Date published:

May 18, 2020

How Does a Virtual Conference Work? 

The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the ways brands host conferences and major events. A rise in virtual conferences has many wondering, just how does a virtual conference work and is it right for my company? While virtual conferences will likely never be able to fully take the place of in-person, live conference events, the most innovative companies are finding that hosting virtual conferences can provide a level of engagement and goal completion that is beneficial to their ROI. Here’s a look at how you can get started with virtual conferences to engage your audience.

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Step 1: Identify Necessary Resources 

Before you can host a virtual conference you need to plan out the location for the conference to take place. While a virtual conference will likely mean you don’t need an entire convention center in order to host the event, you are going to need things like a professional camera crew and adequate sound and lighting.

Consider a professional virtual event video production crew to help you capture the event speakers and activities in the best quality. 

You will also need resources to ensure the event delivery takes place. Your internet connection and upload speeds are VERY important here. If you don’t have adequate upload speeds you risk the potential to deliver poor quality video or sound, or it may not be delivered at all!

Remember, with a virtual conference or event, failure to deliver a video is just like hosting an event in front of a huge audience without a speaker! 

Top quality production is vital to getting maximum audience attendance and engagement. A poorly delivered event, with bad video or poor sound, will result in people leaving the event. Remember, it’s virtual so they can leave very easily. 

Step 2: Consider Technology Needs 

If you’re thinking that you can host a virtual conference with just an internet connection and the standard webcam you use from your laptop for a Zoom meeting, you’re wrong!

Technology needs go far beyond that of simply using a webcam and internal mic paired with your standard internet connection at your home or office.

You’ll need the ability to deliver interactive sessions, two-way communication features, and the ability for attendees and presenters to engage with one another. Various platforms can make this happen, but it will certainly take more than your standard non-techie equipment. 

Ask Yourself

As you choose technology to make your virtual conference take place, consider the appropriate virtual technology based on your needs. Do you want to allow your team to collaborate with other teams during the conference?

Do you wish to have presenters deliver live polls during the presentation and receive results in real time so that they can adjust their presentation based on audience response?

Do you want to offer audience members badges or credits for their engagement or interactions with polls and quizzes? All of these features can be achieved with the right technology which is why it’s important to plan technology needs in advance. 

Step 3: Define Access Levels 

Who will be able to access the virtual conference? If you intend to let everyone and anyone in, consider early on in the technical planning phase what the impacts will be if you have more audience members than expected? You don’t want to risk server load troubles in the middle of the big event! 

If you decide to limit access, consider how gated sessions can interact once they are welcomed into the conference. For example, will you allow everyone that enters the conference to have the ability to communicate via two-way communication channel with the presenter or speakers?

Will you limit the engagement based on something such as profile or some other characteristic? Will you allow VIP attendees to interact but non-VIP will not? 

You need a way of defining who can access the event, and whether there are multiple levels of event attendees or how you will allow communication and interaction within the conference.

A large audience is certainly more challenging to work with for everyone involved, but if it’s necessary it can be done with proper planning and execution. 

Step 4: Encourage Engagement & Participation 

How does a virtual conference work to deliver an engaging and fun environment for attendees? That’s a key question to focus on when planning the conference. How you encourage and foster engagement during the digital event can make a major difference in the ROI you gain from the event.

Will you offer panel discussions? Will you provide live Q&A chats with keynote speakers? Will you encourage engagement during presentations in open forums or chat rooms? And, going back to the access points, will everyone be engaged in this or only some people? 

Preparation

As you encourage engagement and participation during the virtual conference it’s important to also be prepared for the challenges that come from offering these engagement points.

For example, if you provide a poll to engage viewers in answering questions, you must also be prepared for the viewers to have questions about the poll.

They’ll want to know where their answers go, they may have trouble operating the poll software from their homes and need technical support, or they may have other questions that arise as a result. It is important to actively help these viewers without distracting the entire audience too. 

Team Beverly Boy Reviews

Step 5: Hire a Professional Virtual Conference Company 

If everything in steps 1 through 4 seemed only partially like something you are ready to tackle on your own, chances are you’d be best off hiring a professional virtual conference company to assist.

Virtual conferences are just as detailed and technically advanced as an in-person conference. In fact, technically speaking they may be more advanced and require more resources, understanding and time.

Consider hiring a professional virtual conference company to assist you in the planning, execution and delivery of a virtual conference that’s engaging and exciting for your audience. Beverly Boy Productions specializes in virtual conference production for companies large and small. 

If you’re considering a virtual conference event, give us a call at 888-462-7808! We can’t wait to help you launch a virtual event that’s right for you.

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