How to run digital conferences

Virtual living is now a reality. With a global pandemic in our midst, our way of living, of interacting, of communicating have all seen a change so unprecedented, that it could hamper everything we did. The Event Industry especially was hit the hardest but has sprung up to action with ideas as innovative as Virtual Conferences. 

Being the norm of 2020, virtual conferences are now the staple form of delivering immediate content to one’s audience, while reaping immense benefits. Various issues like travel and financial restrictions are overcome for the audience in Virtual conferencing. This opens doors for people from all walks of life and varied backgrounds to relate to the content presented to them.

WHY NOT PHYSICAL CONFERENCES?

The bygone days of the physical conferences brought with them the obvious need for a physical venue, accommodating enough for an expected amount of audience. The cost and efforts for which are significantly lowered in virtual ones. Along with the same, costs for safety and travel and refreshment facilities are also eliminated. Add to that the ease of judging the audience’s reach and response, only further speaks in favour of Virtual Conferences.

THE NEEDS OF VIRTUAL CONFERENCE PLANNING

All that we need now is a plan to put to action. As different as the virtual and physical conferences are with respect to their advantages, the planning that goes into the two is starkly similar. The main idea of it all is to curate and schedule content, engaging enough to keep one’s audience in the loop. A well-executed digital conference planning enables effective networking as well as a long-lasting effect on the audience involved.

  • Virtual conference tools

Enabling smooth functioning of a virtual conference requires the correct virtual conference tools. Correct implementation of the same along with an appropriate platform opens doors for an effective audience experience wide open.

  • Schedule it right

With no dearth of virtual conferences nowadays, it is necessary to ensure that your brand name and its reach stands out amongst others. An essential design with a well thought out schedule is a necessity. A pre-coordinated list of the Speakers, the content they will speak upon and the time scheduled for them, allows the audience to get in control of the content they need. A brief intro of the speakers and their subject matter announced prior to the scheduled conference instils curiosity and excitement in the target audience. 

  • Keep the fire burning.

Keeping one’s audience-focused is essential to the success of a virtual conference. Long conferences can be divided into Breakout sessions, during which entertainment can be provided to the audience to refresh their minds and focus. Bringing in a musical set or a popular magician or a workshop to enable active participation from the audience can work wonders to infuse life in a virtual conference.

  • All you need is a Virtual Conference Management Software –

If one’s cards are played right, one can ensure a huge turnout of the audience, which brings with itself a need for an optimum virtual conference management software. This software will allow you to not only keep track of the audience and the statistics involved in their attendance and entries made but also will help you control the Speakers and their presence on the platform used. 

  • Content is king-

With one’s digital conference management software in place, a well-curated content is just as essential. The content to be discussed should be suitable for the audience involved. Hence the advertising and the promotions done for the same should be planned accordingly. The content should be scheduled and curated such that it ensures active participation of the audience, in the form of texts, or verbal cues, or polls. Any response recorded from the audience enables us to consider the same for the later virtual conferences planned.

  • Keep that Money Safe-

Safety and comfort of the audience is always one’s main goal, especially when it comes to online transactions. Ensuring secure payment options and due issuance of a virtual ticket and its validity are a few things to consider with respect to the transactions involved in virtual conferences. Offering special discounts and exclusive offers only lead to a better audience turnout. Certain subscriptions can also be chosen to be allowed for only a certain set of people, perhaps based on an early-bird offer or a VIP subscription. This grants exclusivity of content to the audience, enhancing curiosity furthermore. 

  • Active Interactions-

Networking and bonding with like-minded people is an expected perk of any conference. Real-time online interactions ensure the same, but encouraging interactions requires active efforts. Dividing the audience into groups can ensure a more intimate interaction with the speaker and allow individual attendees to speak their opinions and questions. Not only does this ensure active participation and a smooth flow of conversation, but it also helps one utilise this opportunity as feedback and make improvements wherever required. 

  • Ready, Set, Launch-

Launching the conference for the audience to take in and enjoy is a fulfilling experience. Ensuring the smooth functioning of each moving part in this well-oiled machine that is the virtual conference is the most essential. Online monitoring for the software’s upkeep of the entering attendees and the speakers following schedules, intercepted by certain Breakout sessions to pump up the energy into the audience, all comes together to ensure a successful virtual conference.

  • Did You Do It Right?-

Honest feedback and proper handling of the same helps one measure a virtual conference’s success. Data like the ratio of Registration to actual attendees can hint at the advertising and ease of Registration and access to the virtual conference that was provided. Another factor could involve watch time of certain sessions, to calculate the success rate of that particular session. Also, responses to polls and questions asked during an interactive session can also give way to calculating a success rate. Defining key factors like the ROIs can also be instrumental in calculating the success rate.

  • Not The End-

Most effective networks and bonds formed during conferences last longer than the conference itself. Allowing the formation of networking sites and groups based on the like-mindedness of the audience is an effective way to keep the conversation regarding your brand name flowing long after the conference is conducted. This also ensures the re-attendance of a certain group to any future virtual conferences held.

  • TACKLING TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES

Despite covering every loophole, every problem possible, technical difficulties are part and parcel of virtual conferences. Being prepared for the same is essential to the success rate of the conference.

  • Difficulty in Signing in to the Conference-

This commonplace difficulty can reduce the number of attendees joining in. An effective virtual conference software ensures the safety and ease of signing in and avoiding possible delays.

  • Lack of technical knowledge with the team-

A good virtual conference is only as good as its team. One should ensure team members with explicit experience in virtual conferences to avoid getting stumped in the face of difficulties.

  • Slow internet connectivity-

Attendees should be allowed access to recordings of the virtual conference to ensure that slow connectivity doesn’t hamper the participation of the attendees. This not only allows revisits but also lets you be ready for every difficulty possible.

  • GEVME Virtual Conference Management Platform

We at GEVME can help you out with the problems above and more. Our team of experienced technicians and management leaders are exactly what your virtual conference needs. 

With a dedicated project manager, all your digital conference needs will be well heeded to. Special attention is given to your Registration needs to allow an influx of audiences with no restriction or friction.

Platforms to stream your virtual event | GEVME Live

We will help you design your virtual conference, the way you see it, customisable to the very end. We make the conference speak out loud for the brand that is yours, even after the conference is over.

  • KEY TAKEAWAYS

In conclusion, virtual conferences are here to stay, and their appropriate management is hence a key concern. What we know so far is that-

  1. The benefits of cost savings on travel, accommodation and food are the reason why virtual conferences have outdone physical conferences.
  2. Virtual conference platforms and software play an important role in the execution of a successful virtual conference.
  3. Content curation and its scheduling is essential to keep the audience and the speakers on board with the other.
  4. Breakout sessions, including one-to-one sessions with the speakers, can be arranged for the attendees to improve individual participation.
  5. Dividing the audience into smaller groups ensures better participation and more intimate conversations, allowing networking and people bond formation.
  6. Making sure a safe Payment facility is provided to the attendees instils ease and comfort amongst the attendees.
  7. Real-time interactions, in the form of polls, voted for, and verbal cues, amongst the attendees and the speakers allow active participation from everyone involved.
  8. Factors to be considered as a measure of success of the virtual conference include the Registration to actual attendees’ ratio, registration turnout, ROIs calculated and other well-defined parameters.
  9. Keep the conversations flowing by allowing networking sites and groups for like-minded people in the conference.