How to structure an online conference the effective way.
The event industry has experienced an upsurge in online conferences and online events. Especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Essentially online conferences take place in a virtual environment that is interactive and immersive in nature. Just like in-person conferences, virtual conferences function with a similar agenda to hear what the organisation, global audience, and planners have to say.
The ideology behind online conferences is to increase ROI while compromising the overall cost. It is no surprise that virtual events are cost-effective and most of the cost is eliminated thus that factor alone plays a crucial role in improving the overall ROI. Events held online are also eco-friendly and work in favour of the environment by minimising the emission of harmful gases. Once the concept of virtual events, online conferences, is clear we will talk about the structure and planning of an online conference.
Online Conference and its Planning
When hosting a sort of virtual event, it is important to know who will be attending the event and based on that you need to include or exclude certain compliments in order to make the event complement the audience. Understanding who will be listening to your content is significant in the event industry, especially in online conferences, where the primary aim is to make your voice heard.
Generate a Plan/Structure
Any sort of event requires some sort of planning to do. The foundation of the event must be clear to you and your team and from that, you need to develop a structure upon which the content of your event can be relied upon and stay relevant to the same. Understand your audience and based on that knowledge include several speakers, activities, webinars, keynote speeches, and Q&A sessions that are relevant to the audience. The key aspect of your planning is to keep the audience engaged at all times.
Develop a Webpage
A webpage to land and welcome your potential attendees is never a bad thing to have. Inform your attendees about your agenda and provide them with a glimpse of the content that is about to be showcased in the online conference to generate curiosity and eventually increase net participation. Your sponsors may also be delighted to see the names of their organisations and mentions on your landing page. On the other hand, having an appealing landing page will encourage new audiences to sign up for the event.
One of the most important things about hosting an online conference is marketing your event. the public won’t be able to join your event if they don’t know that your event exists. Marketing your event is the way to go when you want to generate a buzz for your event. Paid advertisements on social media websites and sponsorship advertisements will spread the world around your event, thus inviting tons of new potential audiences. You may also leverage social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to update your audience regarding recent events in your organisation. Another proven way of increasing participation is by sending out promotional emails, in mass. Working in synergy with your sponsors is also always recommended to attain an audience from new websites and increase the net diversity. Essentially you need to spread the word around and invite as many people as you can.
Get Your Team Ready
Any sort of event requires planning and teamwork. There are multiple components and services that work in synergy to make a successful event. it is quite blatant that one cannot host an event single-handed as it requires employees with multiple skillsets, each with their own area of expertise and component. Inform your employees and team regarding the event and prepare the content to be showcased. There will be a certain group of employees who will have trouble attending and interacting in the virtual sessions, and that is completely natural, hence prepare some sort of assistance for them so that the conference goes smooth as planned. Ask your staff to prepare the questions and queries they might have regarding the event or the organisation so that the time during the conference can be utilised effectively.
Introduce several means of communication such as chat, audio, and/or video. Having multiple channels for communication will make it easier for your employees to interact with you and hence will make them feel included with the organisation and eventually engage them with the same! Resolving concerns and recognising the employees’ efforts must be the key aspect of the online conference.
Obtain and Analyse the Results
After the conclusion of the online conference, you can leverage the virtual event platform you used to attain valuable information regarding the statistics and insights of the event. Computer-generated data is accurate and represents where your employees were in favour and where they were against your opinion. Understanding the employees and making certain changes in their favour can go a long way in keeping them engaged with the organisation. Leverage this valuable data and revisit it whenever next time you host an online conference for your employees.
Over to You
As it is blatantly clear that virtual events have replaced the traditional format it is also important to understand its significance and how to host the same. In the current landscape, many businesses are reopening and beginning to get back into the new normal. On the other hand, the awareness regarding social distance prohibits organisations to host their conferences in their meeting room thus compelling them to go online. Virtual event platforms become the alternative and offer a wide range of tools and features for organisations to leverage while also being eco-friendly and easy to use. Just like any other event format, it is important to plan and formulate a structure upon which your event can be relied upon. The above-mentioned points attempt to explain the proper structure of an online conference and attaining maximum employee, attendee, engagement out of it. The agenda is to ensure the voice is heard across the panel with a sense of inclusion in the organisation. Stay safe, stay active virtually.
This article on How to structure an online conference was brought to you by me, Scarlett Watson and I’m a digital marketer & technical writer. I’m passionate about exploring and writing about innovation, technology, social media, and digital marketing trends.