The incidents of the past few years have drastically changed the way we conduct events. The world is moving from physical to virtual giving rise to multiple virtual event platforms. Learning about the best practices to organize a virtual conference has become more important than ever. If you are looking for some virtual conference ideas, this article will provide you with some virtual conference engagement ideas and best practices.
Virtual Conference Best Practices
Given below are some of the virtual conference best practices that you should follow while planning your next virtual conference.
1. Know the Purpose of Your Conference
The first step towards organizing a successful virtual conference is to know the purpose of conducting it. Select a topic or theme for your conference and identify your goals. It should be clear if you want to generate more leads, multiply profits, or reach a wider audience.
2. Allocate a Budget
The next step is to determine the tasks that need to be performed and allocate a budget accordingly. Although it is not possible to get the budget estimate accurate, it will help you arrange for the funds well before the conference. Keeping all the financial resources ready can make it easier to organize a virtual conference and save a lot of time.
3. Set a Timeline
Set a timeline for the completion of every task. This will help you keep track of the tasks, be on time and prioritize tasks based on urgency. Make sure you share this timeline chart with your team and keep them informed throughout the event. Make sure you keep the timelines realistic.
4. Choose a Virtual Conference Platform in Dubai
Engagement and interaction are crucial to any conference, and it becomes even more critical in the case of virtual conferences. There are various virtual meeting platforms and live streaming service providers in UAE that can help you with your virtual conference. You can look for features like live chat, dynamic lobby, custom environment, live Q&A sessions, customized games, and leaderboard in the virtual event platform. Explore the virtual event technology providers and select the best one based on your requirements.
5. Get Your Marketing Strategy Right
While planning is essential, promoting your virtual conference is the key to its success. Develop a foolproof marketing strategy to promote your conference. Ask your sponsors and your guest speakers to spread the word among their social circle. You can also refer to some past examples of virtual conferences to understand what worked well for them and what mistakes you should avoid while developing your virtual conference marketing and promotion strategy.
6. Find Influential Guest Speakers
Select the guest speakers and sponsors for your event. Selecting the right speakers and sponsors for your event could be the deciding factor for the success of your conference. Look for influential speakers who are famous among your target audience and get them on board. You can also ask the speakers to spread the word and reach out to their fan base. You can use the speaker’s names to promote your event and get more registrants.
7. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Social Media
Social media is home to almost every person you would like to target. What could be a better place than this to promote your event? Create dedicated social media pages on all the popular social media platforms and post content regularly. Make sure your content provides your audience with a sneak peek into the conference. Optimize your website landing page with clear and relevant information about the conference like time, theme, list of speakers, and the agenda. You can also create event-specific hashtags and post all your content under that hashtag to get it trending.
8. Keep the Sessions Short
Engagement levels tend to be lower in virtual conferences than in in-person conferences. The thought of sitting for long hours in front of their laptops and computers at a stretch can get the attendees disinterested. To avoid this situation, divide your conference into small sessions of 15-20 minutes each. This will help attract the attendees before the event and also keep the attendees engaged during the event. You can also use this opportunity to conduct polls, live Q&A, and other interactive activities.
9. Keep the Technical Team Ready for Sudden Glitches
Technical glitches are a common occurrence in conferences and meetings. Don’t forget that the patience levels of the online audiences are lower, and any technical glitch could make you lose a lot of your attendees in between the event. Keep a team of technical experts ready for support in case of any unforeseen situation. This doesn’t guarantee that there will be no glitch but helps ensure that glitches get fixed quickly.
10. Make the Conference Interactive and Engaging
When held virtually, conferences can get boring and make your audience lose interest. Make sure your virtual conference is engaging and interactive. Choose a virtual event platform that provides features like live chat, audio/video calls, emoticons, dynamic lobby, leaderboard, gamification, and popularity scores. You can engage in Q&A sessions and let your audience interact with the speakers to establish 2-way communication. You can also use the social wall to increase engagement.
11. Gather Attendee Feedback
Another classic virtual conference engagement idea is to make your attendees valued by asking for feedback. Ask them for suggestions for improvement and implement the changes in your future conferences. Keep following up with the attendees post the event. Send them to thank you emails, product updates, conduct post-event surveys and other updates about your future events. You can also use social media to gather attendee feedback. This will help you improve your future conferences.
12. Perform Data Analytics
Data analytics plays a crucial role in measuring the success of your virtual conference. You can measure metrics like the number of attendees, attendee drop-off rate, and the ratio of registrants to attendees. Data analysis can help you find the most engaging sessions and the most popular speakers. Based on the data analysis, you can make changes in your future conferences.
Now that you are aware of the best practices and ideas for organizing a virtual conference, you can go ahead and plan your next virtual conference successfully.