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During a virtual conference, 86 percent of participants report as high or higher levels of engagement compared to face-to-face meetings.
Virtual conferences give you the chance to influence, educate, and engage your audience. At the same time, you can forge important business relationships and exhibit your expertise.
Keep growing your business during the quarantine! Keep reading to learn how to host a successful virtual conference with these 12 expert tips.
1. Make the Purpose Clear
The global events industry stands at $1.5 trillion dollars. With the COVID-19 epidemic, however, more people are moving their events online.
You shouldn’t schedule a virtual conference for the sake of remaining relevant to your target audience. Instead, you need a clear purpose for your conference.
What are you providing your target audience? How do they benefit from registering for your online conference? Make that purpose clear.
When marketing your online conference, make sure your target audience understands what you have to offer. Are you discussing an issue that’s relevant to your industry or providing customers with helpful information?
The more specific your purpose, the more likely you’ll attract the right niche audience. Finding your target audience will make it easier for you to generate conversions. Otherwise, the value you’re offering won’t apply to the audience you’ve attracted.
You could even risk losing participants if the purpose of your conference doesn’t apply to their needs.
Once you have your purpose, make sure you stick to it throughout the entire conference.
2. Utilize Digital Features
There are many benefits to choosing a virtual conference over an in-person one. For example, you can use pre-recorded sessions to ease the stress on your speakers. Then, follow up with a live Q&A to get your audience involved in the conference.
Using this method will also help you reach audience members across the globe. Everyone can access the pre-recorded session at the same time. Then, have a live Q&A for each time zone.
You can also enable the chat feature on your virtual conference platform.
Utilizing the chat feature will allow your entire audience to get involved with the conference. They can ask questions or request clarification. As a result, you’re increasing engagement and encouraging participants to contribute to the conversation.
3. Give Everyone a Break
If you have a long virtual conference ahead, make sure to manage your time.
Try to keep each session short. No one wants to get stuck to their seat for an hour.
Don’t forget to plan breaks between each session, too. Your attendees can use this time for a bathroom break. Take advantage of this time by posting ads for your sponsors and vendors on the screen.
4. Prepare a Landing Page
A landing page will help you attract an audience for your virtual conference. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and easy to navigate.
You can add social proof to your landing page by posting testimonials from previous attendees. If you can, consider using video reviews, which are engaging and easy to consume.
If this is your first virtual conference, consider giving attendees a tour of the platform.
Don’t forget to highlight the benefits of registering, too. Focusing on the value you offer will help you attract more attendees.
5. Mix in Live Video
An entirely pre-recorded virtual conference could cause people to lose interest. Viewers might start viewing, then get bored and decide to finish the video later. In order to keep everyone’s attention, mix in some live video.
You can use a virtual conference platform like Zoom to stream live video during your event.
Using live video will make your online conference feel more intimate. Adding a personal touch to your conference can also encourage viewers to get involved.
Live interactions can give your speakers and viewers a more authentic experience.
6. Offer Training
Many people aren’t familiar with virtual conference platforms yet. Before the day of your event, offer platform training for your speakers and attendees.
For example, you might create a video tour that helps people learn how to use the platform. You might want to consider creating a customer service team for the day of the event, too. That way, your attendees have someone to call if there’s an issue.
Make sure to have a support e-mail address ready for your participants.
7. Let Everyone Practice
Give your presenters a chance to practice using the platform, too. Giving them a chance to rehearse using the platform can help everyone avoid hiccups on the day of the event.
If your presenters are going to host live sessions, have them schedule a practice session with you. During this session, make sure the audio and video are working properly. If you experience issues, now’s your chance to fix them.
8. Send a Reminder
Don’t forget to send your attendees an email reminder about the event. You can schedule one or two emails, including one a week before your corporate event and one a day before.
In your email, remind your audience how to access your virtual conference. Don’t forget to include the email address for your support team in the message, too.
9. Start Strong
On the day of your event, make sure you start on time. Start with an eye-catching opening and an interesting keynote.
10. Schedule Adequate Time
During your practice run, make sure each of your speakers has enough time for their presentation and a Q&A session.
Make sure to give yourself time, too. When you host a conference, it’s difficult to anticipate the hiccups. Don’t rush.
Instead, give yourself ample time to market, plan, and organize the entire event.
11. Market Your Event
Before your event, make sure everyone involved has ample time to help you market your conference. Get exhibitors, sponsors, presenters, and attendees involved.
Creating a marketing campaign will help you attract a big crowd.
12. Offer Access
After your virtual conference, create a page on your website that offers access to the videos and materials. Create a marketing strategy that encourages people to sign up for your mailing list to access your conference materials.
Even after the event, you can still use your conference to gather new leads!
Keep Communicating: 12 Tips for a Successful Virtual Conference
By planning a successful virtual conference, you can remain connected with your audience throughout the quarantine. Don’t wait! Start planning your conference using these 12 tips today.
Already planning your next event? Schedule a tour at our conference center today!