Got Your Attention? Building Engaging Virtual Events & Trainings

Have you ever witnessed a colleague falling asleep at their computer? I have and that person had keyboard imprints on his face because he was disinterested and bored while trying to complete a mandatory online training for his job. While I certainly poked fun at him, I also sympathized with him. Dry, boring and monotonous virtual presentations and trainings make it difficult to stay fully awake. I remember that it took me extra coffee and chocolate to get through ACQ 101, a basic mandatory training for defense acquisition.

When you’re bombarded with work and competing priorities, few things are worse than being tasked with an additional compliance requirement to attend a virtual training. Not just in the workplace, we’re all overwhelmed with opportunities to participate in virtual events and trainings. The key is finding the events and trainings that engage and enable us to retain information. Even the most fascinating content can get lost if the presentation format is not engaging.

GovLoop recently conducted a survey exploring the virtual event experiences of federal employees and other professionals. Among the questions, we asked were: What makes a virtual event effective and engaging?

The chart below highlights the results of the survey question. The respondents indicated that they find live presentations, downloadable PDFs and links to additional resources/information to be the most effective components of virtual events and trainings.

As agencies continue to face budget constraints, especially in training and conferences, they are increasingly looking to virtual events as a cost-reducing means of carrying out mission tasks. However, virtual events are not a catchall solution. Agencies need to examine how they can most appropriately utilize virtual platforms and how to creatively promote engagement.

Some of the other written responses showed that participants also appreciate:

  • Combination of multiple media tools (incorporating social media, polls, etc.)
  • On-demand access to information and content
  • Knowing the event will be recorded
  • Geographic ability to connect with others
  • Ability to participate at one’s own pace
  • Timing – virtual events/training, e.g. webinars, generally take one hour
  • Presentation and interaction of scenarios

Do you have any others to add?

What keeps you plugged into virtual events and trainings?

Check out other GovLoop survey insights in the latest report or download the PDF:


On a related note, you are cordially invited:

Related Resources:

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