The popularity of online conferences is not unknown to anyone. In the past two years, one thing that has gained popularity vividly is online conferences. It is not that online conferences weren’t in use before the pandemic, people would connect over online platforms and communicate. However, it is during the pandemic that the majority of people came across this technique, and they are not the ones to be blamed.
Talking of the present of online conferences, we all know how heavily organizations and corporations depend on virtual conference platforms for everyday requirements. It goes without saying that the remote workforce cannot function without online conferences. Given the popularity and dependence on everything virtual, it can be said that the end of online conferences is not anywhere near. Hence, you can host conferences virtually anytime without worrying about anything.
Now, if you are hosting online conferences, or hosting them for the first time, here are a few things you should do. Experts suggest a few tips that, if considered, will help you seamlessly execute your online conferences and deliver a unique and valuable experience to your attendees. In this blog, we will discuss what those tips are. Hence, get ready to be on a fulfilling and learning journey with us. Read On.
- While Planning the Conference, Take Enough Time:
Yes, it is true that virtual conferences are quick to plan and host. It is also true that you don’t need to spend that much time and effort on their planning. However, one thing you need to know as an organizer is hosting a conference is much more than simply sharing the link of an online conference platform. It goes beyond having some people over, and calling it an online conference. Though online conferences don’t demand that much time, effort, and money, it is an advantage. It should never become a reason for you not to prepare for it.
Online conferences require some brainstorming and most importantly, a well-thought-out strategy. Hence, if you are planning a conference, don’t just sideline it by thinking that an online conference doesn’t require that much planning and preparation. The amount of time and strategy you will put into your conference will show up in the conference itself. Therefore, prepare and prepare well.
- Take Time Zones into Consideration:
The next thing you should take care of is the fact that 6 pm in India won’t be 6 pm in the United States of America. The shift in time zones is a real thing. You need to be mindful of it while planning your online conferences. While online conferences give you the advantage of reaching out to a global audience at once, as an organizer, you should take advantage carefully. Several organizers end up overlooking or ignoring the time zones, which cost them the success of their conference.
Hence, if you are targeting the audience of a particular country, make sure you schedule your conference accordingly. Nobody would like to attend a conference at 2 in the morning. Not only this, but you should also go through your calendars before deciding on a particular date. Make sure that the date you choose doesn’t coincide with another popular event. Also, make sure you don’t end up scheduling your conference for a national holiday or any festival.
- Deliver All Types Of Content:
With our next tip comes another advantage of online conferences. It is that organizers get the complete freedom to deliver all kinds of content, be it live or pre-recorded. You can use it at per convenience and host sessions accordingly. However, experts suggest using both formats, and that is synchronous and non-synchronous content. While synchronous content enables you to boost audience engagement at the conference, non-synchronous content is more convenient for the audience.
Both formats have their own advantages, and sticking to only one of the formats might not be that beneficial. However, if you mix and match the types of content, you will see the results yourself.
- Boost Audience Engagement and Networking:
The next tip you need to take into account while planning your online conference is providing the audience with engagement and networking opportunities. One of the most prominent misconceptions that people have regarding online conferences is that online conferences lack real-life experiences. Not only this, it goes without saying that networking is one of the biggest factors for people to attend such events. Now, if your conference doesn’t provide you with enough opportunities, would it even make sense for them to take out time and attend your conference? While you might think about how it is possible to provide attendees with networking opportunities, don’t worry. There are several online conference platforms that come with several audience engagement and networking tools.
Tools like audio-video chat, 1:1 chats, networking tables, and so many more help attendees interact with each other while being present at the conference.
In addition to it, tools such as live polls, emoticon reactions, surveys, and so many other tools keep attendees engaged and hooked to the conference.
- Don’t Try To Achieve Perfection:
One of the biggest mistakes that organizers end up making is trying to achieve perfection. While the conference is being held on a digital platform over some devices, the organizers are human beings. Making mistakes is completely human, and it is okay to make mistakes. However, if you have made a mistake while the session is going on, don’t try to overlook it or brush it under the carpet, your attendees have already noticed it.
If something happens unintentionally and unexpectedly, make sure you handle it humorously. Accept that you have made a mistake, and try to get over it with humor. It won’t save you from making another mistake. And, it will also leave a good impression on your attendees and show your presence of mind.
Since online conferences are so popular, every other organization is hosting one or the other every day. In such cases, you will become a part of the crowd if your conference doesn’t have anything unique to offer. Hence, keep the above-discussed tips in mind, and plan your conference accordingly.