When the pandemic hit us, the need to work remotely increased due to social distancing and safety concerns. It has left many companies to take a quick decision to replace the in-person events with online ones. People who were unaware of how to organize a virtual conference had to cancel their on-site events.
According to the survey conducted by PCMA, 79% of the event organizers have planned their events virtually. With time, hosting a virtual event, award show has become common. Your business needs to move on with the ongoing trend.
In this article, we will focus on how to host a virtual conference just as effectively as an in-person one.
What is a Virtual Conference?
In simple words, a virtual conference is hosted on a virtual ground where anybody can join remotely. The purpose of hosting a virtual conference is to connect with a broader audience, increasing brand awareness, and building relationships with the audience and exhibitors. Live sessions, demonstrations, webinars, and panel discussions are the parts of the virtual conferences.
From planning the marketing strategies to using IT to curating high-quality content, it takes a lot of effort to host a successful virtual conference.
How to host a Virtual Conference?
Step 1: Look for the key features in the virtual conference platform
There are plenty of virtual event platforms in the market. You must choose the one which comprises the following key features to host a virtual conference on a large scale:
Documents sharing options
Customized Registration Page
Pre-recording content and its broadcast
Q & A Session between attendees and speakers.
Networking feature for effective virtual interaction
Social Media Integration
Step 2: Selection of good topics for better engagement
Choose the topics of your conference wisely. The topics included in the session should be interesting to engage the audience. It is ideal to have more than two experts to get deep insights with varied perspectives. You can also choose a topic of your expert area where other people do not hold expertise in it. It will ensure you to be familiar with it and easy for you to explain.
Step 3: Promote the Virtual Conference
After planning certain things, you need to promote your event to reach a broader audience globally. Create an attractive webpage that displays the essential details of the virtual conference. Mention the date, time, name of the speakers, and the topics to be covered in the sessions. Send out the emails to a list of email subscribers. Make a post on your various social media accounts and use a specific hashtag everywhere. Create a post on online forums and discussions to engage with the people belonging to your niche. Before the conference, send a reminder to all those people who have registered for your event. Create Facebook and Whatsapp groups to gather all the attendees in one place and discuss with them about the event. Members can also ask questions in these groups.
Step 4: Leverage engagement features to entice the audience
Making the audience engaged in the virtual conference for a longer duration is difficult. The addition of certain engagement features in the sessions can keep them involved. With the 2-way communication, the audience will not be bored of lectures and presentations. In the middle of sessions, take live polls and surveys where the audience can react to them. Enable the live chat feature to allow the attendees to have virtual interaction with the speakers and other attendees to make them feel connected. End the conference with a Q & A session to let the audience clear their doubts. Allow the attendees to download session resources and educational content.
Introduce the networking table feature that enables the attendees to have peer-to-peer and group communication with other attendees, sponsors, and speakers. Do not forget to take feedback from the attendees to find out about their event experiences.
Step 5: Provide good Customer Support
While attending the event online, attendees may come across many hurdles. Before the conference, you need to explain the schedule of sessions to the attendees. Not every attendee is tech-savvy, so he needs to understand what sessions will take place at what time and how to navigate to access those sessions. The attendee should be able to switch from one session to another if multiple sessions are taking place at the same time. Still, attendees may encounter problems while attending the event. Thus, reliable customer support should be available to provide them immediate solutions.
Step 6: Work with a team of virtual event experts
Hosting a virtual conference with the support of virtual event experts will ensure your event does not miss anything important. A dedicated team of virtual conference experts like Dreamcast can perform the following tasks to make your event successful:
Create customized branding on the event’s web pages
To configure the conference lobby, virtual booths, auditorium with features like tech desk, help desk, selfie booth, etc.
To register the members and create their accounts. Provide their login id and password along with the navigation guide.
To live stream and create pre-recorded content to broadcast on the virtual platform or social media.
To use AI-powered tools actively to create more networking opportunities among the attendees and speakers.
The Coordinate with the event organizers in planning the event flow and executing it as per planning.
To integrate social media accounts with the virtual event platform
Provide data analytics post the event
In this article, we have discussed virtual conferences and how to host them in the best possible way to reach the audience broadly with more engagement.
Go virtual and pace up with the ongoing trend. Achieve your goals by following the above six steps and you are halfway to hosting a great virtual conference. It is possible without the barriers of travel expenses and physical venue setup.