There are lots of events that are hosted annually. And each event serves a particular purpose. Some events are organised for networking while others for showcasing or launching a new product. Irrespective of the reason, events are necessary for everyone. And out of hundreds of events, the most common one is conferences.
A conference or convention is like a formal meeting, where people meet to discuss their shared common interest. These meetings might last several days. Conferences/conventions are hosted in many industries around the world. And often organisations host annual conferences. And among them, the conferences hosted by tech companies are the most popular ones.
However, last year, due to the pandemic, all kinds of social gathering were curbed. And this led to the cancellation of events around the world, including the conferences. But soon, event organisers found the solution to this problem in the form of virtual events. As a result, we saw lots of virtual events taking place, including virtual conferences.
To host a virtual event or virtual conference, you need a virtual event platform or virtual event software. But you need to get the right platform/software to get the most out of the event. But before we jump into the best virtual conference software. Let’s first understand why you should host a virtual conference.
Advantages of hosting a virtual conference
- Affordability– Hosting a virtual conference is cost-effective. You don’t have to spend on things like venue, travelling and accommodation.
- Time friendly – By opting for a virtual conference, you can save the time required for travelling to the event venue.
- Global reach – In a virtual conference, you can host a global audience. Hence, giving you access to the international market.
- Broader Audience – With the virtual conference, you can make constraints like time and money irrelevant. And can make your event accessible to the masses.
- Better value – You can host a global event with an unlimited audience on a much smaller budget. This means virtual conferences offer higher value on your investment.
- Eco-friendly – With the virtual conference, you can reduce your carbon footprints by reducing your dependency on resources.
These are some of the advantages of hosting a virtual conference or any other virtual event. Now let’s move to selecting a virtual event platform for your event.
Choosing the best virtual conference software
There are many virtual event software out there. So choosing the right software can be a bit confusing. But it is not difficult. However, the best way to choose virtual event software for your event is by preparing a list of features and services that are required for your event. And compare that list with various software. The software that ticks all the boxes is the right one for your event.
Apart from this, you need to look at other things in virtual event software. But what are those things? Let’s see.
- Interface and Navigation
The interface is the most crucial part of the total experience of the software. And it is the deciding factor in the audience’s experience at the event. So the interface needs to be fast, responsive and easy to use. If the interface is laggy, slow or confusing. It will ruin the experience of the audience. So make sure to test the interface before selecting the software.
When it comes to the experience, there are lots of factors that contribute to a smooth experience. And the most important factor is convenience. Some features are made to make things easier for people. Let’s look at some of them.
- Micro-site: It is basically a registration page that also contains event schedule
- Introduction video: This video gives the attendee a brief about the event
- Touchpoints: It lets an attendee interact with the platform. And can have an immersive experience
3. Audience Engagement
To enhance the audience experience, you should engage with the audience during the event. So you should check for the audience engagement features while selecting the software for your event. The more features you have, the more options will be options to engage with the audience. Some of the popular audience engagements are Gamification, Social Wall, Polls and AR photobooth etc. Apart from these, you can have more features. And use different features regularly to maintain the excitement level at your event.
4. Networking tools
Networking is one of the most influential motivations behind attending a virtual event. So you should try to create networking opportunities at your event. And also promote it, to attract people to your event. For this, you are required to have dedicated tools. Again it depends upon the software which networking tools you will get. We recommend AI Matchmaking, Networking lounge, B2B Meeting scheduler and many more. Also, you can use modest tools like Live Chats. And support for third-party apps like WhatsApp and Zoom.
5. Convenience of the attendees
The unique selling point of virtual events is the comfort of the attendees. So you need to use this comfort to intensify the audience experience at your event. Some simpler features can massively impact the audience experience. Let’s discuss some of them.
- Briefcase – Every attendee gets a briefcase from which they can access all the documents that they saved throughout the event
- Document download – As the name suggests, this feature lets you download the document
- Document Library – You can easily access any document that is shared in the conference from the document library
- Document Presentation – This feature enables the attendees to give a presentation at the event
6. Live Analytics and feedback
Access to live analytics is one of the most crucial features. This feature lets you monitor the activities of individual attendees in real-time. You can see where the attendees are going in the event? Or to whom they are contacting? And so on. This helps you in determining which exhibition, online session or feature attracted most attendees. And which didn’t. So you can evaluate what worked best for your attendees and whatnot. Use these results to improve your next event.
Also, you can collect feedback easily on many virtual conference software. The feedback provides you with a deep insight into your audience. You can discover the audience’ preference, expectations and experience at your event. So use this information to target your audience more effectively in the next event. These are some of the features and qualities that make a great virtual conference software. So next time, while selecting the software, you can refer to this article.