By the end of 2022, virtual gatherings have gained way more popularity. From hosting conferences online to organizing parties virtually, we have come far in connecting humans globally. Well, there is no point in crying over the demise of physical gatherings when virtual events replicate the complete human interaction experience. For instance, people not only gather online but also very easily share ideas, discuss prospects, close deals and smoothly run business processes. There is no way we can differentiate between the mechanisms of virtual and on-site events. However, the only difference is that the events are happening online. In this text, we will be discussing the ideas for a virtual conference in the year 2023.
Virtual Conference Revised Practices
Stepping into the future, event organizers are looking for wiser choices when hosting business events. Regardless of the type of event being hosted, business professionals adopt useful ideas when gathering industry peers, remote teams, employees and workforce online. Here’s how you can host B2B virtual events. Basically, organizing a virtual conference online is no different from hosting an in-person event. Although it demands revised efforts in careful planning and execution of the ideas. But virtual events bring unique challenges that must be overcome in order to engage and entertain the online audience successfully.
Realizing the competition in the virtual events market, we are here to share the simple and practical ideas you can consider when hosting an online conference. Let’s face it; there is no need to get stuck in old practices that no longer serve your purpose. So follow the tips mentioned below and begin your 2023 journey of virtual meetups.
Why Opt for Virtual Conferences Over Physical Gathering?
Once you start hosting your events virtually, there is no going back! Over the years, event organizers and businesses have hosted groundbreaking virtual events. All it takes is the right platform for you to gather a global audience, put forth ideas, discuss opinions and let professionals engage. With the right execution of ideas, you can put behind the impressions of traditional in-person gatherings.
If you are still confused about why you need to host a virtual conference in 2023, then here’s the deal! A virtual conference in all its glory offers the following benefits:
- No limitation on the number of participants for your conference
- Virtual space accommodates a global attendee base
- Ensure global brand recognition among stakeholders
- Easy hosting process for organizers, hosts, speakers, and exhibitors
- No hassle of renting a physical venue, travelling or accommodation
- Quick invites, ticketing, and registration process for an online audience
- Complete 3D animated environment with flexible customization
- Availability of branded halls, lobbies, webinar rooms, and booths
- Live chat and interaction features to facilitate human networking
- Highly measurable event statistics and analytics
- Above all, you eliminate your carbon footprint
Today, virtual conferencing is considered the most sustainable, environmentally friendly and productive solution for businesses worldwide. Mainly, you save human hours, effort and money that go into attending a large gathering of people. So why not opt for virtual conferences in 2023?
Identify the Best Strategies To Plan Your Conference
First comes the phase of planning your virtual conference. But when you sit down with your team to decide on the type of event you wish to host, a lot of things come into question. From deciding on the audience to content and segments, your virtual conference demands careful planning at each step of the way. However, carving out a plan, discussing the subject and detecting the loopholes beforehand is the best practice.
It is for you to identify the strategies that work for you and your organization when planning the conference. Here’s how you can identify your virtual conference strategy.
Platform: Partner with a virtual event solution provider platform that offers compatible features, tech and tools. Before finalizing the partner, take a complete demo of the platform and explore its features. Make sure the platform is rich in chat and networking tools to facilitate live attendee interaction. Also, the platform must provide 24/7 technical support to push you through the event. Maybe a help desk installed at the live event would guide you and your audience well.
Agenda: To ensure the success of your event, you must plan out a clear agenda. Work on strategies to attract your target audience to the event. First, make sure your time frame matches the attendees’ time so as to secure high-volume registrations. Further, it is important to determine how you would engage the audience, what content is to be presented, what ideas to be shared and who are the guest speakers. Basically, you need to determine why you are hosting the conference, who would benefit from it, and the actual return on investment.
Audience: Your virtual conference automatically expands your target audience. With in-person events, you were to welcome local professionals and stakeholders to the conference. But now, the easy online accessibility of events allows you to gather an audience from any part of the world. Be it speakers or your teammates, attendees easily register online and appear before their screens. However, the best way to attract a large number of people is to run online marketing campaigns. Your audience must be welcomed at the event landing page to be convinced to register for the event.
Branding: Your event landing page is your first encounter with the target audience. This is where you should begin branding your event. For instance, you can use the company logo, slogan, and company culture to express your brand. In the case of a virtual platform, you get to design the animated environment. This means that your event becomes a complete replica of your physical office building. Mainly, the reception, booths, halls, lobbies and webinar rooms depict complete company branding in your virtual conference.
