Hosting virtual conferences offer organizers a digital live event that allows participants to interact with each other in a visually rich environment. Virtual meetings are especially useful when a business has a global presence and employees are situated in different geographies. The attendee experience depends on the platform you choose to host the conference and the functionalities it offers. However, make sure to choose a platform that offers a set of powerful features in a virtual conference.
Top Features in a Virtual Conference
1. Immersive Custom Designs
You can improve the experience of your audience with custom 2D and 3D designs in virtual conferences. Your virtual event will be converted into an environment that resembles your desired physical location. You will be able to choose from a number of templates or create a custom venue for your attendees to explore.
Look for virtual conference platforms that offer immersive designs with brand-studded banners to advertise. It will help you attract more sponsorships by offering them prominent positions within the virtual conference lobbies, halls, and booths. It will not only help you improve the user experience but also secure money from the sponsors.
2. Interactive Webinars
Make sure that your platform offers webinars that allow you to host live, semi-live, and pre-recorded sessions. These pre-recorded presentations can also be broadcasted to multiple social media channels for a wider audience.
Top event management platforms offer some cool features in a virtual conference, such as greenrooms and screen-sharing, make the presentation process a lot smoother for the speakers. The embedded webinars allow multiple speakers to share the stage and easily transfer stage control.
Webinar engagement features such as moderated Q&As, polls, quizzes, and live group and private chat are a must to make your virtual conference a hit. Another important aspect is the accessibility via live transcription and sign language interpretations of the webinar sessions. Sponsors can also purchase fully branded webinar sessions or host sponsored breakout sessions within the event.
It can’t be a virtual conference if it doesn’t let the organizers and participants interact live. Key features in a virtual conference include polls, Q&As, live chats, and tradeshows. Your digital platform should provide these options along with surveys. You may also look for sites that support a multitude of slideshows and presentations from different speakers.
If you want to save time, pre-recorded content is a great option. Also, on specific webinars, recorded lectures are accessible at all times through registration. Unfortunately, not all platforms offer these alternatives.
Choose efficient platforms that are easy to set up and manage. If you want to save time, make sure the site you’re using offers automation. This comes in handy when you want to organize virtual events in a short span of time.
Automatic audience segmentation is one of the useful features in a virtual conference. It allows you to create user categories based on the information collected from their registration forms. This helps you share controlled access to specific event content for attendees in different categories.
Another significant feature is automated content creation using AI tools. You can get targeted marketing content in minutes to promote your event via email marketing and high-quality landing pages.
For other details, you can ask virtual event platforms the following questions to inquire about automation:
- Can I get a tour of your backend?
- How long does it take for your platform to reflect the changes on the front end?
- Can the exhibitors/organizers make changes on the backend or do they have to involve your team?
Such automation features in a virtual conference make the whole process efficient even if you are not a tech geek.
4. Real-Time Networking
Since people meet and greet at an in-person event, virtual conferences should also have strong means of networking. Look for a platform that offers networking and chat features in a virtual conference for the attendees and organizers to interact.
Easy Chat Options
The attendees can avail of the text, audio, and video chat features or join different groups based on their interests. With embedded live chatrooms, everyone can hop in and keep the conversation going. Breakout rooms can also be really helpful for internal company events for team-building activities.
Networking features in a virtual conference also allow people to search for attendees and chat with them. They can filter the search results to look for people with a certain educational or professional background. Along with texts, they can also have 1:1 audio and video calls. The attendees get an option to exchange their contact cards with others to stay connected beyond the event.
The smart matchmaking features in a virtual conference connect people with similar backgrounds and interests. Attendees can fill up a custom form and get matched with each other based on related responses. Such features help users network naturally, save time, and also help exhibitors with lead capturing so make sure to choose a platform that offers matchmaking features in a virtual conference.
With spatial connect, attendees get an interactive virtual space to freely connect with people around. They can move their avatars in different directions and switch rooms. It’s easier to start conversations with people near them. This way your users won’t miss the chance to meet random people which is usually not possible in virtual events.
One of the best features in a virtual conference is the ability to set up roundtable conferences to discuss important topics, build professional relationships, and hold productive conversations. Users can share their ideas and solve problems together. Since you have to rush to get your first-come-based spot in a roundtable, they are even more fun and intriguing for the attendees.
