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How do I host a virtual conference?

If you've never planned or hosted a virtual conference before, you might be wondering where to start. But don't worry, our short guide to hosting a virtual conference is a great place to start. Read on to find out more!

A Short Guide To Hosting Virtual Conferences

Virtual conferences are growing in popularity. As more and more businesses favour home and remote working for office-based teams, it makes sense that events would follow them into the virtual world. And what a fantastic thing that is! Here at KDM Events, we have been dealing in physical and virtual events for a good few years now and we fully recognise the benefits of hosting an event, such as a conference, online.

Virtual conferences expand your reach, not just in your industry but across the globe. With a virtual event you can reach people you would have never dreamed of reaching physically, and that is one of the biggest benefits of online events. As well as this, hosting conferences virtually can significantly reduce costs. Think about it, with no venue or catering to pay for you can save a significant portion of your event budget while fulfilling your goals!

If you’ve never hosted a virtual event before, you’re probably wondering where to start. Never fear though, we’ve got you covered with our complete guide to hosting a virtual event.

Virtual Team Events'

Set Your Intentions

Planning and preparation for a virtual conference isn’t hugely different from a virtual one in that your first port of call is to decide what your goals are for the conference. That is, what do you want to communicate to your audience? Do you want to inspire? Raise awareness of a product? Increase sales? Share knowledge?

There are lots of reasons you might host a virtual conference, but before you do anything else make sure you and your team fully understand why you are doing it. Without this, you will have no way of measuring success and the content of your conference might not chime with your audience – online or otherwise!

Planning A Virtual Conference'

Decide On A Format

Next up is to decide what form the content of your virtual conference will take. There are lots of different options here and you might decide to use a few to appeal to different audiences at different times.

Examples of virtual conference formats include:

  • Webcasts
  • Webinars
  • Q&A Sessions
  • Panel Discussions

It’s important to ensure that the formats you choose align with your goals. For example, if you’re looking to inspire in your conference, then a live webcast of a motivational keynote by a revered speaker in your industry will be just the thing, however, a panel discussion might not hit the mark in getting your audience fired up. Think about what you would like to see at a conference, and apply that to your planning!

Remote Team Building'

Source Virtual Event Platforms

There are a number of virtual event platforms you can use for a virtual conference, which one you pick will depend on the formats within the event. For example, a platform that enables live streaming is ideal for broadcasting speeches, but they aren’t necessarily the best for interaction.

It’s important to do your research here and find a platform for your virtual conference that works for you and your audience.

Virtual Event Platforms'

Practice and Test

Once the speakers and guests are all lined up, all that’s left to do is keep working to make sure your event runs smoothly. We recommend doing several dress rehearsals or dry runs to ensure that everything works well together and moves seamlessly.

Then, on the day be sure to run a test stream to make sure your internet and audio levels are up to scratch before going live. Remember: virtual events are very new to lots of audiences so it’s key to get everything moving as smoothly as possible to avoid losing the engagement of your attendees.

Motivated Remote Worker'

Follow Up

When all is said and done, make sure you follow up with your delegates post-virtual conference. You can do this in several ways. One great way of getting feedback and generating a buzz around your event is to create a personalised hashtag for the conference and encourage delegates to post on social media with the hashtag before, during and afterwards.

Another effective way of following up with your audience is to send a thank-you email. In this, you could include links to exclusive content or recordings of the event, or ask them to fill in a short survey and share their thoughts with you. After all, virtual events are the future and feedback will help you grow and deliver the best possible future events.

Virtual Team Building Events'

Virtual Conferences From KDM Events

Here at KDM Events, we understand that this flourishing new world of virtual events can be daunting for even the most seasoned event organisers. If you would like help organising a virtual conference or event, contact our Event Managers today. Whether it’s inspiration you need to get the ball rolling or a thorough roadmap that considers your goals, we’re on hand and happy to help!

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