Virtual events have now become a staple in the event industry, but even after this much time, we feel there are a few things that the organizers still need to make clear in their minds. Hosting conferences is one thing, be it online or offline. However, there is still a huge difference between the two types of conferences. The strategy for hosting a conference in a physical space cannot be the same as the strategy for hosting an online conference.
If you are planning to host a conference on a virtual platform, there are a few things you need to consider. However, it is not necessary that these elements will go well together in the case of physical conferences. Planning and hosting a conference over an online medium is entirely different from what we are used to. In this blog, we will take you through a complete guide that will help you know certain things about virtual conferences.
This blog is all about keeping a few things in mind and the best practices to follow when planning your next conference in 2023. So, without further ado, let’s get started with the blog and see what it has in store for you.
1.Identify Your Target Audience
The first thing you should always do is identify the kind of audience you wish to target with your virtual conference. Before moving any further, you need to decide for whom you are going to host the conference. The reason it is important is that it is the target audience that will decide almost all the elements of your conference. It is the target audience that will help you decide the format, subject, schedule, and even the speaker you will have at your online conference.
You should conduct proper research, and once you have the idea, make sure you know everything about them. As an organizer, you should know what interests and disinterests your audience. Not only this, but have an idea of their challenges and the solutions they are seeking. Hitting it right is the key. Also, know how your conference can be the best and perfect solution to their problems.
If the audience finds your solution significant enough, they will definitely register for the event and end up attending it. With virtual conferences, one gets an excellent opportunity to widen the audience horizon. Hence, if planned and executed right, one can reach out to a global audience and expand the audience’s reach significantly.
2.Design Your Strategy
As we mentioned, several organizers repackage their physical events into virtual events without changing them. However, one needs to know that virtual conferences are different from their in-person counterparts. By different, we mean both these formats require different sets of strategies. When you create your virtual conference strategy, ensure that you include everything in it. It should have the budget, goals, and action plan you will follow to achieve success. Not only this, but you should also be clear and specific about the goals you have set for the virtual conference.
For your business purposes, you should know what goals and objectives you want to achieve with your virtual conference. It can be anything from generating higher revenues to gaining a larger audience. The next thing you need to take care of is what your audience expects from you. Is your audience looking for an informative conference, or do they want to join the conference for networking purposes? It is for your audience that you are hosting the conference; make sure you have a complete idea of their expectations.
3.Make the Virtual Conference Interactive
What people generally think is that virtual conferences are not as interactive as their in-person counterparts. However, contrary to popular opinion, online conferences are interactive. In fact, they are more interactive than physical conferences. However, they do come with certain challenges, one being the audience engagement issue. Keeping the audience engaged is one of the most significant issues that the organizers face.
One solution to this problem is to involve the audience in the conference. Make the online conference as interactive as you can. You can conduct regular question-and-answer sessions during the conference. It will give the attendees more opportunities to get involved, and they won’t feel like watching a video.
4. Promotion is the Key
The next thing you should keep in mind is that it is your promotions that will attract an audience to your conference. As per the experts, it should happen before, during, and after the conference. There are certain ways to promote your conference. You can send emails, use social media, and ask your contacts to spread the word about your conference. Branding is also one way to promote and market your conference. Both of these things are interrelated and affect one another. You need to have a strong branding strategy in order to attract the maximum audience. You should focus on creating a strong branding strategy. Apart from that, one thing that makes a huge difference is how consistent you are when it comes to planning the promotion of your conference. You cannot expect instant results, and if you want your conference to grow, you need to be consistent with what you are doing.
5. Host Dry Runs
The key element that virtual conferences depend on is a virtual conference platform. Even though we have a plethora of online conference platforms available in the market, trusting any of the platforms blindly isn’t right. You should never rely solely on online conference platforms; after all, technology can fail at any time. To save yourself from things going wrong during the conference, you should host a trial run. Include your speakers and guests in the trial run; it will help them understand the platform better.
As we mentioned, online conferences are easy to plan and host. As an organizer, you should have a few things planned, and we hope this blog has helped you identify what these things are. You can keep these things in consideration while you plan your conference; we assure you they will help you stay ahead of your competitors, and host conferences that are so 2023.