Look for an event management platform that offers a meeting scheduler so hosts and exhibitors can easily request and arrange meetings at a convenient time with the attendees. The meeting scheduler in the exhibit booths also allows the attendees to book appointments with the exhibitors.
5. Engagement and Gamification
It is important to keep your virtual attendees engaged in the event. The best way to do so is by including engaging activities during the event. Virtual event platforms often come equipped with a variety of gamification features in a virtual conference to help you create a fun and exciting experience for attendees. Such features can include leaderboards with award points, virtual scavenger hunts, trivia games, live polling, and quizzes. These features give your attendees a reason to engage.
You can create social media walls on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. This allows hosts to run campaigns using a hashtag. All the posts with the event hashtag are automatically pulled on the social media wall within the event. Attendees can go and check the conversations consolidated on one page and take part in it. You can improve the online experience for your attendees by going for platforms that offer such engaging features in a virtual conference.
6. Event Marketing
A crucial factor for the success of virtual conferences is how you market them. Go for platforms that help you create the right landing page for your virtual event with all the required information. Some platforms such as vFairs also offer AI-powered marketing assistance.
This way you can create high-quality content within minutes. From promotion emails to social media posts, get a head start on event marketing by using AI tools for content creation. You can also create press releases and content for your landing page.
You should also use SEO tools for improved tags, titles, and keywords. You can use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to promote your workshop or lecture. Find a platform that supports social media integrations and provides useful marketing features in a virtual conference.
Sponsors can fund your digital gatherings, making them more credible. They can also promote your work, so you may want to treat them as collaborators. Sponsors have adapted to the new virtual culture and they offer relevant deals and ideas. It is important to understand event sponsorship packages when organizing a virtual conference for an increased ROI.
Engaging your audience is also essential, and sponsors can help you set up a giveaway or invite a spokesperson or even a celebrity that can add value to your virtual meeting.
In virtual events, you can use 3D venues, banners, exhibit halls, and even the mobile app for ad placements. The branding and logos of your sponsors can help increase their brand awareness among your event audience. They can also get exclusive access to reports for lead generation and for tracking performance.
Sponsors can purchase survey polls for attendees to give their feedback. You can embed the sponsor’s logos into interactive gamification such as scavenger hunts and trivia too. The ability to put up marketing videos in virtual spaces is also one of the important features in a virtual conference in terms of sponsorship.
8. Reports and Analytics
One of the features that set a virtual conference apart from a physical conference is reporting. Since everything happens online, a virtual conference allows the organizers to gain valuable information about the attendees and how they interacted with the different features offered in the online conference.
Before selecting a platform, do not forget to inquire about the reporting features in a virtual conference. Not every platform shares data which means you have to talk about it before signing a deal.
You can track logins attendance, and user activity in real-time along with post-event analytics like webinar view to assess event ROI. With the help of event insights, you can focus on useful features and eliminate less engaging content from your future conferences.
9. Customer Support
When we talk about virtual meetings, we also talk about internet connection problems, sign-in difficulties, and other issues that may disrupt the conference. Hence, customer support should be prioritized when organizing a virtual event.
Try different sites that offer video conference features in a virtual conference and pick the one with 24/7 customer support. The best-case scenario is to get a dedicated project manager to deal with any issues you or your attendees might face during the event. Project managers can be helpful in pre-event, live-event, and post-event support.
They can help you onboard, set up insightful landing pages, and assist in setting up the entire virtual event. The support team can also take all the troubleshooting requests and queries from your attendees on the day of the event.
When hosting a virtual conference, make sure that you choose features that will help you in achieving your desired event outcomes and overall enhances the attendee experience. Opt for a virtual conference platform that offers WCAG and VPAT complaint accessibility features to ensure an inclusive event experience. Use effective networking and engagement features to help attendees and exhibitors realize maximum value from the event.
Be sure to leverage AI tools for creating marketing content quickly. There are many ways to monetize your events so go for an event management platform that offers sponsorship opportunities. With a focus on these features in a virtual conference, you are all set for a successful online event.