5 Expert Tips On How To Host A Virtual Conference

Posted by Sophia Duplin

Increase Your Brand’s Reach With A High-Quality Virtual Event 

Chances are you’ve mastered the art of in-person event planning. Or maybe your company doesn’t currently offer conferences and would like to branch out.  It’s only natural that you want to find new approaches to cast a wider net and generate more leads. 


If your business is looking for a new approach to offering online education opportunities and exciting branded events, the best way to do this is to host a virtual conference. 


Hosting a virtual conference, also known as an online conference, is the perfect way for marketers to expand their brand’s offerings, which will draw in new clients and increase your revenue.


Before you begin planning your next virtual conference, review these five tips from expert event planners to ensure your virtual event is well received. 


BeaconLive conference screenshot


Host A Successful Virtual Conference With These 5 Pro Tips 

Virtual conferences are more than just different types of webinars or a live stream of digital events one after the other. 


To engage your virtual audience, you need to make the most out of the virtual experience and plan. 


Take a look at five tips from expert virtual conference hosts that will help you plan and execute a successful virtual conference. 


1. Don’t Skip Event Reminders

In-person events captivate their audience with proximity. Because they are physically present, event attendees are more likely to participate and attend the planned sessions. You’ll have to do a bit more legwork to ensure this level of commitment to your online event. 


 When you host a virtual conference, attendees will access your event from their home, office, or other chosen space. This translates to unforeseen distractions that may take them away from your event, even if they paid for the experience. 


The best way to combat these issues is to send out frequent reminders to your event registrants. Here are the ways you can remind your event attendees about your virtual conference. 

  • Event Countdown Clocks: Include exciting real-time countdown clocks on your event landing page, as well as in your marketing emails. 

  • Email Marketing: Send email reminders periodically, especially at the 24-hour and 1-hour mark before your event starts. 

  • Social Media Posts: On your event social media page and LinkedIn profile, post reminders for event start times and session recordings. 

  • Resource Follow-Ups: Remind your participants of event recordings, media libraries, and other essential resources posted concerning the event. 

  • Influencer Reminders: Enlist exhibitors, sponsors, and other vital stakeholders to post reminders to their outlets. 


Don’t worry about annoying your audience. They signed up for your event for a reason and stand to benefit from the virtual conference experience. 


So be persistent to prevent attendees from missing out on everything your event has to offer.


2. Contextualize Your Content With An Event Theme

The key to a successful virtual conference lies within your content. It’s easy to line up random keynote speakers, presenters, and sponsors for your event schedule. 


The problem is that if there is no strong connection between your sessions, you will miss an opportunity to engage your audience and prove your company’s expertise. 


To provide real value during your online event, you will need to choose the perfect virtual event theme and stick to it. An event theme will help you curate a positive virtual experience and allow your attendees to gain valuable takeaways. 


Use your opening session to highlight the significant theme or takeaway for the event. Point out how each session within the virtual conference builds upon or is interrelated with what your audience can expect to learn. 


As you plan your virtual conference content, make sure every component relates to your theme. Each session should have clear objectives and essential takeaways. 


Finally, plan a closing session where you challenge audience members to review and reflect upon their experience and share how they plan to take action. Be sure to record all of your sessions to create a media library. Your virtual event platform should be able to help with this. 


3. Embrace The Online Medium For Attendee Engagement 

 While you want your virtual conference to mirror the experiences of a face-to-face event, don’t ignore the chance to leverage the online medium for your company’s benefit. 


There are no rules saying your online event needs to last a specific number of days. Spread the sessions over weeks or throughout the month to prevent attendee burnout and build excitement for your event. 


Not only will you pick up more attendees along the way as word-of-mouth spreads, but you can make use of virtual event platform features. Discussion boards, microlearning, and other time-saving features are not found at an in-person conference. 


You can also record all of your sessions for on-demand viewing. This is exceptionally helpful for attendees who miss a session or live in a conflicting time zone. It also turns your virtual conference content into a reusable and shareable resource, like a podcast or case studies, that will increase your event ROI over time. 


Your attendees will appreciate that you value their time, and your stakeholders will love the opportunity to capitalize on the event content. 


4. Offer Dedicated Networking Opportunities

 A common misconception about hosting a conference in a virtual environment is that it limits networking opportunities between attendees. This couldn’t be further from the truth. 


Within your virtual conference platform lies several different methods for offering just as many chances to network as a face-to-face conference does. Here are some ways to integrate networking events into your online conference. 

  • Guided Networking Breakout Sessions 

  • Pop-In Virtual Networking Live Sessions 

  • Virtual Happy Hours 

  • Direct Messaging Between Attendees 

  • Video Conferencing

  • One-On-One Virtual Meeting Opportunities


Incorporating a live Q&A session is a great way to allow attendees to see who is in attendance and may be an excellent contact to have. 


By planning dedicated networking sessions within your virtual conference agenda, event planners can enhance the user experience and offer similar benefits found at a physical event.  


5. Line Up Strong Customer Support And 24/7 Technology Assistance 

Your target audience may be tech-savvy, but they aren’t immune to technology issues. And if those issues occur during your event, and they aren’t able to quickly solve them, your audience will quickly dwindle. 


If you want your online conference to be a success, you will need good customer support and tech assistance for both hosts and attendees before, during, and after your live event. Your virtual event platform should be committed to quality and scale and offer 24/7 tech support. 


Even if your online conference goes off without a hitch, your audience will trust you and your brand because you thought to offer support at all times. The attendees who utilize the customer service tool will appreciate the availability and look to your brand as experts in the field. 


Get Started On Planning Your Next Successful Virtual Event 

Whether you have planned online events before or this is your first time, online conferences are a great way to increase brand exposure, increase event ROI, and improve your lead generation strategy. 


Partner with BeaconLive to host professional, scalable virtual events with interactive features that will keep your target audience captivated. 


BeaconLive has over twenty years of experience supporting virtual and hybrid events with a fully configurable, white-label platform that we can customize to fit whatever vision you have for your next online conference. 


Topics: Speaker Best Practices, Virtual Events, Virtual Events: Best Practices

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How can I attract sponsorship to my webinar?

Attract sponsors to your webinar by defining your event industry, identifying the key benefits of your webinar, and offering different sponsorship levels. 

How do I host a good conference call?

Host a successful conference call by setting the agenda in advance, offering multiple options for call access, and allotting extra time. 

How do you make virtual conferences fun?

Make your virtual conference fun by incorporating gamification, live polling, and utilizing hashtags to harness the fun of social media.