Guide to Hosting a Virtual Conference
Today, corporations prefer hosting online conferences and meetings. It is an efficient approach to gathering a large audience on a virtual platform. Interestingly, these events eliminate the need to travel to a physical location. Moreover, the advancements in digital technology have brought businesses to connect and network globally. So, are you hoping to host a virtual conference? Or wondering how it works? Let us guide you through the steps of hosting a virtual conference.
WHAT IS A VIRTUAL CONFERENCE?
A virtual conference or summit is an online event that gathers global industry professionals and people. These attendees share similar interests at a virtual events platform. Additionally, the platform helps remote attendees to interact and engage with each other in a safe virtual environment. Indeed, it is the need of the hour in the current pandemic. Hence, people now exceedingly resort to a virtual platform for organizing and executing their digital business events.
Apart from that, a virtual conference formally allows keynote speakers to conduct sessions, meetings, and speeches to inform and educate the industry peers.
ORGANIZE A VIRTUAL CONFERENCE IN A DIGITAL ENVIRONMENT
A virtual environment welcomes a global pool of audiences from remote areas to interact with event hosts. These events not only benefit the economy but have also brought a tremendous shift in corporate culture. Although, the idea got popular in the current pandemic. It helped businesses continue with their dealings by hosting online events. Consequently, it has brought in global audiences and maximum registrations at an online event than hosting them at a physical venue.
Further, a global business event proves significant for both parties. Be it organizers or the event attendees. These events are more than a temporary approach; instead, it is a revolution in business practices. As a result, a digital event offers companies a chance to expand their ties with remote industries.
HOW DOES A VIRTUAL CONFERENCE WORK?
Studies suggest that an online business event is an ultimate chance to present your business culture and identity to a broader audience. So, do not miss out on the opportunity to make your virtual summit a lifetime success. Finally, make your mark in the business world. Let us now consider how a virtual conference works.
IDENTIFY THE GOALS
The first step to hosting a virtual conference is to identify the organizational goals. Following that, you can determine how the meeting will achieve its objectives. Once the plans are determined, work towards the strategies to achieve desired outcomes. Further, decide which audience market will benefit your business. Following a set of goals is the key to the success of your digital event.
PARTNER WITH A VIRTUAL BUSINESS EVENT PLATFORM
If you are planning an online event, you should find a platform that claims to meet your needs:
- Partner with a platform that allows thousands of registrations at a single conference and hosts remote attendees.
- Get technical and customer live event support from the platform for the uninterrupted success of your event.
- Make sure the platform offers a virtual environment with the best chances to network and engage with audiences.
You may achieve it through online exhibitions, presentations, talks, and meetings.
DESIGN EVENT LANDING PAGE
An event landing page is the most important aspect of your event to engage your audiences. For instance, you can personalize the landing page showcasing your industry culture, event schedule, session information, exhibitors, and vendors. As a result, your event will be a true picture of your company culture. That is how organizations provide business opportunities to professionals worldwide.
ATTRACT POTENTIAL ATTENDEES
Do you wish to attract target audiences to your online event? To start, form an email list where you can spread the word to prospective attendees. Then, make use of catchy calls to action subjects to grab the attention of prospective leads. Also, you can create pre-event hype by offering incentives, giveaways, and leaderboards to stimulate attendees towards active engagement at the event. These tactics work best to gain maximum registrations and complete attendance at the event. Lastly, organizers can schedule reminder emails to keep attendees interested in the event.
MARKET THE EVENT ONLINE
Pre- and post-event marketing benefits most when hosting a digital conference. If you wish to attract a large number of audiences, promote your upcoming event on social media platforms. That is how you get global industry professionals to register. Also, make use of email marketing strategy to inform and update target audiences about the virtual conference. Consequently, this helps organizers get maximum registrations for their event.
WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF RUNNING A VIRTUAL CONFERENCE?
Hosting a virtual conference comes with a set of pros and cons. When moving to a digital platform, there are specific differences from in-person events. Therefore, it comes with a different set of rules.
Let us check the pros of hosting a digital conference:
A noticeable difference in holding a virtual conference is that it is cost-effective. In comparison, physical events planning may incur hostel, travel, accommodation, and food expenses. But, with a digital conference, businesses can skip these extra expenses. They can easily host their remote attendees just with a registration fee.
Physical conferences prove challenging for businesses. It may be helpful and fun for the attendees but not always convenient. As with an in-person conference, attendees have to travel to a physical location from different parts of the world. Moreover, they are to face accommodation, traveling, and conference charges for a single event. Also, managing things from the hotel room could be a real challenge. In case of any mishaps, one may miss out on attending the conference.
But with an online conference, attendees can join the digital event from the comfort of their homes. Their only requirement is a laptop device and a fast internet connection.
