In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, being able to host a virtual event conference has become an invaluable tool for many businesses. With the advent of virtual conferencing technology, speakers, attendees, and organizers can now participate in an online event from the comfort of their homes, no matter where in the world they come from. Even when we return to some semblance of normality, there are often a plethora of reasons why individuals are unable to attend in-person conferences. The value of virtual conferences, therefore, transcends just the current circumstances because they provide an added convenience for those who have difficulty attending traditional events.
There is still a lot of planning and preparation that goes into a successful virtual event. However, if you dot your i’s and cross your t’s when preparing, your event day will be an undeniable success, which will make your speakers and your business look good. If you are unsure what it takes to host a successful virtual conference, here is a helpful guide that will get you well on your way to nailing your event day conference.
Finding Your Speakers for the Virtual Event
The most crucial element of any successful conference is finding the perfect keynote speaker. Whether your conversation is on inspiring innovation, embracing change in the workplace, corporate responsibility, or a new product or solution, you want your speakers to be experts in that particular topic. Likewise, an impactful presentation requires a lot of preparation, so make sure you provide ample time for your keynote speakers to prepare for the event. It is also important to note that some speakers may not have experience in delivering a speech in front of a computer screen, making adequate time to prepare even more crucial.
Once you find your keynote speakers, the next step is establishing the format for your event. There are three formats to choose from: live, pre-recorded, or pre-recorded with live interaction. There are pros and cons to each type of broadcast, which will be listed below. However, you need to consider that some speakers are comfortable sitting in front of a computer screen and can deliver a polished speech live, while other speakers may prefer the pre-recorded option.
Live broadcasts are similar to face-to-face conferences and allow for the most interaction from attendees. Likewise, this type of event is the most simple to organize, for you do not have to prepare any pre-recorded material, and it’s often the easiest format for people to understand and follow. However, there are more inherent risks with hosting live broadcasts that are outside the control of the event organizer’s hands. These include technical difficulties from either the presenter’s side or the host organization’s side. There is also the possibility of the presenter being late or missing the event entirely.
With the pre-recorded format, your business releases all broadcasts on the day of the event. This format provides much less on-the-day risk for organizers. Likewise, it allows speakers who are less comfortable delivering speeches online to provide a fluid and eloquent speech. The downside to this format is that it requires much more preparation and organization, and there is zero interaction between speaker and attendees.
Pre-Recorded With Live Interaction
In this format, the speakers pre-record their sessions but are also available for a live Q&A afterward. Having a live Q&A provides a great balance between the live and pre-recorded format. It also allows speakers to focus on the interaction portion of the conference, providing (potentially) a more engaging experience. However, this format requires the most preparation, for organizers have to prepare all the pre-recorded footage as well as ensure a smooth live Q&A session.
Choosing the Right Virtual Event Meeting Platform
Online meeting platforms have exploded in recent years. It’s great to have so many options! However, with over-saturation, it might be difficult to find the right platform for your online events. There are multiple factors to consider when choosing the right virtual platform, such as the number of participants for the event, the type of meeting, the number of video feeds, among others. Here is a quick list of some of the most popular video conferencing platforms: (remember: this is by no means an exhaustive list)
- Zoom is amongst the most popular virtual meeting platforms and it’s perfect for smaller to mid-size conferences. The base Zoom package holds 100 attendees. However, the Large Meeting Add-on allows up to 1000 participants. Zoom also provides a lot of useful features such as video sharing and a live chat.
- Microsoft Teams is also suitable for a mid-sized level conference as it can hold up to 300 people. What makes Microsoft Teams so valuable is it provides seamless sharing with any Office 365 services.
- Google Meet is perfect if you plan on using a Google Chrome browser. It’s a new Google product that allows a whopping 100,000 participants to live stream a particular event.
Marketing the Virtual Event
Now that you have your speakers, you have chosen your broadcast format, and which technology you will be using, it is time to start marketing for the event. There are many options you can use for online marketing, such as using Facebook ads. LinkedIn is another useful site for advertisement. Speakers can also promote the event through a mailing list or social media. Regardless of your preferred method, you want to start advertising as soon as possible.
The Day of the Event
You have spent the past couple of months meticulously planning for the big event, and now the day has finally arrived. To ensure all the previous work did not go to waste, make sure to do test runs before the start to confirm everything is running smoothly. Likewise, check-in with your presenters to certify they are available, ready, and that there are no issues on their end. And do not forget to have a technical support team on standby in case any complications arise.
If you want to guarantee the perfect event day, visit our virtual event page to learn why you can trust the Event Production Company with all your virtual event planning and preparation needs. And if you like what you see, request a consultation, and our enthusiastic team of experts will be there to address any questions or concerns you may have.