The Express Blog

Managed webinars: are they the secret to a successful online conference?

We love seeing the creative ways that organisations are using managed webinars to help them reach their goals. 

But one thing we’re really excited about is how well the traditional conference can be taken and transformed into a fantastic webinar or webinar series. In a pre-pandemic world, it wasn’t common to replace your in-person conference with a virtual managed webinar, but many businesses have been impressed by the benefits, vowing to continue creating webinars or webinar series as part of their program moving forward.

Let’s have a closer look at why moving your next conference to a managed webinar or webinar series could be the perfect solution for your business, as well as the key elements to look for when choosing a virtual event provider.

What is a managed webinar?

Before diving into the benefits of using a managed webinar to take your conference virtual, let’s quickly recap what a managed webinar is. A managed webinar means that you have a team of experts working with you to ensure your webinar runs seamlessly and is as professional as it can be. 

You’ll have the support of a virtual events manager who will work with you from the planning stage right through to post-event reporting. You’ll also receive full technical support and be provided with an experienced host or event moderator.

A managed webinar isn’t as interactive as some other virtual events because its focus is to inform and educate your audience through presentations and keynote addresses. A good managed conferencing provider will help you choose the right format to suit your event.

Benefits of turning your conference into a managed webinar or webinar series

It’s tough work producing a conference, with a lot of manpower, resources, time and money involved. One of the key benefits of taking your conference online as a managed webinar is that your virtual events team will take care of most of this work for you.

From presenter training, guest registration, technology, attendee support and post-event reporting, you’ll have professionals working hard behind the scenes so that all you have to focus on is content delivery.

It also means that your speakers and presenters will be able to join in from anywhere in the world, and your event can be recorded for on-demand viewing.

When it comes to the big day of your virtual conference, you’ll also have access to a professional event host or moderator who can create a seamless, efficient and professionally produced event.

What to look for in your virtual events team

Turning a conference into a managed webinar requires specific skills and service offerings for it to succeed. This makes finding the right virtual events team one of the most important steps in your planning process. Here’s what you should look out for when choosing a managed webinar provider for your conference.

1. Expertise in virtual conferences and managed webinars

It might sound obvious, but your managed webinar team should have experience running managed conferences successfully. Ask if they can provide case studies or give examples of successful webinars or webinar series that they’ve produced in the past. This can also include professional learning sessions or even stakeholder meetings such as virtual AGMs.

2. They will provide full technical responsibility and support

One of the major benefits of managed webinars versus DIY platforms is that your provider takes full technical responsibility for your event. Not only does this minimise the potential for technical difficulties, but it frees up your time to concentrate on content delivery. Look for a provider whose managed webinar service includes 24/7 end-to-end technical support. Ask them if they will monitor your event throughout and how they’ll communicate any potential issues if they arise on the day.

3. Choose local, where possible

If you’re in Australia, it’s recommended that you choose a local provider to help turn your conference into a managed webinar. They’ll be able to give you more hands-on experience, will be easily contactable, and able to provide more localised support. They’ll also have a more nuanced understanding of your audience and their expectations.

4. Platform agnostic

You may already have a platform in mind that you or your organisation would prefer to host your managed webinar on. If so, look for a managed webinar provider who is platform agnostic. This means they can create a high-quality, seamless webinar event on a variety of platforms. If you don’t have a preferred platform such as Zoom, MS Teams or Google Hangouts, look for a provider who has their own feature-packed platform designed especially for virtual corporate events such as conferences. Either way, ensure to choose a platform that offers a variety of features, giving your event the best chance for success.

5. Hybrid and virtual options

You may prefer to keep some of your conference live, such as having your panel together in one location with a small audience. If so, look for a managed webinar provider who can also facilitate professional hybrid events.

6. Private chat room

Once your conference is underway, you’ll want to have contact with your virtual event manager who can let you know how things are going throughout the event. Ask your managed webinar provider whether they’ll enable a private chat room that only you and they can access.

7. Custom branding

Your conference should stand out and be instantly recognisable. A good managed conference provider will allow you to custom brand your event. Your logo and colours can be used to personalise your guest registration process and other assets related to your event.

8. Audio conferencing back up for connectivity issues

No matter how prepared you are, you can’t control whether your audience or presenters experience connectivity issues. Professional managed webinar providers plan for this, and good ones will have an audio conferencing option as a backup in case something goes wrong. Participants can simply dial into your conference and your event can continue seamlessly.

9. Online registration and verification process

Just as you may have security on the door of your in-person conference, it’s equally important that your managed webinar is secure. It’s essential that you look for a virtual events team that can help organise an online registration and verification process so that only approved guests will have access to your content.

The takeaway

Moving your conference to a managed webinar can have many wonderful benefits. But you will require an experienced and professional virtual events team to take control and work with you to create a successful event.

Express Virtual Meetings are one of Australia’s leading managed webinar providers, helping countless businesses with their telecommunication needs since 2001. 

Let us take the stress out of your next conference. Give us a call on 1300 849 300 or book an obligation free demo today.

 

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