A virtual conference is 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. However, this type of conference has become popular in 2020 due to the global pandemic that affected many business sectors. The work-from-home scenario and global lockdown have made virtual meetings an essential part of most work environments now.
Whether you are setting up a live online course or planning projects with your team of collaborators, in this article, you’ll find the features to look for in a virtual conference.
1. Personalized tools
A crucial feature of virtual meetings is personalization. You may want to use a platform that suits your needs and offers customization. For example, if you’re a travel agency, organizing webinars might be enough. If you are planning a virtual conference with your team, you might want to prepare keynote sessions. Here are some platforms you can explore and see if they match your requirements:
- NetworkTables Virtual
- Google’s Meet
If you’re part of a business that interacts with clients through video, look for the conference sites that offer audio/video chats and webinars.
You can add a lobby, exhibit halls, auditoriums, and theaters to provide a unique experience to attendees. A networking lounge, a keynote session, or a sponsored meeting can also provide an opportunity for the attendees to involve in a much more intense dialogue.
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. 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 frontend?
- Can the exhibitors/organizers make changes on the backend or do they have to involve your team for everything?
3. Live Broadcasting and Recording
It can’t be a virtual conference if it doesn’t let the organizers and participants interact live. Polls, Q&As, live chats, and tradeshows are options your digital platform should provide 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.
4. Social Promotion
A crucial part of virtual conferences is social promotion. You may want your lecture or online auction to reach as many people as possible. Plan the meeting with the help of your team and use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools such as tags, titles, and keywords. You can use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram to promote your workshop or lecture. Attendees can share quotes, screenshots, or can even react to your online performance. For this purpose, try to find a platform that collaborates with social media outlets or supports the promotion of your event on social media.
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. Citing OwlLabs, 58% of businesses had to switch to virtual conferences because of the pandemic. Sponsors have adapted to that, and they offer different deals and ideas.
Engaging your audience is also essential, and sponsors can help you set up a giveaway or a virtual after party. For example, they may include a spokesperson or even a celebrity that can add value to your virtual meeting. Lastly, remember to choose an interactive platform that allows sponsorships and brand deals.
For more information on event sponsorship, talk to our representative here.
6. Troubleshoot and 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, troubleshooting should be a priority if you’re organizing a virtual event. The first step is to get acquainted with digital matters. If you are planning on hosting long-term, educate yourself through tutorials that can help you navigate and use all the tools you have on the platform.
Secondly, try different sites that offer video conference services and pick the one with adequate 24/7 customer support. Thirdly, give your audience useful information such as emails or phone numbers of customer services.
7. Reports and Insights
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 for a virtual conference, do not forget to inquire about the availability of reports. Not every platform shares data which means you have to talk about it before signing a deal. With the help of event insights, you can focus on useful features and eliminate less engaging content from your future conferences. Hence, talk about event reports beforehand and go for the platform that offers insights.
8. Feedback and Growth
The last two features are feedback and growth. As you organize more and more virtual conferences, you’ll get familiar with the environment. In the meantime, you can send useful input to the platform you’re using regarding some less functional options. Reporting any issues will only make it easier for you to navigate the site.
Moreover, you can set up surveys for your very own audience, as well. That way, you can understand what your viewers want to see more or what options they don’t like. For example, you can schedule your meeting based on a poll regarding the date or specific topic. You can survey your sponsors too.
When hosting a virtual conference, make sure that the platform you’re using has plenty of accessibility features and 24/7 customer support. Moreso, practice effective networking and engage with sponsors and attendees through social media. Finally, strive to better your presentation and your troubleshooting.
About the Author:
Michael Gorman is a talented essay writer and proofreader from the U.K. who works at a college paper reviews company. He loves writing blog posts about human development and philosophy. In his spare time, Michael loves to spend time in nature with his two Labradors, Ricko and Dexter.