Now a days Virtual & Hybrid events are working well, but we all know that keeping the attention of the participants is not an easy task, and sometimes attendees fall into the temptation of WhatsApp messages, answering emails and more distractions that we all have experience during this events.

When participants start to connect, it seems that everything is ready, but how to start and avoid distractions?
What should we do to avoid the “automatic pilot of work in front of the screen” to an active assistant to pay attention, involvement and engagement? The moderator or presenter of the event plays an important role and in your toolbox you cannot miss a good collection of energizers to break the ice. Here some inspirational ideas and tips to make it success.

Before we start, we have to be clear what is the goal of the event and what we want to achieve. A good start can be to invite participants to introduce themselves (sometimes this will not be possible due to the amount of attendees though), awaken the group with energy sessions, prepare some activities to work as teams, brainstorming sessions, basically encourage participation if possible.
This will be easier if the participant´s know each other obviously. Avoid activities and topics that might cause controversy and consider the different nationalities-languages of the group.

Maximum 15 minutes of ice breaking

It is not about burning the assistants and leaving them without energy for the session, between about 5 to 15 minutes is enough to activate them and start. It is important to specify the activity, scale it and adapt it to the number of participants, make sure that everyone understands it well and that it is technically possible to avoid delays and that everyone can participate.

Some ideas:

• A mindfullness session to prepare your mind and body for a moment of concentration, reduce group stress, or simply take a break in the middle of your work session.
Who is who: ask to share a photo of when they were children, an object or pet that better defines them, talk about stories (one true and the other false) to create interactions among the group.
Share a picture of their workspace: reading corner, a plant, their pet, etc. we can also take the opportunity to launch a challenge and participation.
Sharing a coffee break-snack that we previously sent to the participants.
Sing together. The song of the moment, soundtrack or follow the rhythm with homemade instruments… everyone can participate making it more fun by following the order of appearance of their screen in the video call.
Find out where I am. A dynamic that serves to present teams in different cities or nationalities. In teams they can give clues by sharing photos, with music to reveal the city they are talking about.
Award for the best wallpaper. Encourage your participants to look for a corner customized with the brand or theme of the session or to personalize it with a virtual background that represents them.
Voting, open question, true or false, riddles, online games or simple dynamics always work to stimulate attention.

These are some ideas that will help us to make a virtual/hybrid event more dynamic and interactive, however this is not always possible due to the program or objective of the event. Therefore a good brainstorming will be really important to create different environments where everyone can participate and avoid the attendees loosing their interest and attention.

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