Hosting a virtual conference can be challenging. It involves planning and executing a strategy within a specific timeframe. The planning phase is important in hosting a successful virtual conference – especially for first-timers.
However, taking time to plan can help make your virtual conferences much better and easier to host. It also encourages more people to attend your conference. If you’re known for hosting the best virtual conferences, there’s a higher chance more people are likely to attend.
With this in mind, in this article, we’ll go over six steps for successfully hosting a virtual conference.
Hosting a virtual conference
Here, we’ll cover six different steps that will help you host a virtual conference for your business.
1. Create a solid plan
The first thing you should focus on is coming up with a solid plan. Your plan should decide what you want to achieve with your virtual conference and how you’re going to do that with your content. It’s important to consider the main goal and purpose of your virtual conference before you start brainstorming content ideas for it.
You want to ask yourself questions such as: Do you want to host a virtual conference to promote your product? Or do you want to educate people on a specific topic? This helps decide the primary goal of your virtual conference.
Having a solid plan before you start is also a great way to ensure you and your team are on track with the main goal of your virtual conference. It also makes it much easier to manage and host your virtual conference if you already have everything planned out.
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On the flip side, if you’re making plans and goals as you go, hosting a virtual conference can get much harder and frustrating. A solid strategy gives you and your team members a sense of direction and helps ensure everyone is doing their job properly. You might even consider putting together a checklist of tasks for each person on the team.
2. Choose the right platform
A big part of hosting a virtual conference is choosing the right platform according to your requirements and branding. Since everything is virtual and online, you need to put your faith and trust in a virtual conference hosting platform.
However, it can be very difficult with so many different options available. The first thing you need to decide is if the platform you choose will let you host your virtual conference the way you want to. A robust virtual conference platform lets you showcase content the way you want. This helps you deliver a personalized virtual conference experience to your audience.
It’s also important to choose the right virtual conference platform according to your budget and use case. For instance, you don’t want to choose an expensive virtual conference platform and end up not using the additional “premium” features you paid for. If you’re planning to host a simple virtual conference, you should also choose a simple virtual conference platform to host it on.
Check out our article on The Best Virtual Conference Platforms For Membership Website Entrepreneurs for our top picks.
3. Engage your audience
It’s important to encourage your audience to engage with your content before and after your virtual conference. This keeps them interested in your content and builds hype for the virtual conference event.
A great way to engage your audience before your virtual event is to offer them previews of the main event. By showcasing small previews of your content, you encourage customers to attend the virtual conference and it gives them an idea of what to expect from your virtual conference. You can also let your audience interact with your business website and content before the virtual conference starts. This gives them a place to interact and view your content. As a result, the audience gets a better sense of your brand’s values and standards.
For example, you can share previews of presentations, an agenda of the virtual conference, or blog posts or interviews of speakers.
During the event, you can interact with your audience to keep them engaged and interested in your virtual conference. You can offer free content by asking them questions, or answering theirs, and letting them participate in fun activities. This also helps make them feel special knowing the host of the virtual conference is interested in interacting with them.
4. Decide on a budget
Deciding on an accurate budget is also important for hosting a successful virtual conference. You don’t want to promise your audience big things only to later not fulfill them due to a shortage in budget.
You need to know how much should be spent on various parts of your virtual conference to host it successfully. You need to factor in costs such as platform costs, the fees you will pay to the event speakers, and hiring additional staff members for assisting with the virtual event. In addition to this, it’s also important to consider the costs involved with using premium plugins to create and deliver content for your virtual conference.
Managing your budget beforehand is a great way to make sure you don’t have to worry about running out of budget when hosting your virtual conference. This leaves a bad impression, especially for new attendees that just got to know about your brand.
5. Host your virtual conference
When hosting your virtual conference, it’s your responsibility to make sure everything is going according to your main goals and plans. This way, you can ensure every event activity is on track with your timelines and all your staff members are following your plan. You can also use this opportunity to ensure all team members are doing their job properly and on time. As a result, this makes sure your virtual conference goes smoothly and exactly according to your expectations.
You want to keep a check on all operations and ensure they are running smoothly. This way, you make sure your audience is fully engaged with your content. It is also a great way to take care of issues and solve them quickly. If you’re keeping a check on everything, it will be much easier for you to spot any bugs or issues with the virtual conference. As a result, it helps enhance the user experience and reduces any distractions during your virtual conference.
Step #6. Follow up on attendees
Once the virtual conference is over, you can check up with attendees and ask about their experiences. This is a great way to get honest feedback about your virtual conference and helps know if attendees are interested in viewing more of your content.
Using attendee feedback, you can make changes to your content and improve it based on your audience’s likes and dislikes. As a result, this helps you host a more successful virtual conference event next time and also encourages more people to join. Customer feedback is a great way to improve and take your virtual events to the next level.
Additionally, following up on attendees after the live event helps make them feel special and exclusive. This way, customers are more likely to join your next event too and helps boost attendee loyalty.
Hosting a successful virtual conference can be quite intimidating, especially if this is your first time doing so. A great way to start is by planning your virtual conference and then executing your plan properly.
Let’s go over some essential tips to remember when hosting your next virtual conference event:
- The first thing you want to do is create a solid plan for your virtual conference. This includes brainstorming all the content ideas and how you’re going to present the content in your virtual conference. You also need to consider setting proper timelines for all activities for your virtual event. This helps ensure everyone, including your staff members are on track with the proper timeline.
- It’s also important to ensure you’re using the right virtual conference hosting platform according to your content and your use case.
- A great way to engage your audience before your virtual event starts is by offering them previews of the main event. This keeps them excited and interested in your content leading up to the event start time.
- It’s crucial for you to keep in mind a set budget to spend for your virtual. You don’t want to overspend because it can prevent you from going through with all event activities. For instance, if you overspend on a virtual hosting platform, it can be hard for you to hire quality event speakers. This affects the overall experience of your virtual conference.
- Finally, when it’s time to host your virtual conference, it’s essential for you to ensure all operations are being run smoothly. This includes making sure all team members are doing their job properly and ensuring all timelines are being met.
Do you know of any other crucial steps needed for hosting a successful virtual conference? Let us know in the comments box below.