The hosts smartly record digital conferences. Then, this gives attendees a plus to access the recording and catch up on the sessions or activities missed at the online conference.
It might not be possible for audiences to attend webinars and seminars at the same time. Therefore, attendees can schedule the sessions at their convenience or join a seminar at their availability.
Now, let us consider the cons of hosting a virtual conference:
REQUIRES DEDICATION OF ATTENDEES
In-person events demand discipline in the attendee’s attitude towards the event. They register for the event, show up at the venue, and attend the conference. However, a digital event lacks the convincing power for them to register and join the virtual conference.
LIMITED FACE-TO-FACE NETWORKING
Some people prefer sticking to the traditional methods of dealings. When faced with a video conferencing feature, some attendees find a lack of interpersonal communication. However, virtual platforms are devoted to improving video conferencing with interactive and engaging features.
HASSLE WITH INTERNET CONNECTION
Attending online conferences requires a stable internet connection and a device. Remote users may have signal and internet issues when attempting to connect. Accordingly, this may impact the success of the digital business event. However, in the worst-case scenario, speakers or panelists may face a similar unstable internet connection situation.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A VIRTUAL CONFERENCE PLATFORM?
Online conferences have been in discussion for a while. But, people have not yet experienced a virtual environment. It is only now that people realize virtual conference platforms are more powerful than traditional in-person conferences. Here’s a guide on what to look for in a virtual conference platform:
To begin, always look for a platform that is easily set up and managed. Then, use an automated platform to save time at your event. This approach helps organizations for hosting a virtual conference in a short period. Accordingly, to inquire about automated virtual events platforms, you can ask the following questions.
- Do you offer a tour of your backend?
- How much time does it take for your platform to represent the changes on the front end?
- Does your platform allow exhibitors and event organizers to make changes, or does your team manage the automation?
RECORDING AND LIVE BROADCASTING
A virtual conference is defined by its features, including; Q&As, polls, trade shows, live chats, and surveys. Therefore, the keynote speakers’ presentations and slideshows demonstrate the credibility of the platform.
Pre-recorded content, on the other hand, can help manage time at events. Also, some webinars offer recorded sessions that are easily accessible to the participants at all times. Although, not all platforms grant these valuable alternatives.
Wish to host a global audience? Then, social promotion is an integral part of hosting a virtual conference. Your conference should target a worldwide audience and score maximum registrations. You can plan the meeting with your team members and use SEO tools like titles, tags, and keywords. Also, your teams can use social media platforms Twitter, Instagram, Facebook to promote the webinars or lectures to audiences at far ends of the world.
Likewise, it allows attendees to interact and converse on social media platforms resulting in formal promotions. Moreover, attendees can comment, share screenshots, or react to the social media posts at promotional posts. You move as smartly as your audiences. Therefore, partner with a platform that allows collaboration with social media or supports the promotions of events.
Do you wish to make the event memorable? Nowadays, organizers arrange for sponsors for their events. Digital conferences platform allows sponsorships that promote your event to the masses and act as collaborators. Recently, the pandemic has made businesses shift to online events platforms to host global audiences. Likewise, the sponsors adapt to the online events and offer varied deals or ideas.
Consequently, the engagement at your digital event works in your favor. Therefore, sponsors help you with giveaways or virtual parties to attract more leads. For instance, inviting keynote speakers or arranging influential person’s talks adds value to your global digital conference. Lastly, look for a platform allowing sponsorships and deals with brands.
TECHNICAL AND CUSTOMER SUPPORT
Virtual events demand constant internet connection and uninterrupted streaming. So, internet connection problems may arise with sign-in difficulties or overall disruption of the digital conference. Therefore, early troubleshooting has to be a priority when hosting a virtual conference. Once the event organizers are acquainted with the technicalities of the platform, it gets easier to manage the online seminar. If you plan on joining the events platform on a long-term basis, then take event tutorials that let you move through the events. Also, learn to use the tools to sift through the platform.
The second step is to compare video conferencing sites and choose one that offers 24/7 customer support. Finally, you need a platform providing valuable customer service to your audiences, such as email addresses and phone numbers.
REAL-TIME ANALYTICS REPORT AND INSIGHTS
Virtual conferences differ from traditional conferences in many ways. Like, the conference organizers can meet all participants online and evaluate attendee interaction with the conference.
You should always ask an online events platform if it provides real-time analytics reports. Likewise, you have to discuss data-sharing before signing a deal since not every platform shares data. After receiving event insights, you can highlight valuable features and discard the least engaging content in the future. Therefore, meeting an event report provider beforehand is advised to choose the right platform for you.
