With the growing trend of hosting online conferences these days, many corporations and organisations have jumped on the bandwagon to shift their events online.
Hosting a virtual conference would be simple, but how to host a satisfactory one, especially under an online setting seems not a piece of cake. From the planning stage to execution, there are numerous things to consider.
By far we have gathered some indispensable factors which contribute to a fruitful online conference. Reading the following guides can help you realise what are the essential ingredients to a successful online event.
5 Essential Elements To A Successful Online Conference
1. Compelling theme
Generally speaking, a online conference lasts for at least one or even two days. Imagine if the theme is tedious, your audience would not have a prolonged attention span to the entire event. Therefore, having an appealing topic and content is of crucial significance.
For a start, creating a well-thought-out event agenda and logistics is pivotal. A typical conference includes opening ceremonies, presentations, lunch and dinner sessions as well as breaks. In order to stand out from your rivals, it is advisable to add more colours to your online conference. Small group discussions and networking sessions, for instance, can be held during the event.
Aside from the content, when deciding the theme, it is equally important to take the tagline into consideration. “Creating Customer Connections”, for example, is a good slogan for a corporate conference, as it is not only catchy but it also utilises parallelism to demonstrate the theme in both precise and concise ways.
2. Good visualisation
Speaking of ways to deliver your messages, most of the speakers would consider speaking with some technical terms and jargons as well as presenting with appropriate body language and gesture.
However, none of the above-mentioned methods are as effective as leveraging data, graphics, animation and videos to visualise your ideas. Compared with solely articulating your thoughts, having a good visualisation helps to deepen your audience’s understanding of the content, thus enhancing their attention span and memory.
With online conferences, nowadays visualisation can be achieved and fully utilised in an easier way, as every participant can both clearly and closely view the visual elements on the online screen.
Audience engagement is another crucial aspect that we should in no way ignore in a online conference. For the sake of facilitating the engagement, live and pre-event polling can be embedded in the online conference. Not only can the live polling create a room for interactivity, but the pre-event one can also boost the audience’s show-up rates.
Since it can make the audience feel that the event is catered to their needs and expectations so that they will be prone to show up to the online event, due to relevant content.
In fact, we can further think of some creative ways to enhance engagement. Reward system, for instance, can be integrated into the online conference. Attendees will be given some points for joining the event on time and other activities such as polling. Those points can be used to exchange some prizes, thus fostering audience engagement.
Networking can be regarded as a vital means for attendees to interact with each other. During online conferences, although the original lunch or dinner session is cancelled, there can still be a room for discussion. Gamification, for example, can be integrated into the online event so as to add more colors and a sense of entertainment for networking.
To be more specific, it is not difficult to hold a photo competition for different themes. During lunchtime, instead of having a break to temporarily end the event, it can be replaced by a photo sharing session. Given that some people might cook at home or have meals at some upmarket restaurants, they can take a photo of their food and share with fellow attendees.
The one who can gain the highest appreciation from others can gain a prize. By doing this, attendees can interact in a more relaxing and enjoyable way, unlike only following the traditional approach to exchange online name cards and have discussions with other audience members in the breakout room.
5. Reliable service provider
As the saying goes, “sharp tools make good work”. Finding a reputable online event technology service provider is a prerequisite for a successful online conference. Without having an event technology company to provide relevant service for the event organisers, it is impossible to bring the event from offline to online.
Among all event technology firms, some of them can provide 3D demonstration, live streaming and real-time interactive functions. Conversely, some companies’ services are limited to only creating an online space for holding a virtual conference with fewer diversities in the product’s features.
Apart from that, a stable platform that can enable thousands of attendees to join the event at the same time is also another factor that we should take into account. Of course, having good reputation like those platforms that are highly recommended and appreciated by many customers is also worth considering.
All in all, it is hoped that we can all be cautious about the details of online event management. As long as we bear the aforementioned elements in mind when running an online event, it is believed that event organisers can avoid making some unnecessary mistakes, thus hosting a fabulous event.