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Virtual Conference Guide: Ideas, Tips and Tools

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Conducting a virtual conference is easier than you think. Here are some tips and ideas for you to conduct your own successful virtual conference.

When the pandemic hit, our lives were impacted in unprecedented ways. In particular, the events indutry experienced a sudden shift with various conferences and summits worth thousands of dollars at stake globally. Fortunately, virtual conferences jumped in to save the day. Now, virtual conference platforms, software and features have evolved by leaps and bounds to accommodate for the growing demand, and hosting your own virtual conference is easier than you think.

What is a virtual conference?

You might be wondering – is a virtual conference just the same as a virtual meeting or webinar? Not quite. A virtual conference is an interactive event that can bring together a large group of people to network, learn, and plan. With the advancement in technology, a virtual conference can be conducted on a large scale. It can be hosted across multiple days, and include keynote sessions, panel discussions, training and webinars, sales product demos, and even live entertainment!  Basically, almost anything that you’ll like to conduct in an on-ground conference can be brought to the virtual space. 

A virtual conference is a great alternative, or companion for hybrid events, to an in-person conference. With virtual events, there are many great benefits such as saving on costs that typically come with physical events (such as event venue, food and travelling expenses), more flexibility for attendees, and more room for creativity!  

Ideas and Tips to organize a successful virtual conference

A virtual conference takes place solely online and requires attendees to focus on a screen for hours at a time. Therefore, your event content and activities are crucial to grab the interest of attendees and get sought after registrations.

Set your goals

Before hosting any conference, you should define your goals and KPIs clearly. This will be beneficial for your marketing plan and for selecting the right platform and activities. Be succinct about your goals, and avoid having multiple, segmented goals. What is the main purpose of hosting your event? It may be to generate revenue, increase brand awareness and engagement, or lead generation. 

Choose the right platform and features

Depending on the nature of your virtual conference, there can be many features that you’ll need during the event, such as ticketing, registration tools, onsite engagement, attendee tracking, and even a mobile event app. Make sure that you list down what you’ll need, as this will help you find the right platform and provider.    

Since you’re going virtual, it’s time to let your imagination run wild! There are many virtual elements that can be added to make your conference more engaging. You can carry out livestreaming during training sessions and webinars, with customized 3D backgrounds to amp up the visual impact. If you want to make things more fun, you can even get customized virtual avatars! 

Get creative with virtual avatars

Make an impact with a virtual stage

Furthermore, you can organize mini games, have lucky draws, conduct surveys, polls and much more! Ask your provider or virtual event organizer about the features provided and whether the features can be customized, so that you may be more selective on what you get, and what you’re paying for. You would also want to ensure ample technical support before and after the event, so make sure that those are provided. Visit and experience this virtual platform to bring your ideas to life now! 

Set your marketing plan

Creating a landing page for your event is crucial for promoting the event. This is where you can direct potential visitors to get more information and to build their interest. Digital Advertising on social media platforms will be a large part of getting exposure for your virtual event. Select the platform to carry out your advertising – do you want to reach out to audiences on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or through Electronic Direct Marketing?

Your marketing plan and budget should always be tied to the goals and KPIs that you’ve set. If you’re looking for more traffic and visitors to your event, set a number on how many visitors you would like to achieve; If you’re looking to earn revenue, set the amount that you would like to earn. From there, you can reverse calculate your advertising budget, and be realistic about your expectations! If you’re looking to earn a hundred thousand from your event, does spending one or two thousand on advertising sound realistic to you?

If it’s your first time trying out digital advertising, keep in mind that there is no definite cost or result –  every ad that you run comes with a certain amount of trial and error. Make sure you work closely with your digital marketing team or provider to keep track of your ad spend and the results generated.     

Get analytical

Having visibility towards key success metrics is important to gauge the improvements of a virtual event. It is through data that you can understand how to further optimize costs, improve conversion rate, and therefore generate more profit. The good news is, many virtual event platforms offer a convenient system to collect and analyze data, so make sure that you can get access to them, and have people ready to analyze them!  

Examples of data that you should capture are –

1) Profile data: Profile data includes attendee demographics such as email, organization, location etc. Profile data help complete existing profiles and build new prospect profiles.

2) Engagement data:  Engagement data includes session registration, session attendance and duration, appointments scheduled, and feedback submitted. Engagement data can help your sales and marketing teams better understand attendee interests, and facilitate better follow-up and future marketing strategies.

The future is virtual

A virtual conference can make a big impact. As the world is advancing rapidly, there are more great virtual resources that you can use to your advantage. It’s time to take the leap and move towards a better and brighter future with virtual events.

Check out how the Largest Tech Expo in Southeast Asia, DATA Asia 2021 exceeded target visitors by 100%. 

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