Hosting a successful and profitable conference requires time, energy and substantial budget— but the pay off can be well worth it.
On top of being a great marketing tool, conferences are known for facilitating networking, creating valuable learning opportunities and generating revenue for your organisation.
By moving your conference online, you can receive these benefits while also taking advantage of the reduced costs that come with not having to hire a venue, as well as increasing your audience reach and saving time?
Here’s our top tips for a smooth and successful transition from an in-person conference to online.
Tips for Moving Your Conference Online
In many ways your online conference will be very similar to a physical conference. Attendees still need to register, presentations and speakers need to be coordinated, and you need to promote your conference just as you would any other.
There are of course some big differences. The main being that you’ll need to use a virtual event platform to host your event rather than having speakers live in a venue.
Is an Online Conference a Teleconference?
It’s important to remember not to approach your online conference like a work teleconference where everyone can speak up and have their say at any time.
Just like a physical conference, your speakers need a chance to present without interruption and that requires having the right technology and conference format in place.
There are a few ways you can achieve this. Some presenters like to speak on camera while accompanied by a presentation and others prefer to go audio-only so the audience can focus on the visual aid of the presentation.
No matter how you want your speakers to present, your online conference platform should include features that offer the audience alternative ways to interact with the content. Features such as a managed Q&A session or running a live poll are both great ways to keep people engaged and involved.
Once you’ve decided on the format for your online conference, ensure that your presenters are brought up to speed on how to use the platform and it’s features to build confidence and avoid mishaps.
Do all the Speakers Have to Present Live?
Online conferences have the added benefit of being easily recorded and made available in future for clarification or staff who couldn’t attend Pre-recorded content can also be edited for clarity and length, creating an even more valuable resource for your organisation.
This makes choosing an online platform that records presentations seamlessly a good idea. You can turn each speaker’s live presentation into on-demand videos and even transcripts that can be used for marketing and post-event communications.
Encouraging Interaction Between Attendees
With the right technology, you can still offer your attendees the chance to interact, network and share learnings— a major drawcard for many conference goers. You just have to be a little creative in how you facilitate it. Good virtual conference platforms should offer Q&A sessions that open the floor to attendees and spark conversations, which can then be directed towards a virtual breakout session room or online community such as a group chat.
How Can I Help my Speakers be Successful?
Even if you book highly skilled presenters for your conference, there are some potential risks in hosting your conference virtually. Internet connectivity can wreak havoc, their webcam could fail or maybe the quality of their audio is subpar and reduces the professionalism of your event.
And while a smooth running event is never 100% guaranteed, with the right support and preparation, your speakers will be set up for success.
Make sure you:
Practice, practice, practice
Use an experienced and reliable online platform that offers 24/7 tech support and who will monitor your conference throughout
Have a rehearsed back up plan for any problems that arise
If your online platform offers a moderator who can chair any Q&As, MC the event and keep things running smoothly, definitely make use of this great resource.
Where possible, have a break between speakers so there’s time to test their equipment
What Should I Look For In an Online Conference Provider?
When it comes to the success of your virtual conference, the platform you choose can play a substantial role in how seamlessly things come together. To make sure you’re giving your conference the best chance for success, look for a provider with the following:
Capacity to connect thousands of participants in one conference call
Engagement features such as Q&A sessions, live polling
Options for both audio only and video conferencing
24/7 customer support
Australian owned and operated
High definition audio and visual quality
Moving your conference online has a host of benefits for both you and your audience. From saving money, to extending your audience reach to setting your organisation up as thought leaders in the industry.
Now’s the time to think about moving online!
Express Virtual Meetings are experts in hosting successful, secure and seamless managed events. On top of being able to accommodate 4000+ participants through our wholly-owned technology, we’re 100% Australian owned and offer a money-back satisfaction guarantee.
To secure 10% off your first virtual AGM booking, get in touch with the team today.