Segments: The scheduled webinar sessions, workshops, roundtable discussions and other activities altogether determine the success of your business conference. After all, it all comes down to how well you lay out the segments and immerse your audience in the discussions. This is to ensure that your event is well scheduled and complied for everyone to equally benefit from.
Speakers: Your conference is primarily dependent on the hype your speakers create. Previously with in-person events, it was not easy to invite keynote speakers from remote locations. It took months to get a slot in their calendars or to convince them to physically appear at the venue. However, with a digital platform integration, speakers readily agree to attend the online conference. They only sign into the platform, join the live webinar or workshops and start presenting before a global audience. Your attendees would not want to miss the keynote speaker sessions, so it is important to send out alerts.
Engagement: Attendee engagement is the most important aspect of your virtual conference. So when looking for ideas for a virtual conference, make sure you put extra effort into attendee networking and engagement. For instance, you can fuel live chat among attendees at the exhibitor booths. Also, you can use engagement tools such as live polling, quizzes, Q&As and more. Moreover, the attendee experience is enhanced through live gamification and fun activities. Take, for instance, you can set up a scavenger hunt, trivia, leaderboards, photobooths, social media walls and more.
Work up the Magic with a Video Conferencing Tool
The most important element of your virtual conference is the video conferencing tool. It is the live chat and video conferencing feature that allows attendees to better engage with each other and communicate ideas. Moreover, attendees can either join the live roundtable discussions or book private meetings with speakers or hosts. Unlike physical events, virtual gatherings fuel participation throughout the event. Attendees only have to appear before the camera and share their opinions on industry trends or simply second the ideas of others.
Nowadays, video conferencing accommodates up to hundreds of live attendees. However, face-to-face human interaction revives the spirit of in-person gatherings. Going virtual, people get to share smiles and connect with others residing at far ends of the world.
Educate the Audience with Webinars and Workshops
In order to create an impressive and unforgettable experience for your online audience, you need to add some value to the conference. Ultimately, your event segments are the key points of engagement for the audience. How you keep the audience engaged will determine the success of your event.
Basically, the virtual conference is a learning opportunity for your employees, remote teams and industry professionals. So to educate your audience, you can host informative webinars and workshops. Webinar rooms allow speakers to use the platform to their advantage. They can use visual content, graphs, and PowerPoint presentations to educate and inform the audience. In addition, multiple engagement tools are used to elicit participation, such as; live polls, Q&A sessions, quizzes and more.
Mingle Likeminded Individuals in Breakout Rooms
Once you have like-minded individuals onboard, segregate these members into groups where they can discuss ideas and matters. Usually, breakout sessions are scheduled to help attendees engage and interact with each other in a private setting. In fact, you can create up to 50 separate breakout rooms where the meeting host gets to chair the session. Basically, the participants can self-select the rooms or move around to other discussion rooms.
Generally, a breakout room is considered a main feature of zoom meetings. It is the most convenient way to segregate attendees. You can also title the rooms for easy accessibility. Moreover, you can assign rooms to participants on the spot. For instance, you can use the email addresses of participants and assign them rooms accordingly.
Fuel Panel Discussions at Virtual Roundtables
When considering ideas for a virtual conference, you can set up roundtables for attendees to discuss industry topics. A roundtable mainly accommodates 5-6 chairpersons, one moderator and one presenter. Together they get to discuss important topics in small group settings. Also, the video chat integration creates an immersive online experience for everyone involved.
Basically, virtual roundtables allow everyone an equal chance to share ideas, raise questions, and clear doubts. This help build professional relationships and drive the business forward. Altogether, virtual roundtables fuel discussions by:
- Moderator pushing attendees to participate
- Interactive segments and live polls
- Incorporating an element of fun
- Building excitement about new projects
Glorify Your Event With Fun Gamification
Your event attendees deserve a break from non-stop discussions and presentations. For that matter, event organizers can engage attendees in fun games and activities. This induces healthy competition among the attendees and allows them to engage in fun conversations. In addition, games are one way to keep attendees engaged to keep them interested in conference activities.
Here’s how you can gamify the event:
- Virtual leaderboards
- Virtual scavenger hunt
- Trivia games
- Fun polling
Also, check out these actionable practices to host virtual conferences
Virtual conferences help your organization connect with global industry professionals. This is your chance to globalize the reach and watch your remote teams mingle with the on-site workforce. Now with a virtual platform, you get to create an engaging and entertaining environment for the audience. So begin designing the virtual environment for your next conference and easily set up live webinars, roundtable discussions and keynote speeches. We hope that the above-mentioned ideas for virtual conference will help you take a step in the right direction.
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