01 Feb 3 Tips For Successful Virtual Conferences
Virtual Conferences are not just about finding the right online event presenters. Conducting a successful virtual conference involves a great deal of preparation. The new set of rules are slightly different than the traditional face-to-face conferences. Based on our vast experience with online conferences, we have collated a little guide to help you.
Virtual conferences are different than the simple online meetings. Even though they are hosted online, they often tend to have a multi-day format with the inclusion of keynotes, educational sessions, training and certification, sales product demos, panel discussions, solution sessions, industry trends/thought leadership, product training/adoption, live entertainment and more.
The purpose of virtual conferences could be varied; from lead and demand generation to relationship building, from brand awareness to adoption and retention. In today’s socially distanced world, an online conference could be a great alternative to an in-person conference. In fact, according to Gartner, by 2025, almost 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels.
Practice, practice, practice
Even though a lot of people may be familiar with online meetings, virtual conferences may still be new to so many stakeholders. So, plan to practice at least as much as you would for a place-based conference. Don’t assume that all the speakers are familiar with your particular tools and technology. You must provide technology training for speakers to make sure they are well-prepared. Make sure staff are fully informed on how to deal with customer service issues, facilitate sessions, monitor Q&A, and so on.
Keep sessions short and build in sufficient breaks
The brain can only absorb what the butt can endure. Shorter is often better for sessions. As a guide, ensure that the sessions are not any longer than two hours. In addition consider shorter sessions with varied content.
And don’t forget to build in breaks—the audience will appreciate a sufficiently long break to check email, voicemail and to address other needs (such as dealing with home-schooling), and you can also use breaks to take attendees to sponsors’ and vendors’ virtual displays.
Treat attendees as collaborators
Attendees can be valuable collaborators for marketing the event. More importantly they also can (and should) be valuable contributors to the learning experience as well. For example, featuring attendees in the session content is likely to improve connecting with the audience with tangible real-life examples.
A virtual conference allows organizations to reach a broad audience. Studies show that virtual conferences often result in 8x the number of registrations as traditional in-person conferences.
If you don’t currently offer any sort of conference, launching a virtual conference could be an inventive way to attract new customers. It will expand your portfolio of offerings, and generate new revenue.
If you are looking for an online event presenter, or need help organizing your online conferences, please call us on +44(0)1895 827800.