Astro, Codey, and Cloudy in Slack suits next to text that says "Using Slack to Engage During Virtual Events."

Using Slack to Ramp Up Engagement During Virtual Events

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Here at Salesforce, we love events! We have World Tour events, Dreamforce, and TrailblazerDX (coming up this month—be sure to register if you haven’t had the chance yet)! We also have internal events, like company kickoff (CKO), all hands, and internal meetings. In today’s work-from-anywhere world, having ways for employees here at Salesforce to engage both online and in-person is a top priority. We use Slack to make sure folks have a place to react and participate in events, no matter where they are.

We recently held our CKO, which colleagues joined both in-person and online from all over the world! In order to engage attendees, the organizers created a plan to help Trailblazers engage with their coworkers and take part in the conversation. Now, we want to share some tips and tricks we learned so that you can use Slack to ramp up engagement during your next event.

Make a plan

Just like with any project, in order to be successful, we had to plan. We used Slack as our primary place of communication. We created one event committee channel for leadership and all of our event planning partners. This is where we posted big-picture questions about the event schedule and things we needed executive guidance or approval on. Those of us responsible for writing posts and moderating on Slack also had a smaller “Slack engagement” channel where we could test posts, gut check questions, and discuss smaller issues. We planned out our strategy and roles, and made sure we prepared the right communication channels in case we needed to escalate anything.

Identify your goals

Do you want to gather feedback? Announce an important piece of news? Recognize team members? Create a fun place for people to have a virtual ‘watch party’? All of the above? It’s important to identify your goals with Slack engagement for your event. That way, you can make sure your posting plan is aligned with your Slack goals as well as your event goals. If you’re managing online engagement, this is when you would connect with event stakeholders to learn about any important news or updates they want to amplify online, or any specific questions they want to ask for feedback.

Write out and test your posts

Once you’ve identified your communication goals and connected with stakeholders, write out all of your planned copy and posts—and be sure to test! We wanted to make sure our posts in Slack were aligned to the content that was being presented, so connecting with the content owners was key. We created a small test channel, but you can also DM posts to yourself to make sure you like the format and emoji. We also reviewed the content and agenda for the event. Pro tip: When creating your copy, write out the emoji name using :awesome: format to make it faster to copy and paste!

Assign roles and duties

We wanted to regularly post engagement questions and also make sure we kept an eye on any questions or issues that came up. So, we assigned roles for people to post, people to connect with our in-room contact, and people to raise questions or issues.

We divided our roles so that we had at least two people who posted questions and comments that everyone could engage with. There were also members on the team who were designated to approve and review changes or post updates as needed. People want to react to something the second they hear it, so making sure we were at the top of our game—and posting right as something was said—was super important.

Make posts fun and easy to engage with

Another tip is to avoid making your posts too heavy or content-rich. Short, fun, open-ended posts help make it easier for folks to engage. Some examples of posts include: “Share what’s resonating with you from this presentation” or “Use a reacji to share your excitement.” These types of posts keep the engagement light, without taking attention away from the content being shared.

Here’s one example of a post we share:

Slack post from LeeAnne Rimel that says "We're 'GIF'erent and we love it! Post a GIF that represents you in the thread."

And another:

Slack post from Ella Marks that says "Geo roll call! We have colleagues joining and connecting with us from all over the world. Add an emoji to show us where in the world you are joining from."

Enhance your events with Slack

Using Slack for engagement during events is a great way to connect in our work-from-anywhere world, gather feedback, and create a successful meeting. If you want to start using Slack to drive virtual engagement during events, here are some recommendations for what to do next:

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