FEEDBACK AND PROGRESS
Another essential feature to be considered is an analysis of growth and feedback. When organizing engaging virtual conferences, organizers get acquainted with the virtual environment. Therefore, anticipate the functionality of your event. Also, tracking issues will make it easier to navigate through the platform.
Additionally, the event allows you to set up surveys for the audience. That is an easy way to gauge the expectations of your audience and make changes to events accordingly. For example, you can schedule meetings as per the poll results suggested by the audiences.
VIRTUAL CONFERENCE PLATFORM KEY FEATURES
A virtual conference platform should offer personalization with interactive features. You can partner with a platform that allows a wholesome experience for you and your audiences. Also, create a virtual environment enabling networking options with interactive tools and engaging content. For instance, organize seminars, webinars, speaking sessions for the attendees to engage easily.
When hosting a digital conference, plan keynote speaker sessions. That is how you convey information and educate the audience about your company culture. Rely on a platform that offers the following personalization tools.
PERSONALIZED WEBINAR AUDITORIUMS
An immersive virtual space is required to upgrade from a virtual meeting to a conference. An online event should give attendees an impression as they are present at a physical event venue. Moreover, events platforms offer similar features of entering a building and then the auditorium to attend the conference. Therefore, organizations should look for a platform that features 3D-designed personalized webinar auditoriums.
A virtual conference is incomplete without a webinar. However, the best digital conference platform offers an integrated virtual environment with immersive webinar auditoriums to educate and engage attendees. These are highly interactive and easy to set up. In short, the platform lets you brand the event space, be it webinars or seminars. Moreover, you can customize it to add a real touch so that attendees can relate easily.
Next, top virtual conference platforms offer enhanced webinar features. However, the most efficient platform allows attendees to interact with speakers and open queries in real-time. Live Q&As stimulate physical conference interactions. When attendees contribute to discussions and invest in the event content, they can exchange great ideas.
Another important live event feature is polling in webinars. Attendees can share views on how they take a particular topic. Following this shall provide an insight into how engaging the event would be. Similarly, this is also a great way for post-event analysis. As a result, the organizers receive reports on engagement levels and the audience’s attitude as they interact throughout the event. Furthermore, polls provide speakers with topics to discuss.
For the event to be successful, speakers and attendees should be able to interact with each other. Many people register for the event in the hope of making new connections with industry professionals and peers. Therefore, a virtual conference should allow fast networking. A networking lounge will enable attendees to interact via 1:1 chat or group chat features or through audio/video meetings. Also, a meeting scheduler tool is made available. Moreover, custom exhibit booths installed at the event act as an informative guide to easily navigate through the platform.
The best way to interact with your clients is through video conferencing. Therefore, look for a platform that offers audio/video conferencing and webinar options. An integrated virtual events platform also allows you to set up interactive exhibit booths, lobbies, auditoriums, and theaters to offer an immersive experience to the audiences. Moreover, keynote sessions can efficiently engage potential attendees to the organization. In short, a personalized virtual event experience leaves a lasting impression on your audience.
HOW BENEFICIAL IS A VIRTUAL CONFERENCE?
There are several benefits to hosting a virtual conference or online meeting. A global business event allows organizations to host remote audiences and gain maximum leads. Let’s consider some of the advantages of digital platforms.
A virtual conference attracts global leads for your business. It helps you interact with new people from far ends of the world and share their business ideas. Moreover, international sponsors and exhibitors are attracted to the event marking it a great success.
Online business events also help you achieve seamless networking through 1:1 or group chats. In addition, hosts can effectively engage with audiences through audio/video conferencing. Likewise, a meetings scheduler is another primary feature of virtual networking which benefits industry professionals to set up business meetings.
Virtual events are quicker and easier to organize with the reduced physical venue, food, accommodation, and travel costs. Additionally, it reduces costs associated with paper waste disposal and other amenities at an event.
An online platform allows scheduling webinars to engage attendees and educate them about your business objectives. Accordingly, the attendees can schedule these webinars at interactive booths located at the event. Experts in the same field easily share ideas through webinars and work together to take businesses to new heights.
REPORTS AND INSIGHTS
Virtual events allow tracking event progress through event attendance, booth attendance, and overall event engagement. Likewise, you can keep track of event insights with real-time reports helping increase ROIs. By incorporating best practices from the previous event into the next, you can achieve more significant results.
Though the concept of hosting global attendees seems challenging, yet it is now the choice of businesses worldwide. Therefore, a suitable events platform will offer an immersive virtual environment for hosting a Virtual Conference. Thus, our Lansera Virtual Events Platform brings an opportunity for corporations to host their virtual business events. So, free yourself from the hassles of organizing in-person physical events and resort to an online events platform to gain maximum leads.
Are you interested in learning more about the possibilities that virtual events can create for you and your company?