Over the years, the event industry has wisely revised its practices. With most businesses operating online, corporate events are also going virtual. It is because companies now rely on virtual platforms to host annual conferences or meetings rather than hosting mainstream physical gatherings at an expo centre. This was much needed as, post-pandemic, we have witnessed a rise in online gatherings. Like, world organizations are now planning a virtual conference that would put them on the map. This major shift has demeaned distances and greatly benefitted organizations in gathering a global audience. People prefer hosting virtual meetings, workshops, conferences and summits as it promises a beyond-reality experience.
Let us explore how to host a successful virtual conference!
Tips for Planning a Virtual Conference
It is observed that the corporate industry now widely hosts virtual conferences as it promises a global reach and international brand representation. For instance, thousands of people are gathered online, connecting with people residing at far ends of the world. It altogether diminishes the need for travelling to a physical location and allows everyone to join in the virtual gathering through an easy login system.
However, it is important to partner with a platform that is rich in tech, tools, and features. Obviously, you do not want to confuse yourself in the process or plan a disaster conference. For your convenience, we have carefully devised a set of tips to follow when planning a virtual conference.
Create a Personalized Agenda
Whether hosting a conference for the first time or a hundredth time, creating a personalized agenda is the first step.
- What do you wish to accomplish?
- Who is the target audience?
- What is the main purpose of the conference?
- What profits do you aim to achieve with this conference?
These questions arise when planning a virtual conference. So take a pen and pencil and devise a comprehensive conference plan. But remember, your set goals and agenda must be shared with the entire team. It is important that, going forward, everyone is on the same page.
So, pre-plan the conference from activities, segments, speech sessions, and meetings to refreshment breaks. Make sure your virtual conference guides attendees through scheduled programs. Because a well-guided conference agenda helps you head in the right direction with your goals. Also, executing the perfect plan would leave a great impression on the online audience. Also, it helps you track the overall event performance and calculate the ROIs.
Pair up with the Virtual Platform
To ensure the success of your virtual events, it is important to partner with a platform that promises complete tech support. For instance, a platform rich in features from 3D animation to interactive tools is the best choice for your conference. You can take a complete demo of the platform and make sure it commits to your requirements.
Your virtual conference should facilitate attendees, speakers and exhibitors with ample opportunities for live interaction. So, pick a platform that offers text, audio and video conferencing options with live polling, Q&A sessions and more. This overall encourages a sense of networking and collaboration among each other.
If this is your first time hosting a virtual conference, then consider the following features before partnering:
- Customizable 3D environment
- Virtual reception desk
- Animated walkthrough virtual space
- Live chat, calling and conferencing
- Zoom-integrated webinar hosting
- Help desks in lobbies and halls
- 24/7 technical support availability
- Realtime data availability
- Live metrics and tracking system
- Cross-device compatibility
- Profile matching technology
- Live polling and Q/A
- Social media integration
- Branding and marketing
Setting up Speaker Sessions
Live speaker sessions are the heart of your conference. With a virtual platform, your remote keynote speakers easily join and address the audience. Here, the platform facilities you with the option to either go live, host on-demand or present pre-recorded speaker sessions. On top, the platform offers live engagement opportunities within the speaker sessions. It encourages attendee participation and strikes healthy debates.
Spark Live Discussions for Networking
Another important aspect of your virtual conference is live attendee networking and engagement. For that matter, the platform allows you to set up roundtable discussions. Here, the attendees and speakers discuss certain topics and give birth to ideas.
Interestingly, the virtual platform makes the networking experience immersive for the audience. For instance, the moving animated avatars allow attendees to move about and interact with avatars within their space. They may open live chat or discussions with booth representatives, speakers or hosts.
Here’s a list of live engagement features offered by a virtual conference platform:
- Live event notifications and alerts keep attendees informed
- Live surveys, polls, quizzes and Q/A sessions keep attendees engaged
- Gamification works as an icebreaker among online attendees
- Live 1:1 or group chat rooms encourage attendee interaction
- Users can request chats or meetings through the scheduling option
Assign Duties to Moderators
To ensure the success of your virtual conference, you need a moderator who keeps everyone on the same page. Throughout the presentation, the moderators effectively fuel conversations, guide attendees, allow polls, and allow gamification. All in all, they make sure the audience is well-informed and engaged through different segments. So you need someone who is well-learned, smart, well-spoken, confident and ideal to work as a moderator.
But make sure you train the moderator well in advance. For instance, they are responsible for introducing speakers, sharing topics for different segments and moderating Q/A sessions. So, there’s a lot to prepare for. We do not want a blunder during a live event, right?
Incorporate Social Media Channels
Do you wish to attract a global audience to your virtual conference? Your virtual conference can become the talk to the town when you let the word out. But the question here arises as to how you would attract the target audience. Your audience is following you all over social media platforms. This is where you reach them personally and spark their interest in the event. So begin with pre-marketing your event on social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, or Instagram.
Also, another effective way to reach professionals when planning a virtual conference is the integration of social media channels. Your audience can either become a part of the conference through social media comments or join the event easily.
Join Hands with Stakeholders
A great tip to follow when planning a virtual conference is to educate the stakeholders. Virtual events might be the first experience for your staff members, remote teams, partners, industry peers, sponsors or exhibitors. If you do not guide and educate them about the platform, the event might create misunderstandings for them. Thus, to ensure the optimum functionality of the event, you must first help them navigate the entire platform. Then, once they have strong knowledge of the way it works, they must be guided about the event segments and the role they play.
A well-learned team would lead the conference in the right direction and help meet the agenda. Therefore joining hands with the stakeholders is being safe than sorry.
Pre-engage Technical Support
With the right support from the virtual platform, you need not worry about bugs, issues, or technology failures. Fortunately, the technical support team is at your service at all times and fixes any issues that might arise during the event. In fact, a help desk is installed at the event to guide hosts and attendees each step of the way. That is how corporations easily host grand conferences over a virtual platform without worrying about the tech or tools.
Keep Track of Event Progress
How would you determine the success of your conference? Maybe it is the global attendee count or the impressions your event received. When planning a virtual conference, make sure you track the overall attendee behaviour, from attendance to booth activity. You can tell how well your event did by the rate of attendee engagement and interest in the conference. This overall helps track the return on investment and speaks about the success of your event.
Market, Market and Market
Event marketing is the act of promoting your event globally to attract the target audience and convince them to register. With a virtual event, you can market pre and post-event. There are tons of options to market the event, such as:
- Run convincing pre-event email marketing campaigns
- Display the employer brand and company culture to win attendees
- Create a customized event landing page to inform viewers of what awaits
- Use your website to display pop-up event ads
- Use social media platforms to spread the message across the masses
- Put your event on the event listing platforms to attract people internationally
Learn more about how to promote digital events.
Are you an event organizer aiming to host an international conference? With the world going virtual, it is only wise to bring your corporate meetings, workshops and conferences online. By hosting a virtual conference, you welcome a global audience. Your audience is well accommodated, engaged and entertained throughout the event. With a virtual platform at your service, you need not worry about a thing just follow the tips mentioned above.
Virtual Days Platform is the ultimate virtual events platform that facilitates online event hosting for organizations worldwide. Sign up for a demo today and join us to host a memorable virtual conference.