Virtual Conferences: From Event to Experience
Traditional conferences and events are an excellent way to connect with your customers, share ideas, and showcase new products and features. However, many event organizations are taking their events virtual to expand their audience.
What is a virtual conference?
A virtual conference is an event or conference that is held online with the use of virtual conference platforms and other technologies. An online conference is much the same idea as an in-person conference; your attendees can review the itinerary, register for the virtual event (and pay for their ticket), choose which sessions they’d like to attend, and network with other attendees and speakers before, during, and after the sessions.
Even virtual conference sponsorships work the same way, as chosen sponsors can set up sessions to educate customers, answer questions about their products, and distribute sales materials.
How do virtual conference platforms work?
The execution of a virtual event is very similar to an in-person event. You still have to plan content, book panelists and speakers, register your attendees, and so forth. The main difference is that you’ll be using virtual event management software for the majority, if not all, of these tasks. This includes email registration, creating meeting spaces for broadcasting the event, providing technical support to your panelists, bringing your speakers and attendees together over video, and more.
You’ll also want to have an interactive lobby that closely resembles the lobby of an in-person event where event attendees can chat, network, visit vendor booths, and join sessions — the only difference is that you’ll leverage your event platform to create and manage it.
What are the benefits of a virtual conference?
A virtual conference provides a number of benefits, including:
A virtual conference allows you to leverage other technology, such as live transcription and translation, to ensure everyone can enjoy your event.
A seamless attendee experience
Rather than traveling to an event, getting accommodation, signing in, and finding the right sessions, conference attendees can simply sign into the event on their computer and enjoy the conference experience from anywhere.
With virtual event platforms, event organizers can gain valuable insights from the metrics you collect, including how many attended your event, how they engaged with your sessions, and more.
With a virtual conference, attendees aren’t required to travel to a physical location, allowing event organizers to capture a larger audience and increase their reach.
What do you need for a virtual conference?
While it may seem daunting to host a virtual conference, getting the necessary elements in order is easy! Here’s what you’ll need for a virtual conference:
Locations for hosting and/or filming
For a virtual conference, you’ll need a space where you can film and produce your sessions. Luckily, you can outfit almost any space to fit your needs, including home offices, conference rooms, or even the outdoors! If you plan on hosting a hybrid event, you’ll need a location that can accommodate your anticipated on-site attendee count. Some events can be hosted right from your home, while others might require more sophisticated production elements where you would want to use a studio.
A platform to host virtual conferences
To create an engaging, streamlined event, you’ll need a virtual event platform that enables that kind of experience. An event hosting platform gives you a one-stop shop for your event management needs, including event registration, ticketing, session and attendee management, and more.
The right virtual event technology
Without the ability to hear and see panelists clearly, even the most interesting event won’t succeed. Make sure you have cameras, microphones, and lighting elements that fit your space and intended use case. For example, if your speakers plan to move around, be sure you have cameras that can track your movement so attendees can see all the action.
How do you organize a virtual conference?
Once you’ve gathered everything you need to host a virtual conference, it’s time to organize it! Here are the key steps event organizers should follow when planning a virtual conference:
A comprehensive event platform for virtual conferences
Zoom Events, our event hosting platform, provides all the features and functionalities you need to organize, manage, and host your virtual event.
Key elements of the Zoom Events platform:
Get started with Zoom Events
To get started hosting your next virtual event, purchase your Zoom Events license, then visit events.zoom.us to sign into your account. Once you’re logged in, you can begin setting up your hub under the Manage tab, and then get started building your first Event, Summit, or Conference using the Create tab.