We all want people to be fully engaged in every moment of a live meeting or conference, but what can we reasonably expect of people going to a virtual event? That's the question Steve Gogolak tackles in this post on A Wider Net. I was surprised to learn that, generally speaking, people hang out at a virtual event for two to three hours. He doesn't say if they're checking e-mail at the same time or are sticking just to the virtual event site, but either way, that's a lot longer than I would have guessed.
More important, though, is the idea that virtual event organizers really stop to think about what they want people to get from the event, and how long they will need to linger there to get it. I believe a lot of us still, in our minds at least, equate online events with face-to-face meetings and set our expectations accordingly. But the level of engagement is different, the experience is different, and the interactions are different -- and so should be our expectations.