5 Tips for Successful Virtual Events & Conferences

virtual conferences

Many in-person festivities might be on hold for now, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of ways to engage your audience through digital platforms. And with more and more event professionals starting to explore the opportunities available through virtual events, the industry will only continue to evolve.

If you’re exploring the idea of hosting a virtual event or conference, here are our top five tips to ensure it’s a success.


Tip 1: Communicate with Guests Well in Advance

When it comes to online or virtual events, communication is more important than ever. Guests will likely have a fair number of questions, and you’ll want to be prepared ahead of time.

One of the most common questions is how attendees will be able to access an event. There are a number of tools and streaming services you can use, so make sure to clearly specify how your guests can tune in and engage. If you’re sharing a link with attendees, also make sure to clearly communicate how and when they will be receiving joining information.

You’ll also want to make it easy for guests to contact you and your support team in the event of technical issues. Make sure that there is an easy way to get in touch with someone who can help them join the event and get the most out of their experience. It’s best to include this information in their registration or event packet so it can be saved for easy reference.


Tip 2: Test Your Technology. Then Test it Again

When it comes time to test your equipment, make sure to be thorough. You’ll want to iron out any hiccups well beforehand. Test your microphones, video feed, live streaming technology, and attendee portals. You’ll want to double-check that all hosts and guests know how to use the equipment provided. If you can do a few test runs a day or two before the event, you’ll have plenty of time to troubleshoot if need be.


Tip 3: Help Attendees Feel Connected, Even From Afar

One of the largest hurdles when it comes to virtual events is attendee buy-in. Are guests getting the most out of the experience? Do they feel connected to other participants?

A great way to facilitate smaller conversations is through breakout sessions. If your platform allows, this is a great way for attendees to engage in a more intimate environment. Ideally, these groups should be kept to under 20 individuals.

Social media groups and branded hashtags also offer an opportunity for guests to engage with the larger conversation happening around an event. Especially for short-format channels like Twitter, this is a great way for attendees to interact with each other in real time and comment on the event itself. For those hosting the event, this information also offers an incredible amount of insight as to how guests are perceiving an event. Is the reaction generally positive? Are guests complaining of technological difficulties, like poor audio or video? Make sure to tune in across your social channels over the course of your event.

Finally, you’ll want to offer a way for guests to network outside of the virtual events. If possible, allow attendees to opt-in and share their contact information in exchange for the ability to connect with others on the guest list.


Tip 4: Follow Up With Relevant Materials

After the event has concluded, make sure to share highlights, soundbites, and other key moments with your email subscribers or social media followers. This is a great way to spark conversation after the event has ended, as well as engage with those who may not have been able to end the event themselves.


Tip 5: Ask for Feedback

Like any good event, make sure to ask for feedback. We know most events aren’t without a bug or two, but is there anything you would have done differently? A simple survey sent out to your list of attendees is a simple way to ask for high-level comments. Especially if you are planning for future events, this is an important step to improving your planning process.

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