A virtual conference is quite different from a regular virtual meeting. The goal of virtual conferences is ideal lead generation, brand awareness, and building new connections.
For a memorable virtual conference, it’s necessary to include excellent networking and engaging features that will help replicate the experiences of an in-person conference.
Let’s check out some best ideas and practices that you can include in your next virtual conference to make it more engaging:
Create a Game Plan
Set clear goals and objectives for your virtual conference. Before you host your event, make sure to identify your target audience. Once you understand what kind of audience you’ll be welcoming, it becomes easier to fulfill their expectations.
Also, with definite objectives, you know what can be the probable outcomes that you should expect from the virtual event. It will further help you create a roadmap in implementing ways to keep the attendees engaged, render exceptional networking opportunities, and gauge the success of the virtual event.
Choose the Right Virtual Conference Platform
Once you have determined to organize a virtual conference, make sure to pick a virtual event platform that best accommodates your business needs. Also, consider getting a demo from the virtual event platform you choose to get insights into the features and the functionalities. With various progressions in recent times, it is vital to select the event platform thoughtfully. The motive is to formulate an effective and impressive virtual conference that would keep the attendees engaged and replicates the experience of an in-person conference.
Make the most of social media
We all know the hype that social media can create in this digital age.
Today, everyone uses various social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or LinkedIn. Hence, this is why creating stories or news feeds with event-specific hashtags promotes engagement among the attendees.
Feeds enable hosts and participants to share bits and insights from the virtual conference, such as interactive posts with images or videos, where other attendees can like or comment.
Gamifying your virtual conference makes it more entertaining and competitive for the attendees.
Use exciting games or challenges to begin friendly competitions among your attendees. Also, consider awarding points or incentives to the one who wins the game or is the highest scorer. Get these points added up in the leaderboard challenge. The attendee who tops the leaderboard challenge can take home goodie bags or discounted coupons.
Conduct Polls and Quizzes
A virtual conference platform that can implement great engaging features will perhaps deliver lasting experiences and further improve the ROI of your event. Activities like live polls and quizzes are great methods to promote active participation. Besides, various event platforms leverage a pop-up feature that appears on the screen with interesting multiple-choice questions to keep the audience hooked throughout the event. It is a great way to compel the audience to spend more time on the platform.
Breakout sessions facilitate 1:1 and group discussions among the attendees through audio, chat, and video features. Try to keep multiple breakout sessions during a virtual conference to increase virtual engagement ventures. It also gives space for more networking opportunities among the attendees and the exhibitors.
Make sure to provide free time for attendees to network and connect with other participants and exhibitors. You can plan for a virtual happy hour. Attendees can scan their contact lists and interact with new people when everyone is online.
Chats are also an excellent feature for attendees to set up a private group to discuss things or relevant topics. Consider keeping an interactive post idea through which you ask amusing questions to the attendees and allow others to like and comment on the post.
Include an Entertaining Act
It is not a compulsion to host 100% grave virtual conferences. You can lighten the mood or add a fun element by including a virtual performance of any musician, stand-up comedian, or magician to entertain your attendees.
Attention spans are usually shorter for virtual attendees, so presenting a fun and entertaining element gives them a chance to refresh their mood.
The entertainment aspects can help audiences strike up communications over their past experiences.
Keep Both Live and On-demand Sessions
Hosting a well-planned virtual conference filled with agendas, live speakers, and webinars adds a lively element to your event. But you should also include on-demand content for people who could not attend the virtual conference or for someone who wants to keep the recorded session as a reference for the future.
At times, attendees can’t attend or visit every presentation. Sometimes their calendars or attention spans just do not allow it. By keeping on-demand content, you let participants learn according to their pace.
Keep Noteworthy Speakers
The ROI of any virtual event is directly proportional to the engagement level of the attendees. As an organizer, you would always want to have skillful speakers who can keep the attendees interested and involved throughout.
To avoid any sort of hindrance, just ensure that all your speakers own a high-quality camera and microphone to deliver life-like event experiences keeping technical glitches aside.
Make sure to perform a dry-run and through system checks before the D-day to eliminate any device crashes.
Keep Shorter Sessions
At virtual events, keeping sessions with a longer duration, just to fill the time will surely face attendee drop-off. Hence, to bypass this, you have to propose short and interesting sessions. To perform this rightly, have a strategic approach and understand the expectations of your target audience to deliver meaningful experiences.
Try to have different speakers and be inventive in the way you conduct your event. With better creativity and diversity in formatting, the chances of the participants getting diverted are lessened.
Include AI-based Recommendations
We all know that networking is an important reason why most sponsors and individuals attend virtual events. Hence, this is why it is vital to choose a virtual event platform that can seamlessly facilitate AI matchmaking. This feature provides participants with a list of attendees who share the same interest. This makes it a lot more comfortable to initiate communications with like-minded people.
Several people attend virtual conferences to engage with other industry experts. Experiences reveal that a significant portion of networking happens in structured settings like luncheons, panels, cocktail hours, etc.
Keeping virtual or networking lounges as separate digital spaces where attendees can assemble, chit-chat, recline, and bond.
This kind of interaction happens on a real-time basis. Therefore, this is an amazing engagement idea that can be the icebreaker of your virtual conference.
Implement Raised Hands feature
Getting immediate feedback or response from all the attendees during a virtual conference can be difficult and time-consuming. With your virtual platform’s raised hand functionality, attendees can easily click on a button to ask questions or give suggestions on any important discussion.
Deliver Authentic Experiences
With the idea of organizing a virtual conference, there comes a responsibility. The responsibility of connecting people from all over the world and offering them life-like event experiences.
To execute your virtual event accurately, make your participants feel special. Make sure that each attendee is listened to and answered fairly.
Since most of their experiences will be on the events platform, choose your virtual venue wisely. It is to ensure that an individual who has once attended your virtual conference makes it a point to come back for the upcoming series of events to obtain meaningful experiences.
Looking for an ideal virtual event platform to host a successful virtual conference?
Get in touch with Dreamcast!