10 Virtual Conference Ideas
In recent years, virtual conferences have been on the rise. And why not? These events are easier on the pocket, and they provide a lot of flexibility to the participants. For instance, you do not have to go out of town for an event that will last for a few hours or days. You can attend from your home or office. Plus, you can participate from wherever you are – and there's no hassle of hailing a taxi or hunting for parking.
Virtual conferences also save on hotel rooms and other related expenses that usually drive up the cost of an event. Finally, these events allow participants from around the world to join without having to travel extensively. This means your ‘conference' is not limited to your city. If you want, you can take it global!
So, what are some of the ideas for a virtual conference? Here are some suggestions.
If you have been thinking of hosting a conference online, here are 10 virtual conference ideas to get started:
1. Multimedia program
A video conference is the most common form of a virtual event. You can start with a series of videos that introduce your topic and offer some background information for those who are new to it.
The videos could also feature prominent speakers, authors, or professionals in the field. These people could speak about their own areas of expertise and how it contributes to the overall topic of your conference.
At the end of this video series, there could be a ‘lightning round' where you invite participants to ask questions that are related to the content that they have just seen. You can then pick some of these questions and answer them with the help of experts who were featured in earlier videos.
2. Q & A sessions
A virtual conference means you can tie this in with your social media platforms and use them to expand the discussion of your topic. You could do this through a live question and answer session on Twitter, Facebook, or some other social network.
You could also add polls that allow participants to voice their opinions on various issues regarding the conference topic. You can then use these insights to ‘tweak' your program or offer new content that is more appealing to participants.
3. Twitter chats
Another great way to connect with your audience is through a live chat session on Twitter (hashtag included). Using this tool, you can create an engaging community of participants who will connect with each other to talk about your conference topic.
This allows for an exchange of ideas that can enhance the overall experience of your event, whether you are there or not.
Podcasts are like radio shows that you can listen to at any time (and place) of your choosing. They are great for people who would like to revisit the content of your conference.
All you need to do is provide a list of episodes and accompanying information (such as images) and people can access them anytime. You could even take this one step further and share some behind-the-scenes material that will allow participants to get a ‘fly on the wall' view of the event.
5. Virtual expo
This one is a bit more interactive and can expand your reach quite a bit. In this case, you will need to invite some vendors to join in on the fun – they can offer their services as sponsors for your virtual conference.
In return, they get to show off their products and services to potential buyers. You can offer them a slot during the conference for this promo, or let them speak about their areas of expertise (and share some tips on how they apply it to your conference topic).
6. Job fair
You could also use your virtual conference as a platform to gather job seekers together. All you need is a list of companies or investors who are looking to hire and you can start advertising the job openings.
You could also ask some past employees about their experience at these companies – this will give your audience a better idea of what it is like working there. This information can be very useful for anyone looking to apply, as they will know what to expect.
7. Online seminars
If you are an established brand, you may want to use Virtual Summits to introduce new products or services that your company offers. You can do this by inviting some industry professionals to join in on the online discussion and share their insights about areas of improvement.
This session will give newcomers a better idea of how your company operates and what it can offer them. You can also use this as an opportunity to market your brand and spread the word about some of the newest products that you have been working on.
8. Invite-only conferences
One way that you could make a virtual conference more exclusive would be to limit it to those participants who have been personally invited by you. This will help you get a more dedicated crowd that is ready to learn from experts and exchange insights with each other about the conference topic.
In this case, it would be wise to have participants share their contact information with you so that they can receive email invitations. Otherwise, some passersby may accidentally get invited to take part in your event.
9. Explore virtual reality
Virtual reality is here and it's finally making its way into the world of business conferences. You can offer your audience a different experience by uploading 360-degree video footage that captures the venue where your conference will be held (or even other locations if needed).
And you can add some interactive elements such as polls and quizzes to your videos, so participants will be able to engage with the content in a more meaningful way.
10. Virtual lectures
If you're looking for a more traditional approach, organizing virtual lectures is an option that might be worth exploring. It's one thing when people see you walking around the stage, but another when they can actually hear your voice.
This is better suited for people who are looking to teach or share their knowledge about a particular subject. You could also ask some participants to join you during the conference and speak about their areas of expertise – this will give your audience a well-rounded perspective of what the conference is about.
Virtual conferences are a great way for people who cannot attend physical events to learn and connect with industry experts. They allow companies to reach out to more customers and offer them one-on-one interaction that they would not otherwise get at live events.
However, it's important that you don't overdo it on the social media element of the event. While the main focus of the conference should be online engagement, people will still expect to get something out of it even when they are not actively participating.
Use these tips and you'll be able to organize successful virtual events in no time!
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