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Make the most of your virtual conference

Hands up if you’ve attended a virtual conference over the last few months. We thought so. In a world gone digital, virtual conferences are popping up all over. Maybe you’re even planning your own. Gone are the days of putting a camera in the back of the room and pressing record. With so much competition out there (and so much technology at your disposal) it’s important to make sure your conference goes off without a hitch. If you’re feeling a bit lost, here are some tips we’ve compiled from industry experts to help your event stand out:

  • Get the people right: Every conference needs good hosts and good speakers. It might sound simple, but speaking to a screen – not a live audience – is something of an art. It takes practice and skill. First of all, make sure your presenters talk directly to the camera. Your audience will only be able to see the top third of them, so voice, facial expression, gestures, and style all need to be magnified.
  • Use visuals: A picture says a thousand words, so yes, go with PowerPoint. But remember, when you’re presenting virtually your visuals are under the microscope, so design your slides well and don’t be afraid to use GIFs and video clips to jazz them up.
  • Mix it up: Just because it’s virtual doesn’t mean you are bound to a single format. Lecture after lecture, speech after speech. It’s boring, and nobody wants that! Panel discussions, Q&A’s, interviews – there are so many possibilities. Especially if you’re using pre-recorded features*. And if you’ve got some basic video editing skills at your disposal, the world is very much your oyster. Don’t be afraid to get out there and get creative.

*With so much technical stuff going on, you’re inviting disaster if you don’t pre-record at least some of your content. This takes the pressure off your speakers (and technical team) and gives you chance to double-check content, add subtitles, and edit ahead of time.

  • Encourage interaction: Most platforms offer integrated ‘chat’ features, and these are a great way to engage your audience. Guests and speakers can interact before, during and after presentations, and if you’ve got the technical know-how you can even build polls and private chat rooms.
  • Say ‘yes’ to subtitles: Subtitles and/or live text captioning are a must – not just for those with hearing difficulties, but for everyone! Just because your audience is remote doesn’t mean they can turn the volume up full blast. Subtitles also give you the chance to prep for different languages and increase event reach.
  • Make sure your technology works: If people can’t access the stream, hear – or see – your speakers properly, then you’ve got problems. Technology is a fickle thing, and you’re bound to have some issues on the day. Choose yours carefully, out-source if you need to, test your system and trouble-shoot potential pitfall ahead of time. It will pay off in the long run!

There’s a lot to take in, but don’t be discouraged. Virtual conferences open up a world of opportunity, so do your research, take advice, and don’t be afraid to engage the experts! Virtual events are fast becoming the norm and might just stick around after things get back to “normal”. Get your virtual event right, and who knows, maybe you’ll find a new way of having events that’s here to stay.

thankQ CRM can help you take full control of events and allows you to manage all aspects from one centralized and cohesive place.  Contact us to see how. Set up your personalized demo today.