloadable goodies like handouts.

  • Polls: Keep participants interested, ask for feedback, and get a read on respondents’ opinions by asking questions throughout your digital event.
  • Change the dynamic: Digital events don’t have to follow the traditional format of one or two presenters speaking to a large group. Invite participants up to the “stage” to switch things up and ensure different voices and perspectives get heard.

4. Be Aware of Scheduling 

Scheduling can have a significant impact on digital event fatigue. For example, running an online event late in the evening might mean your participants are tired and maxed out in terms of screen time. Organizing a webinar during everyone’s lunch break hour could mean cutting into the only time your attendees have to disconnect from their online communication tools and reset.

Make an effort to schedule virtual events at an optimal time of day for as many attendees as possible. Morning weekdays or the late afternoon before people’s brains start to shut off in the evening.

A screenshot of a Demio virtual event interface showing an AI moderator in action.
Demio’s innovative AI moderators mean that event attendees can engage and ask questions — even when the host isn’t in the event.

Another option is running on-demand events, so people can attend whenever it suits them best. And if you use a platform like Demio, you won’t have to worry about people not being able to discuss or ask questions — hosts can set up AI chat moderators for that.

5. Send Out Pre- and Post-Event Resources

Beating virtual event fatigue isn’t only about what you do during the event — it also extends to your actions before and after.

Providing attendees with pre-event resources, like agendas, presentation slides, and other preparatory materials helps boost engagement from the start. That’s because it gives people the freedom to review what the event will be about when they have time in their busy schedules. As a result, they’ll better understand the topics at hand and be able to join more calmly and meaningfully.

In addition, be sure to distribute post-event resources like session recordings and extra goodies right afterwards. This gives participants the chance to review the materials and take notes if they aren’t able to fully focus for the duration of the session. Also, it allows those who weren’t able to attend the event to participate after the fact and feel motivated to join other similar events in the future.

A screenshot from Demio showing how users can send session recordings in follow up messages to all registrants, attendees, or no shows.
Demio enables event marketers to send out webinar recordings to everyone who was registered for an event, just attendees, or just no shows.

There are also secondary benefits when planners are intentional about the before and after of their online event. For example, it creates a stronger, longer-term impact, reinforces value, increases brand awareness, and even prompts guests to network.

6. Be Mindful of Clarity and Length

When participants are overloaded with online meetings, calls, and other work responsibilities, incorporating a few key best practices can make your digital event experience easier to process.

  • Length: Pretty much no one will be able to focus on and engage with a virtual event that’s two or three hours long. Try to cap yours at an hour and provide a couple of pauses throughout. If you have more content to get through, consider making your event a series rather than trying to get through everything in one go.
  • Pacing: Avoid the all-too-common trap of taking your time at the beginning of your digital event, only to have to rush to get through everything in the second half. Plan out how much time you’re going to spend on every activity and topic and communicate that schedule to participants before the event begins.
  • Clarity: Make sure the presenters speak slowly and clearly. Ideally, what they say should be supported in another format, for example, with slides or other pre- and post-event materials, to make the information more accessible.

Continuously Improve Your Virtual Events

Virtual event fatigue is a challenge that’s not going away as our personal and professional lives become increasingly digital. 

But it’s absolutely possible to work proactively against digital event fatigue and ensure it has a minimal impact on your marketing objectives and bottom line.

Using best practices to tackle virtual event fatigue results in more engaging online experiences that allow people to connect, communicate, and learn. 

Banzai is passionate about using the power of technology to make marketers’ work more intuitive, data-driven, and impactful. We’ve always got our ears to the ground in terms of virtual event techniques and news — so be sure to keep an eye on our upcoming webinars and blog to stay in the loop.

And if you’re looking for a virtual events tool that’s designed for dynamic marketers who care about impact, data, and results, our product Demio is for you.  It’s ideal if you want to prioritize increasing attendance rates, conversion rates, and ROI — and propel your team toward your revenue goals.

Frequently Asked Questions About Virtual Event Fatigue

Is Digital Event Fatigue a Real Thing? 

Yes, digital event fatigue is a real thing that all too many people experience. The term refers to a sense of exhaustion or even burnout that individuals feel after participating in large quantities of online meetings, webinars, and conferences. It’s more commonplace than ever in the aftermath of the pandemic and because of how much modern workers rely on online communication tools.

Lots of different factors can contribute to virtual fatigue, like:

  • Screen fatigue
  • Lack of in-person interaction
  • Technical issues
  • Back-to-back meetings
  • Multitasking

Using a dynamic, impactful webinar platform like Banzai’s Demio is one way to cut down on digital event fatigue.

What’s the Best Time of Day for a Virtual Event?

The best time of day for a virtual event depends on the circumstances and context. These considerations might help event organizers decide on a good time of day to schedule your virtual event:

  • Your audience: If participants are spread across different time zones, try to choose a time that accommodates the largest number of people possible.
  • Work vs. non-work hours: You should ideally schedule professional events during or shortly before/after standard work hours. 
  • Peak meeting times: Schedule your event outside typical peak meeting times — usually late morning or early afternoon — to increase attendance and engagement.
  • Day of the week: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are best because they avoid the Monday rush and the Friday wind-down.

What are the Challenges of Virtual Events?

Despite their conveniences, virtual events come with their own set of challenges. Here are a few examples of problems event marketers may face when running a virtual event:

  • Technical issues: These include difficulties like a bad internet connection, audio or video glitches, and trouble navigating an unfamiliar platform. 
  • Engagement and interaction: It can be hard to replicate the engagement and interaction that happens in face-to-face events online. Using a platform that has engagement features like real-time chats, polls, and the ability to add guest presenters and moderators can help.
  • Digital fatigue: Participants may feel tired, bored, stressed, and even overwhelmed when they attend too many digital events or spend a lot of time in front of a screen.
  • Scheduling issues: People in different time zones and with varied work schedules might have a hard time attending virtual events if they’re scheduled at inconvenient hours.
  • Access and inclusivity: Individuals have different levels of access to technology and process online event content in various ways.

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