How Long Should a Virtual Event Be?

Virtual events are a double edged sword, everything is possible and everything is possible. So how do you develop the agenda for a virtual event, when you have limitless opportunities to craft sessions and a program that theoretically could last all day, all week, or all year? This conversation is one that we have had dozens of times over the past month alone, as we work with clients to virtualize their existing events. While it might seem tempting to spread a conference out over several days, or weeks, there are a few tips and tricks that we come to learn when designing a virtual program.

Sessions
The average attention span and a life conference, is approximately 45 minutes. We have found the average attention span during a virtual event could be as little as 15 minutes. Ensure your content is engaging with polls and Q&A, but also know that any session with multiple panelists that run for an hour or so, will struggle to retain the attention of your audience.

Duration
There is a lot of competition for eyeballs with a virtual event and your programming needs to reflect this. It might sound easy to spread an event over multiple days, or even weeks, thinking that this more fluid schedule will allow people the chance to attend more easily. In our experience the opposite is true! Every day, the competition for headspace is intense, and the more opportunities you give that competition, the more likely you are to lose the battle. Work, life and Zoom fatigue are real factors, so if you can consolidate your programming and then make sure it’s available on demand, you might surprise yourself with the level of engagement and retention your event will receive.

Format
Interactive roundtables are still the most ideal format to ensure audience participation, but how big – or small should they be? Our experience says that an ideal group should be somewhere between 15-20 attendees – anything less and you might not have enough participation, especially if the audience is shy, and anything more, it might get too large to control.

No one knows how long the world of virtual events will remain our default way of interacting and learning, but even when we return to live and hybrid events, these tips and tricks will remain beneficial.

If you’re struggling with resources or expertise to virtualize your next event, let us know as Momentum might be able to help. vCaaS™, virtual Conference as a Service, leverages our best in class technology platform, an assortment of virtual event provider relationships, and the meticulous nature of our event planning mindset to create a customized virtual event and social interaction platform that can seamlessly deliver content to an audience of your choosing.

Should you choose to work with us, you can rest easy knowing that you’re in the same, caring hands countless other organizations have trusted with their events including EY, Akin Gump, Mintz Levin, Lionheart Capital, Steptoe, Dinsmore, The Wharton School of Business and IBM – among others.

Whether it is a firm retreat, recruitment effort or client event, Momentum can virtualize your program and deliver a seamlessly executed program that removes any delivery risks and enhances the digital experience, all for the fraction of the cost of a traditional venue and without any subscriptions or long-term commitments.

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