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When it comes to launching a virtual town hall initiative for your organization, one of the biggest mistakes you could make is to pour all that blood, sweat, tears, and money into a major production… and then never know whether or not it really actually worked for you.

There’s no such thing as ROI from an internal communiqué within your own company, right?

Think again!

Your own employees may not be spending actual dollars to join your virtual events, but they are paying you – in their time, their interactions, and their feedback. All three of those elements build your community and culture, as well as give you actionable information about how successful your event was in communicating with your audience.

The key is the same step as with most business initiatives: you need to measure as much engagement data as you can get your hands on. So how can you tell whether your employees are engaged or not?

1. Well… Ask Them (Send Out Surveys).

The best time to catch your team’s attention and get a willing answer from them is directly after your virtual town hall meetings, when they’re already online and geared up to participate (or at least, willing to hit just a few more buttons before they sign off). This way you can not only aim for a higher survey participation rate, but you can also align the surveys with each livestream event to gauge interest, or morale, according to the specific issues your company may have brought up during that meeting.

2. Take Attendance (Monitor Your Participation Rates).

There are plenty of livestream platforms that will count the number of viewers or participants to your virtual town halls in real time. It’s easy to not only compare the total number of invitees to the total number of attendees, but in some cases you can see trends over time. You might notice…

  • An increase or decrease of attendance between multiple events
  • An increase of log-ons for certain topics or activities (such as major announcements, feature launches, or contests)
  • A drop in viewers after a certain amount of time, regardless of the meeting topic.

And with some specialized platforms, you can even ‘take attendance’ and collect a spreadsheet detailing which specific individuals in your organization actually logged in to watch. You could always incentivize reliable attendance by rewarding some of those most dedicated attendees as a surprise!

3. Add More Buttons (Employ a Platform Offering Additional Engagement Tools).

In addition to attendance rates, it’s also a great practice to employ livestreaming platforms that include additional real-time interaction options for your audience, such as emoji reactions, chatrooms, and Q&A sessions.

4. Read the Room (Respond to the Data).

Even if you collect the analytics from all of the tools above–– the view count, the emoji reactions, the direct surveys–– it’s all for naught unless you act on that data. Once you collect even a small amount of information to begin with, the next step is to benchmark your meetings to uncover areas of improvement to work on. You will gain a better understanding of how your employees want to be communicated to, and what topics or styles of virtual town halls are the most appealing or engaging for them.

5. Lather, Rinse, and Repeat (Keep This Up for Multiple Livestreams!)

If you couldn’t already tell, the best way to both monitor data and achieve measurable improvements is to do so over the course of multiple virtual events–– not just one or two. The more information you have to act on, the more tweaks you can test; and then measure whether or not those changes were successful, which will ultimately lead to progress over time.

One of the greatest fears that many companies and departments have is that they’re not seeing a return on their investment–– and with marketing departments, measuring that return can seem challenging at first glance. But at the very least, when it comes to gauging the success of your virtual town halls, collecting this wide variety of engagement data should provide you with all of the information that you need to make each successive event even better than the last one.

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