Top tips for hosting a virtual conference

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we can achieve so much virtually. Businesses who have never encouraged remote working are now using it to their advantage with hundreds of people working from home.

With virtual meetings becoming the norm, you may now be wanting to host a conference online, and we want it to go off without a hitch. We are going to explore the ways you can make it as successful as possible with some top tips on how to host your next virtual conference.

Why are you organising a conference?

Before you start promoting your event, be sure you have a clear vision on why you’re doing it. Do you have something new to share with the world? An issue you’re wanting to address? To make money? Or have you moved a traditional conference onto a digital platform to cut costs?

Organising a virtual conference isn’t an easy task so you really want to have a clear reason for why you’re doing it, the benefits it will have and why your audience needs it.

Know your audience

Before you start planning your conference you will want to know your audience. One of the benefits of knowing your audience is that you will understand what they want to listen to. This will make it easier when it comes to organising speakers as you can give them clear direction about who they’re talking to and what the audience is expecting.

Unless you’re planning an internal-only company conference, ask yourself these questions to help you attract your perfect audience:

  • Do we want our already-established customer base to come to the event?
  • Do we want to attract new customers?
  • What age range do we want to appeal to?
  • What virtual platform will our audience prefer to use?

Have a message

What do you want your audience to take away from your conference? Have a clear message to keep your conference streamlined as you don’t want to create mixed messages. Having an end goal will help to keep you on the right track when it comes to emphasising the overall message and organising the conference. If you don’t know what your message is, you should think about the one thing you want your audience to remember from the event.

Choose a theme

If you are struggling to decide on your message, have a theme. A theme will make planning your conference much simpler. You can tailor everything around this one specific element, making it easier to bring everything together.

It will also bring consistency to the whole conference and people will know what to expect. If you want to talk about the environment, you know to only organise speakers who specialise in this area. Doing all of this can help make your conference memorable and bring it to life.

Organise a speaker

That leads us nicely onto our next point: Guest speakers. A successful conference will have more than one person speaking. Your speakers can be from your business, or they can be professional speakers with industry knowledge.

Another option to incorporate a speaker into your conference would be to have a motivational speaker to close your conference and end it on a positive high. This will leave everyone in attendance feeling encouraged and motivated for the future.

If you’re looking for a speaker for your next conference, NMP Live specialises in providing events and conferences with top speakers from a variety of industries.

Decide on the platform

We mentioned this earlier when it comes to deciding your audience, but it’s really important you establish which video platform you want to use. Are you going to host it on Zoom, Skype or Microsoft Teams or do you want to do something through social media on Facebook or Instagram?

The platform will play a big role in how many people can attend and what your audience is like (you can expect a much younger generation if you opt for social media).

Check the tech

Finally – and very importantly – have a run-through of the setup. While technology has come on in leaps and bounds, it isn’t without its flaws. If you want multiple speakers, ensure each one knows which order they are in and how they’re getting introduced into the conference so they know their cue.

It might be beneficial to get all of the speakers online together to check internet connections, too. The last thing you want is for your conference to have a technical glitch.

Planning is the key to a successful conference. If you understand your goal, the audience you are wanting to attract and what kind of speaker you want, you can plan around all of this – it’s sure to be a success.