The key to any successful alumni network is keeping your alumni community engaged.
While this is traditionally done through events, you might want to consider some virtual alumni engagement ideas. Many of your alumni probably already live their lives online and remotely, so they might not be interested in in-person events.
Virtual engagement ideas can help you to bring your alumni together, regardless of where they are based in the world. Best of all, virtual engagement ideas are often a lot easier to set up than in-person events.
To help you get started, here are ten of the best virtual alumni engagement ideas for your network.
1. Alumni Quiz
You can facilitate a quiz online through a chat or a poll. This is easy to set up, and it’s also easy for your alumni to engage with – which makes it one of the best virtual alumni engagement ideas.
A good strategy is to run a nostalgic quiz about your institution. You can ask questions based on old pictures of events, your institution, faculty, and more. Alternatively, you can run quizzes about interesting facts about certain industries, or you can base them on current affairs.
2. Virtual Speaking Event
One of the most popular alumni engagement strategies is a speaking event. It’s possible to take these events and run them in an online format. This makes the event completely accessible to your virtual alumni network.
Try to find an interesting or inspiring speaker who will pull in a crowd. This speaker could be a successful or interesting member of your alumni. Or they could be an established public speaker, a celebrity, an accomplished business person, or anyone else who might entice your community to sign-up.
Ensure to include time for a live question and answer session to get your alumni actively participating. This creates more engagement and enjoyment from the virtual event.
3. Webinar Series
A webinar series is one of the best ongoing virtual alumni engagement ideas. Much like a speaking event, this involves finding guests for each webinar. However, these guests don’t necessarily have to be as “high profile” as your once-off speaking event. These guests can include your alumni, and/or anyone with a particular area of expertise or interest.
You can run these events weekly or monthly to help maintain consistent engagement. They’re easy to manage on a platform like Zoom, where attendees can join and contribute to the conversation virtually.
An effective webinar series should cover a wide range of topics. As long as these topics are valuable to your alumni network, you have a lot of freedom to choose different types of speakers and host different kinds of conversations.
4. Virtual Scavenger Hunt
Everyone loves a scavenger hunt. They’re fun, they require some brain power, and they’re an excellent team-building exercise. When it comes to virtual alumni engagement ideas, scavenger hunts are one of the best ways to bring your alumni together and get them interacting with each other.
There are plenty of virtual scavenger hunt websites out there – many of them free. This makes it easy to organize and run these events. You can even run these events as an ongoing series with a team leaderboard.
While speaking events and webinars are often one-sided, scavenger hunts are more conversational and engaging. This makes them an excellent social experience in a virtual setting.
5. Online Games
If scavenger hunts aren’t appealing to your alumni network, there are many online games that you could use for engagement events. This includes anything from drawing and picture games to Balderdash, general knowledge games, and more.
Games events are a fun way to get your disconnected alumni engaging with each other and with your organization. They require minimal effort to organize, and they can result in a far more active alumni network.
And while your alumni network plays these games, it provides an excellent opportunity for conversation and networking.
6. Mentorship Programs
Facilitating mentorship programs is one of the most valuable alumni engagement strategies. You can invite willing participants from your older and younger alumni networks to act as mentors and mentees.
Older alumni can share their knowledge and experience, which will add a great deal of value to younger alumni.
This can all be done online through virtual meetings. This makes mentorship programs an excellent way to keep your alumni engaged, add value and build a stronger community.
Many fresh graduates and young professionals are interested in joining mentorship programs. By facilitating a mentorship opportunity with your alumni, you can provide an excellent incentive for more people to join and engage with your alumni program.
7. Development Sessions
By introducing professional development sessions, you can run various development events, such as workshops and masterclasses taught by experienced and successful alumni. This will get fresh graduates and young alumni interested and active.
These kinds of development sessions can follow all kinds of themes, as long as they provide actionable takeaways to assist alumni with professional development.
You could run basic how-to short courses to expand on alumni’s knowledge, provide business strategies, and any other kind of development session that makes sense for your alumni.
8. Video Lessons
Virtual alumni engagement ideas don’t all have to be live and in real-time. One great tactic is to create video lessons that you can share with your alumni. Your institution can either create a series of lessons, or you can ask alumni to submit their own video lessons on certain topics.
These videos can be about any topic, as long as they are educational in some way. Giving your alumni exclusive access to these lessons is a great way to gain more engagement and inspire more people to join your alumni program.
9. Virtual Lunches
Virtual gatherings like breakfast or lunch should have some kind of purpose so that they’re not just a group of people eating at their screens. You could organize a workshop, a presentation, or an industry-specific networking event. Whatever the case, adding lunch to the occasion can be an excellent ice breaker.
10. Photo Contests
A fun way to engage alumni online is to run a regular photo contest. Ask your alumni to submit photos of your institution, their time on campus, special events, or more. You could also run a similar contest, where you ask alumni to caption a photo that you post.
This is a great way to get your alumni feeling nostalgic, and the content that your alumni share could bring about some great conversations and memories with other alumni.
Implementing new and innovative virtual alumni engagement ideas is always a good move in today’s digital world, especially when your community is spread out on a global scale.
Creating virtual events makes engagement more accessible for a greater portion of your alumni. This could help you boost overall engagement in a big way.
Of course, the best strategy is to combine traditional alumni engagement strategies with virtual alumni engagement ideas. This will help you offer a more comprehensive alumni engagement strategy that appeals to everyone.
Why not find out how Aluminati can help grow your online networks?