The corporate events industry has faced unprecedented challenges for close to two years now as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As bustling conference rooms become a distant memory, corporate event planners are embracing the demands of the “new normal” by organizing virtual meetings and conferences.
With no sign of easing up, the virtual events industry will continue growing at an impressive compound annual growth rate of 23.2% between 2020 and 2027. As well as being cheaper to attend than traditional conferences, online events are more accessible and less time-consuming — important considerations for people who work remotely.
Of course, creating an enjoyable online event that enables attendees to network and learn new things isn’t easy. To help you organize a virtual conference that delegates will love, we’ve put together a few need-to-know hints and tips.
1. Create a cohesive strategy
Virtual events take just as long to plan as in-person events, so get started early. Answer the following questions with your target demographic in mind:
• Will the event be filmed?
• What kind of experiences are you hoping to deliver?
• Will you charge registration fees?
• What time should you schedule the event? Will there be issues surrounding time zones?
• How do you plan to promote the event?
Considering these issues during the planning stages will ensure your event is delivered successfully and on time.
2. Consider a hybrid model
Hybrid events facilitate both in-person and virtual forms of engagement — great if you’re hoping to attract a combination of local delegates and professionals from across continents. The most common and logistically simple type of hybrid event takes place in a single venue while being broadcast to a virtual audience.
3. Encourage networking
Remember, many people attend conferences purely to discover new networking opportunities. To ensure the event is as valuable as possible for online attendees, it is worth finding innovative technologies to facilitate networking and engagement, such as Slack or Wonder.
4. Make the most of social media
Live-tweeting your event and posting updates across other channels will help keep delegates engaged and garner widespread interest. Use hashtags to help people follow relevant conversations, and encourage users to ask speakers questions via Twitter.
5. Prepare for tech disasters
Technology problems could interrupt or slow down your event, so do everything you can to prevent them from occurring. Before the event takes place, test your internet connection, and encourage speakers to do the same. If your speakers have prepared videos or presentation slides, retain backups on the cloud, and, if possible, rehearse the event proceedings beforehand.
It is also well worth giving your participants a brief tech rundown before the event takes place to ensure they know how to control their mic, webcam, and relevant applications.
6. Focus on inclusivity and accessibility
Try to make your events as accessible as possible by offering closed captions and visuals for all presentations, particularly the keynote events. It is also worth double-checking your range of speakers is diverse and aligns with the host organization’s core branding.
To learn more about our events or to schedule one, contact us today!