Isn’t it a joy living in the 21st century? Despite what your well-meaning baby boomer relatives will insist, there can be no doubt that we are residing in the most technologically advanced moment in history and that offers us a whole range of possibilities for any human activity, including, you’ll be happy to know, event planning. One aspect that has become incredibly easy is the area of virtual conferencing and now business or communications can be conducted across oceans and time zones with the ease of ordering a pizza. In this article, we discuss just how to go about doing it.
Know What It’s For
A good place to start would be to remind ourselves that just because something exists it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to use it for the sake of using it. So determine, right from the start, what exactly is this virtual conference for? Is it to save costs, to connect far-flung attendees, or to show off your technological capabilities to your clients? While on the face of it virtual conferences have less costs and appear to be more convenient, they aren’t always the best solutions to your problems and come with their own failings. Decide if this attempt at virtual conferencing is the best thing for your company, your event and your purpose.
Make Sure It Holds Up
You’ve got your conference members all lined up and every detail is set for your virtual conference to roll. Now there’s not much left to do (from an organizer’s perspective) except to make sure it, you know, rolls. There’s a meme making its rounds on the internet that has a simple punch line that roughly goes: “how is it that no WiFi is better than slow Wifi?” (or words to that effect). It may well be a first world problem, but you still have to ensure that technology does not fail you.
In some of my other articles you’ll notice that I’m a relatively big fan of outsourcing expertise or at least being absolutely sure that the best available talents are on your team for any job. For a virtual conference, literally the single most important thing is that your connection doesn’t let you down. For “live” events, it isn’t easy but contingency plans can be made that reduce the embarrassment of any systemic shutdowns. Alternative programs or entertainment can be sought, for instance, while time is bought. For a virtual conference, there is nothing you can do if you lose a connection with a client/partner halfway around the globe. Therefore: it cannot happen. Therefore: staff your team with experts who can be relied upon to avoid this scenario or can rectify any technological problems immediately. The show must go on no matter what; but in the case of a virtual conference, a blank or frozen screen is no show at all.
Choose Your Platform
And on a related note to the point above, select the platform that you will host your conference with carefully. A list of providers (and their individual pros and cons) can be easily sourced out so consider these factors and your choice of platform will go a long way to ensuring a smooth conference.
Market and Remind
Virtual conferences are undoubtedly convenient and accessible – but that may also work as a disadvantage. After setting up such a session, publicize your event on all platforms just as you would a physical one. When you have more or less confirmed a guest list and a list of conference speakers or bigwigs, have frequent reminders as to the existence of this event. The ease of attending a virtual conference can also easily lead to the forgetting of such an appointment. Ensure that this is not case.
Finally, a conference of such a digital nature also makes it incredibly easily to be recorded and stored for posterity, publicity and re-publishing. Arm yourself with the ability to capture the whole event so that you will, for as long as you want, have a log of the conference and you can use this to promote future events, and also as something you can release for sale or for clients to view at their own leisure. Let the conference live long past its actual ending.
When it comes to virtual conferencing, the possibilities are in a way endless. Figure out what is best for your needs and go ahead and have the best and most comprehensive virtual conference to rival anything “physical”!