Transiting live physical meetings and conferences to a virtual venue seems like a natural move for organisations around the world. With the change in dynamics caused due to the global pandemic, heavy reliance on virtual meeting platforms has been recorded.
The recent pandemic has pushed enterprises worldwide to leverage virtual event technology to host virtual conferences and meetings effectively. However, it has become imperative for organisations to adopt digital ways of hosting meetings and conferences. The need of an hour demand, to leverage virtual conference platforms to connect with remote workforce and global delegates remotely.
However, launching a virtual conference on a virtual conference platform is a great way to enhance your reach and generate business revenues. A strategically well planned virtual conference results in amplifying leads while improving overall experiences for attendees.
If you want to attract a wide range of attendees at a large scale with your virtual conference, you have come to the right place. In this article, we have talked about the basic steps to host virtual conferences or meetings to get the most out of the event format. Here is a list of steps to host a virtual meeting and conference effortlessly and make it a valuable asset for your business.
Steps to Host Virtual Conference and Meeting:
Hosting a successful virtual conference or meeting requires a tremendous amount of dedication and planning. We have mentioned a step-by-step list below to pull a virtual conference that delivers optimum results with increased audience engagement and business revenues.
#1. Leverage the right technology partner
Out of many options available in the market, leveraging the right virtual conference platform is a must. There are many free virtual conference software available, but going with a paid virtual conference platform is the smartest choice. Free virtual conference software does not comprise a list of extensive features that one needs to upscale the entire event experience. Prioritize a paid virtual conference platform to host your upcoming virtual meeting or conference. It offers you a list of comprehensive features that you need to deliver an immersive experience. Here is a list of features one must look for before finalising a platform to host a virtual conference:
- No audience capping
- Custom environment
- Ability to organise Live polls, surveys, Q&A, etc.
- Live audio/video chat tools
- Automatic notifications
- Engagement features
- Whatsapp and zoom integration
- Secure communications
- Virtual networking tables
- AI matchmaking
- Screen sharing
- File sharing
- Analytics and reporting
- Live Streaming and delivering pre-recorded content
- Access management
- DIY streaming
- Social media integrations
- 24*7 assistance and more.
A platform that offers an extensive list of features helps in delivering life-like experiences to attendees in one go. Leveraging the right virtual conference platform is a key to host a successful virtual conference.
#2. Select the relevant topics and speakers for a virtual conference
Be specific in your selection of topics for a virtual conference to make the most out of it. Focus on the most relevant hot topics that hold the attention of attendees effortlessly instead of covering a wide range of topics. Hosting a virtual conference on topics that holds the interest of only 10% of attendees is not a good idea!
While selecting a speaker for a virtual conference, go with the speaker that holds some expertise in a particular niche. It is suggested to line-up a panel of 3-4 expert speakers rather than going with one for the entire conference. Having multiple speakers will result in having better attendance at the virtual conference. Additionally, a panel of industry experts has their own followings and different subjects to discuss upon. It helps in enhancing the value of your virtual conference while amplifying engagements at the same time.
#3. Make your content strong, engaging, and short
To deliver the value and make your virtual conference impactful, you need to add a strong context to the content. Curate valuable content to engage and deliver immersive experiences to attendees. It’s always a must to keep the length of a conference in mind. An elongated session may result in losing out attendees. Ask your speakers to trim the length of their talks and presentations if they are elongated to keep attendees engaged.
#4. Select the date and time
Once you are all set to host a virtual conference, select the date and time of a conference keeping the time zone considerations in mind. If you are hosting a virtual conference with global attendees, select a date & time that suits the maximum audience. Apart from it, doing a little research before finalising the date is a must. Check out for any national holidays or competitor’s event falling on the same day beforehand. It may result in affecting the attendance at your conference severely.
#5. Market your virtual conference
Promoting your virtual conference is vital. No matter how good your conference is but if your potential target audience is not aware it will not result in anything. People or business associates who have a stake in it are the best promoters to market your upcoming virtual conference. It includes presenters, exhibitors, sponsors, speakers, attendees, and so on. Ask them to use specific images of a conference or hashtags on their social handles such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc. It helps in reaching a wider audience segment and make them aware of the upcoming virtual conference.
#6. Set up the background for your virtual conference
Setting up a virtual conference requires an equal amount of effort and attention same as an in-person conference. Set up your virtual conference background suiting the brand image to closely replicate live events. You can opt from the pre-designed backgrounds offered by the virtual meeting platform. Apart from it, one can even customise your virtual conference background as per your choice with the company’s logo.
#7. Boost engagements during the virtual conference
Attendee engagement plays a significant role in ensuring a successful virtual conference. Interesting, innovative, and informative content is not alone enough to keep attendees engaged throughout.
Organise live polls and surveys during the virtual conference to gain attendee’s insight. It enables attendees to share their opinions same as live physical events. However, it helps in keeping attendees engaged with the event.
Additionally, organising Q&A sessions, quizzes, contests, etc. during the virtual conference is a smart move. It enables attendees to get involved with the ongoing events completely. Allow your attendees to have 1:1 or group chats with other attendees, speakers & exhibitors in real-time via live chats.
However, The feedback received from virtual attendees is comparatively more honest and descriptive than in-person attendees.
#8. Do not forget to follow up
Following up with the registered attendees is one of the crucial steps that is missed by many organisers. Do not forget to follow up with your registered attendees who attended the event and who even missed it. Remember, a missed prospect can be a qualified lead. Send them a follow-up survey via email along with clips of the most interesting sessions from the multi-day conference. Ask them about what they liked at the virtual conference and what not. It helps in measuring the overall success of an online event and know the areas which need improvement for future events.