Virtual conferences have gained deserving notoriety over the past five years. When designed correctly, a virtual conference mirrors the experience of an in-person event minus the lavish destination and after-hours entertainment.
So, what are the key ingredients to ensure success of a virtual conference?
In the video below, we go behind the scenes with ASHA, an industry leader when it comes to hosting premier virtual conference experiences. When designing the conference, ASHA conference planners maintain focus on what the attendees find most important. Here’s a look at what to pay close attention to during design and planning.
Provide the opportunity for attendees to network and spend one-on-one time with key contacts
Aside from the opportunity for professional development, people attend conferences because it provides an opportunity to connect with well-known industry players and puts them in the same room as their lead prospects. When designing a virtual conference, planners need to keep this important goal in mind and develop networking and connection opportunities, including coveted one-on-one time.
A virtual conference can include an exhibit hall or tradeshow with dedicated appointment times, discussion boards with scheduled presentations and chats, and open chat networking opportunities. Platforms like iCohere offer unique features where attendees can create an online professional profile and schedule a virtual (face-to-face) meeting with a prospect using a webcam and computer. The meeting goes far beyond a Skype experience because the meeting room can be branded to fit the overall conference design.
Offer a complete conference experience from registration to exit
Online or virtual doesn’t mean you have to go without. A virtual conference includes all of the assets found from attending a live, in-person conference. Attendees enjoy a branded conference web experience with plenary and concurrent tracks, networking, discussion boards, breakout sessions and trainings, an exhibit hall or tradeshow, poster sessions, and if applicable, continuing education testing and certificates.
What’s more is that attendees can have access to important conference materials almost immediately, and certainly during the conference when it’s needed most. In addition to the experience above, planners can add an online resource center to the conference design, so attendees can review presentations and recordings, and download supplemental materials.
Ensure a unified experience for everyone and accommodate worldwide schedules
A virtual conference creates the opportunity to reach a worldwide audience. When planning the conference agenda, keep in mind that some of your guests will be asleep during the sessions. It’s not because of the content, but rather they are living in another time zone. It’s important for anyone attending to receive all the benefits, so work to identify ways to accommodate these audiences.
Want to see a virtual conference in action? Click below to go behind the scenes with ASHA in this on-demand video and see the results of their 100 percent virtual conference.
Ready to go virtual? Visit iCohere for more information.