During the global pandemic, a rapid shift to working from home was observed, as more emphasis was placed on virtual connection than ever. That said, finding the right virtual event platform isn’t a piece of cake but a challenging situation for business owners and marketers.
Add to the level of organization that comes with hosting a virtual conference, and the elements of technology to navigate can lead to a meltdown.
So, if you're planning to host a virtual conference in 2022, take a deep breath and read this guide.
You'll learn how to connect with your audience virtually and be supplied with a range of exciting virtual conference ideas you can easily implement.
Are you ready to execute a seamless virtual conference?
Let's do it!
Virtual Conferences Explained
If you've never hosted a virtual conference or digital meeting, starting from the basics is always a great idea.
For starters, virtual conferences are different from virtual meetings. They're multi-day ongoing events and usually include:
- Panel discussions
- Live entertainment
- Educational sessions
- Training and certification
- Sales product demos
- Solution sessions
- Thought leadership
- Production training and adoption
In fact, thanks to virtual conferences, you can generate leads, increase adoption, build brand awareness and relationships, to name a few. In addition, they’re a great alternative to in-person conferences or companions to hybrid events, which is very cool.
5 Ways You Can Benefit From Hosting a Virtual Conference
Now let’s look at the benefits of hosting a virtual conference:
Gain immediate lead insights
Deliver unique experiences
Connect with wider demographics
To be frank, the above is only a shortlist of how you can benefit from organizing online conferences. So, let’s not waste time and keep looking.
Gain Immediate Lead Insights
When in-person events are held, getting people to take surveys can be challenging. However, getting feedback immediately after or even during an event is crucial.
Feedback is paramount to the success of your event, as it lets you know what to improve for the next time. Plus, it's a fantastic way of showing appreciation and value to your attendees.
As expected, real-time feedback is easier to receive with online events (i.e., you don't have to chase people down with questionnaires).
Using a virtual event platform to record sessions is invaluable to the sales team when following up with prospects and marketers.
Additionally, feedback offers valuable insights when developing campaign strategies and new events.
What more could anyone want?
Undoubtedly, hosting a virtual conference helps you to build credibility and improve your reputation as a business.
By presenting factual and reliable information about your product, service, or company, you have the opportunity to increase your credibility with your target segment.
By holding a live online conference, you get the chance to demonstrate that you possess the knowledge and expertise needed to build a successful product or service.
In other words: When you actively participate in a virtual conference, you get the perfect opportunity to present yourself as the authority that you are.
Deliver Unique Experiences
Online conferences allow you to deliver a unique experience to attendees. With so many virtual meeting platforms to take advantage of, there's an abundance of opportunities to create a truly personalized experience.
Frankly, you can easily curate a unique event to impress your audience, thanks to technology.
Consider offering add-ons and incentives to those that attend. For example, if an author is talking about a publication, you could give an option to purchase a signed copy of the book.
Connect With Wider Demographics
Virtual conferences enable you to connect with a global demographic. No matter where you're based, through the Internet, you can communicate with other people in a personal and approachable way.
Saving money is imperative, especially when it concerns business expenses. By hosting your conference online, you save money. It’s that simple.
What's even better is that even though you cut down on expenses, you don't necessarily have to compromise on the experience you give your attendees.
Virtual Event Ideas
With so many business owners recognizing the power of virtual events, standing out from the crowd is critical to your business's success.
At PandaMR, we're experienced in bringing memory-worthy experiences to others. Whether you're looking to create and host a virtual event for thousands of people worldwide or something a little more low-key, we can help you succeed.
Here are some types of virtual events you can host online using a virtual conference platform:
Conferences and Summits
Virtual conferences can include speakers, breakout sessions, and keynote speeches targeted at specific audience segments, just like in traditional conferences. A virtual conference platform can be integrated with event websites and apps to streamline registration, promotion, and audience engagement.
Moreover, video conferences also offer attendees:
Downloadable or on-demand content
Online networking opportunities
Direct interaction with speakers via engagement tools, such as live polls or Q&As
By using webcasting technology, hosts can broadcast media presentations online. Whether shared live or on-demand, a webcast would be broadcast by a single host and distributed simultaneously to the entire event audience.
Using a webcast at an event with a large audience where there isn't a need to interact with the presenter or audience members is a recorded event.
When it's impractical for a company to hold face-to-face events, webcasting may distribute essential communications.
Employee conferences can be webcast to those who cannot attend in person. Webcasts can also be embedded into other sites or streamed live on channels like Facebook Live to reach a wider audience.
Webinars and E-Learning
As with webcasts, webinars share an event with an audience over the Internet. Regrettably, a webinar doesn't offer the possibility of interaction.
By using online chat systems or over the phone, attendees can interact with speakers, presentations, and other attendees.
Since their computers or mobile devices connect participants, webinars can include multiple speaker hosts from various locations.
