Web conferences have become one of the most effective ways of bringing together members of the financial industry from across the globe into a shared online space. A web conference saves on costly travel when compared to a physical meeting and offers greater convenience to participants.
Attendees can view and interact with others from the comfort of their homes using sophisticated web conferencing programs. If you're planning a web conference in the financial industry, here are five crucial steps that will make sure your event is a success.
1. Schedule your event
Choose a date and time for the conference well in advance, allowing yourself plenty of time for planning and logistics. Make sure your date doesn’t clash with any other important dates on your audience’s calendar. For example, if you want to hold a conference about Fin-Tech, don’t hold it on the same day as a major event like the Innovative Finance Global Summit. Doing so will greatly hurt your attendance numbers. While you have the advantage of holding your finance conference online, don't forget that you also need to market the event and fill the places.
At this stage, you also need to choose which web conferencing service provider you'll use to facilitate your event. Choose a reputable paid provider which offers the features you need and a reliable support team.
2. Plan your agenda
Work out how your web conference will run and what topics you'll cover. Be creative and original, and make sure your conference will appeal to your audience. Keep it relevant and up-to-date, and decide which niche within the finance industry you want to cover, such as ‘international capital markets’ or ‘financial risk management strategies’. You may even want to fine tune your web conference further by covering a very particular topic within your niche. For example, rather than covering risk management in general, it's usually more effective to cover a certain topic within the niche that your audience might be interested in, such as ‘operational risks within the insurance sector’.
Once you have picked your overall topic, plan out the content. You should aim for a mix of presentations, interactive discussions, guest speakers, webcasts and plenty of opportunities for networking, such as live chats and forums. Pack your event with a variety of new and exciting content which appeals to various learning types, from visual to auditory. There should be something for everyone, yet the conference should remain highly focused on the topic area.
3. Brand your conference
Choose your conference theme and name wisely so that it attracts an audience. Pick a colour scheme that gives a sense of sophistication and class, and infuse your conference with branding. Run the branding scheme throughout any promotional material that you create.
Of course, there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to branding, but the financial industry tends to favour blues, especially in industries such as asset and wealth management. In psychology, the colour blue encourages feelings of calm, serenity and trust. Purples work well for giving a sense of mystery and luxury, while green is associated with nature and good luck. Use colours wisely to give the right impression of security and interest, but keep your overall branding simple.
4. Recruit stakeholders
Find potential sponsors and stakeholders who can help to fund your conference and attract more of an audience. Send value proposition statements to potential candidates, preferably those who are in the same area of finance as you, as this will make for the most useful mutual exchange.
Outline your aims, conference demographic, content and event schedule, and, importantly, specify how each sponsor will benefit from taking part. You can allow sponsors to exhibit material, share expertise and advertise on-screen during your web conference.
You will also need to recruit any guest speakers that you want to make an appearance. Speak to both new and existing contacts in the financial industry. Client retention and client acquisition are very popular topics for guest speakers in the financial services industry, so that could be a great place to start.
5. Promote your conference
With all the pieces of the puzzle nearly in place, it's time to start promoting your web conference. Use your internal online channels like your blogs and company website. Create a landing page for people to register for the conference. Take advantage of all of your social media channels and encourage influencers in your industry to share your content. Don’t neglect real-life promotion either! Get out there, speak to financial businesses and independent industry members, and get them interested and involved.
Express Virtual Meetings can help you to successfully organise and run a financial web conference. Contact us today for help and advice, or to arrange a date for your event.