With the COVID-19 quarantine still in effect, most professional event planners have had to adapt to hosting conferences on virtual platforms. While the medium has its advantages, it comes with a learning curve that many industry professionals weren’t ready to tackle.
Comprehending the available tools is the first step! With face-to-face interactions limited or non-existent right now, utilizing a modern, virtual conference space shows that an experienced event planner can quickly adapt to their clients needs and maintain their professional standards under restrictive circumstances.
Here are 4 tips to keep in mind when hosting a virtual conference:
On-land conferences can sometimes make it easier to manage expectations because of physical restrictions. Since conference guests have to travel, book hotels, and plan ahead, an event planner wouldn’t realistically expect too many surprise guests. This all changes in a virtual conference space.
Since virtual conferences are more convenient, more people can attend, often in an amount that’s difficult to predict. A responsible event planner needs to be able to plan big for their conferences and adjust their schedule to accommodate more people if need be. When utilized correctly, the right virtual event platform can always be customized for a larger audience.
Choose the Right Platform
Not all event planning software is made equal. Hosts need to find platforms that offer easy registration and ticketing systems, customer support, and data analysis tools. They also need to be able to set up event pages branded with the host company and backed up by an intuitive interface. All of this requires a technically skilled event planner or a reliable IT team.
Since the entire conference is virtual, attendees and speakers need to be managed effectively from the chosen platform. Many of the best virtual event programs are integrated with major social media sites, live streaming options, and provide networking opportunities for attendees through their systems.
The Social Media Angle
Social media integration is essential for hosting a virtual conference, as it’s important that the audience connects with the host’s brand. To do that, they need easy access to company-specific hashtags they can use, as well as trendy pictures and videos.
A good conference host makes it simple for anyone in attendance at the conference or sponsoring it to share the event with their social media accounts, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. This is essential to drum up brand engagement as a result of the conference.
An effective virtual conference should be curated to appeal to the industry of the brand being hosted. This means that the event planner needs to carefully consider the intended audience, how they think, and what they want to learn from the experience before choosing the program and theme to match.
How do they do this?
Event planners should make use of everyone at their disposal, including verified attendees, company sponsors, and partners to figure out what the audience needs and plan accordingly.
Hosting a virtual conference doesn’t follow the same rules as a physical event. It’s more difficult to predict the number of people in attendance and requires more groundwork in terms of customizing the agenda and venue to suit the audience.
A savvy event planner will choose a conference hosting platform with social media integration and intuitive sharing tools that make it easy for attendees to spread the word about the host company’s brand. Event planners need to engage with their audience if they expect engagement in return, especially in the new virtual conference space.
Kristin is the CEO/Founder of The Source Marketing Group. The marketing agency is focused on elevating female-, veteran-, and minority-owned businesses.