In addition to being interactive, webinars can be recorded and viewed later by attendees.
Back when they first appeared, webinars were marketed as online seminars. Today, though, they're widely used for training sessions, and sales events, among others.
Podcasts and Online Radio
Alternatively, if you cannot produce visual content or prefer to make your live events available online in different formats, you may want to consider podcasts or Internet radio streams.
In addition to enabling on-demand listening, podcasts are becoming ever more popular. Internet radio streaming isn't pause or rewind like a podcast, but it still provides a worldwide audio broadcast, which is great if you're looking to reach a larger audience.
A webcast or webinar could be streamed live on Internet radio, or made available as a podcast afterward, so attendees can listen to it whenever they feel like it.
A live streaming conference can be used to create a hybrid live or virtual event. In live streaming, content is continuously streamed, available for distribution and download.
Live streaming enables you to share events as they unfold, so the audience feels as if they were there in person.
Anyone online can watch live streams of in-person events, including promotions and announcements. Live events can be transformed into virtual experiences, as well.
Hybrid events are powerful tools to promote your event objectives, sure. However, the impact of COVID-19 means that some events might not have in-person participation in the future.
Whether your event will continue as planned is something you might be wondering, especially if you have planned an upcoming event this year.
So, if you have to cancel your physical event, switching to a virtual one could be the best choice.
10 Tips for Hosting Virtual Events
As we’re reaching the end, we decided to include our top 10 tips for hosting a virtual conference in 2022. From webinars to conferences streamed worldwide, here’s how to ensure your event is delivered properly and delivers the results you want.
1. Create an Experience
Consider how you can make your virtual event unique. By doing so, you create a memorable experience for attendees and add value to the event.
2. Utilize Technology
Your virtual event can be made unforgettable by taking advantage of the latest technology. For example, you could use VR to give attendees a virtual tour of a museum exhibition. At PandaMR, we provide you with a range of amazing tools, including VR incorporation, booths, and commercials!
3. Tailor to a Range of Devices
By tailoring your event to a range of devices, such as mobile phones, tablet computers, or standard PCs, you create a great user experience for attendees and also add value to your event.
4. Carve Out Your Niche
Your virtual event is more valuable if it's specific. In fact, choosing a broad theme makes you less likely to engage attendees. For instance, an event titled Digital Marketing seems general. The audience won't know what to expect. On the other hand, Delivering Empowerment to Women in the Digital World is a much more powerful message and likely to pique interest!
5. Record a Video
Create an event video to plan an engaging virtual event. In addition to conveying your message more effectively, visual stories tend to be way more memorable than text-heavy passages. So, keep that in the back of your mind.
If you plan to host an online conference with a panel of speakers or a virtual workshop with just one presenter, remember to hold a mock event before the actual one to iron out any technical issues and strengthen group dynamics.
7. Begin a Conversation
In-person events are often attended for networking purposes. Give people a chance to connect before, during, and after virtual events to create the same vibe.
8. Think About Accessibility
When planning a virtual event, aim to keep accessibility in mind. Utilize automated reminder emails that provide clear information about how attendees can join. Closed captions also will help everyone understand what's being said.
9. Bring In Reality
Even though an event is virtual, you can still make it feel real. Creating a hybrid event where some people attend virtually, and others in person can be especially challenging. You can replicate the feel of an in-person event by sending attendees a to-do list so they can prepare everything they need in anticipation of the conference.
Participation and engagement are boosted when your online event feels like a real-life one, irrespective of where your guests are located.
10. Use an Exceptional Online Virtual Event Platform
Wondering what the best virtual online conference platforms are?
When choosing your online meeting platform for hosting a virtual event or virtual conference, be picky.
At PandaMR, we offer demos for everyone. In this way, our customers can test the waters to see if we meet their needs. Our tools enable the curation of a truly unique event that will leave participants fulfilled and eager to know more.
Why Choose PandaMR?
PandaMR (Panoramic District Alternative - Mixed Reality) is a 3D platform and virtual meeting software for organizing, hosting, and participating in virtual or hybrid events. To put it differently: We're an all-inclusive online conference and event platform.
With PandaMR, you can:
Customize and optimize your event website according to your brand's requirements;
Use the event builder to monitor sales through the ticketing system;
Choose one of the suggested designs or provide your own 3D design module for a booth;
Provide virtual advertising placements and generate more sponsors for your event;
Get the advanced back office with real-time behavior statistics;
Partner with our customer experience team to guarantee the event's 24-hour support;
Create your ad placements in the virtual environment and get sponsors for your event;
Use the expo builder's ticketing system to sell tickets and monitor sales;
Use an exhibition website to promote your exhibition, place ads, and reach a larger audience.
If you’re ready to create an unforgettable virtual event, take advantage of the PandaMR free trial. Let us help you bring your virtual conference visions to life and engage your audience!