Spotlight 26: Host interactive virtual sessions with Backstage OnAir

Spotlight 26: Host interactive virtual sessions with Backstage OnAir

According to a recent survey by Markletic, two of the biggest challenges organizers face when hosting online events are attendee engagement and interaction. Where in-person events bank on the impact of face-to-face communication to engage attendees, virtual events depend on technology to build that rapport. As such, the more engagement tools available in your event management software, the more captivating your virtual sessions will be.
Backstage OnAir comes with a robust set of interactive tools that can help maximize audience engagement at your virtual sessions. In this post, we'll be exploring how you can make the best use of these tools.

Run live polls

The average human being has an attention span of just eight seconds. Since virtual events come with more distractions than in-person ones, you have to double your effort to keep attendees engaged. This means you need to be in frequent contact with your attendees to bring their attention back to your session. An easy way to do this is through live polling.

When webcasting sessions with Backstage OnAir, you can set the polls in three formats—multiple choice, ratings, or text box (for open-ended questions). These polls can also be created beforehand and projected during the session. To set polls, go to the Sessions tab in the Manage dashboard. Poll results can be viewed at any time in the Session summary page.

Host virtual Q&A sessions

At every session, the last few minutes are always set aside for audience questions. As it's not possible to have mic runners to solicit attendee questions at virtual events, Backstage OnAir comes with a handy Q&A feature that allows attendees to submit their questions. Here, your attendees can ask questions at any time during the session, and they can ask as many questions as they want. They can also see the questions submitted by other attendees and upvote the ones that interest them. 

The presenter can view all the questions by clicking the Question mark icon in the bottom-left corner of the presenter window. They also have the option to display the question to attendees by projecting it when answering so everyone knows what they're talking about. The questions will also be on record in the Session summary page for future reference.

Chat with attendees in real time

The single, most-effective tool to network during remote sessions is through the real-time chat feature. Using group chat, attendees can interact with each other, share ideas, and add to the discussion. With real-time chat, they are no longer silent spectators but instead, involved participants.

When participating in a remote session, organizers, speakers, and attendees can start chatting by clicking the Chat option in the left pane. Attendees can also start a private chat to interact with speakers or panelists.

Leverage the virtual whiteboard

A virtual whiteboard can be an incredible help for presenters who wish to keep attendees focused, especially when explaining complex topics. With Backstage OnAir's virtual whiteboard, presenters can write, draw, insert shapes, and even create flowcharts.

When presenting sessions with Backstage OnAir, you can access the virtual whiteboard from the bottom panel in the presenter window. Click the Whiteboard option to go to the white canvas board, from where you can create your illustrations. Also, a point to note here is that attendees can only view the whiteboard if you share your screen, so make sure to do that.

Get session feedback 

Finally, once the session is complete, you can get feedback from the attendees to gauge their reactions. To enable session feedback, go to Session settings in the Sessions tab. If you'd like to get feedback on something specific regarding the session, customize the session feedback form to include questions regarding it.

By studying the responses in the form, you can measure audience engagement at the session and get a better picture of what worked at the session and what didn't. You can use this feedback to improve engagement at future events.
Learn more about running virtual sessions with Backstage OnAir and give your attendees a fully immersive experience, wherever they may be. Subscribe to our forum to be updated with the latest Backstage news. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can leave a comment below or write to us at
Happy organizing!