Virtual Conference in 2023: The Complete Guide.
virtual conference

Virtual Conference in 2023: The Complete Guide.

Dead Simple Chat Team

Table of Contents

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Introduction

Nowadays, virtual conferences are all the rage.

Even though covid is over and we are somewhat back to our normal lives, but the convenience and easy of having a virtual conference is something we all appreciate.

Even though there are a lot of benefits of having a virtual conference there are some important aspects that we need to remember to make the conference a success.

Having everyone attend virtually instead of being there increase the importance of engagement. It is quite easy to slip off in the virtual world and thus engagement takes the center stage when we are conducting virtual conferences.

In this article we are going to give you a complete guide on how to conduct virtual events from starting to end going through step-by-step process

So, fasten your seat belts and get ready for the ride.

  • Provide some background on virtual conferences including theme and goals of the event
  • mention any notable speakers or panelists who will be participating
  • Importance of engagement
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Format of the Conference

It is important to get it right what will be the format of the conference.

The format also depends on what kind of conference we are having. Are we having a fun conference or we are having something important and serious.

There could be multiple types of conferences that we can organize. Some of them would be

  1. A conference where there will be a live streaming session, where speakers would come and talk about specific topics and after that there would be a Q&A session, or a networking event where participants can talk to each other
  2. A Conference that is open to all, people can network with each other and then there would speeches where audiences can interrupt the panelists and have polls to decide what the audience thinks of a certain topic etc.

We can use various tools to facilitate the conference, one of the most important tool is the chat feature that has

  1. Group Chat
  2. 1-1 Chat
  3. Ability to have Moderators interacting and moderating the chat
  4. Banning unruly people and language
  5. Customizable to suit the website of our company and brand

One such chat tool is DeadSimpleChat . DeadSimpleChat has all these features and more to make your virtual conference a success

  • Describe How the conference will be conducted including any interactive features or networking opportunities
  • Mention tools used to facilitate the conference

Benefits of attending a virtual conference

  • Advantages of attending a virtual conference
  • cost saving
  • ability to watch recordings
  • cost saving for organizers

There are a lot of benefits of having a virtual conference as compared to phycical conference.

Attending a virtual conference is much easier then attending a physical one. To attend a physical conference you need to dress up for the occasion, get in the car, drive for an hour to attend the venue, this causes sheer waste to time, energy and money

For the organizers as well there are a lot of cost savings like: Booking a venue and then arranging and decoration, plus refreshments and catering that is required for the audience and speakers.

This requires preparations in advance plus cost required to conduct a physical conference is exponentially higher than having a virtual conference

Reach is also a factor for the physical conference. People from multiple cities have a larger hurdle to cross to come to a physical conference, booking flights and giving a day or 2 of their time to come to the conference

Hence attendance is low for outer city folks in a physical conference

whereas in a virtual conference attendance has virtually no cost, you just need a internet connection and 1 to 2 hours of your time to attend the conference

In a virtual conference there is ease of recording the conference and making it available to those would could not attend for some reason.

They can also easily watch the conference at a later point in time.

Schedule of events

It is important to prepare a schedule of events that is going to happen. Making a list of things that are going to happen helps in organizing the virtual conference

A sample schedule of events would be:

  1. Live Streaming of panelists
  2. Q&A session with experts
  3. Networking opportunity where participants can talk with each other in chat.

Creating a schedule of events and communicating it with all the participants is a good idea.

Once people know of the events they can plan accordingly in their minds.

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How to register and attended

When planning an event it is important to communicate with the people if registration is required for attending the event.

Many virtual events nowadays require registration by email or phone number, registration is also good for the organizers because they know how many people are coming and they can prepare accordingly

There needs to be a ratio of number of moderators to participants so that the event is moderated properly

We also need to have infrastructre ready to support the number of people. If large number of people are comming then we need to inform the streaming service of the plan we need

We also need need a large plan for the chat service that we require for the engagement and communication that needs to happen during the event.

DeadSimpleChat is a perfect chat application for large virtual events. DeadSimpleChat supports up to 10 million concurrent participants in a single chat room

After we have established all the requirements of the event. It is important to communicate with the participants the step by step way of joining the conference.

Because it is a Virtual conference many participants might be unware of the steps involved like

  1. registering with the event
  2. getting the login
  3. Where to login and the website address
  4. What to do once logged in to participate in the conference etc
  5. Are  there any fees involved and discounts available
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Tools for Virtual conference

There are many tools available to conduct the virtual conference. The most prominent tools that we require are

  1. Website that will host the event. This could be our company website or a website created specifically for the event.
  2. It is generally preferable to conduct the conference on the company website as it looks good on the participants and is also good public relations
  3. Login and registration functionality if its a closed event.
  4. Streaming Provider to stream the event. There are many streaming providers available in the market
  5. There are also Real time live streaming providers available that provide the live stream as it happens in real time. The one we prefer is the Metered Video Live Stream: https://www.metered.ca/live-streaming
  6. Apart from Video Streaming the next important thing is Chat. Chat is a absolute must have.
  7. Because of chat we have engagement and ability to communicate with the audience
  8. People feel a part of the conference and there are events like Q&A, Polls and networking which are impossible with the chat
  9. The chat that we recommend and is absolutely build for conducting Virtual Conferences is DeadSimpleChat

Increasing Engagement during Virtual Conference / Event

It is vital to increase engagement during virtual conference. In a virtual conference poeple should feel like they are a part of the conference and are participating in the conference as it happens.

For engagement one of the tools that is most important is chat. Chat is the only means through which audiences can communicate back to organizers and presenters

Moreover Chat is crucial for having networking during the conference and for also for conducting polls and Q&A sessions

Here are a few of the ways you can increase engagement in the virtual conference

Talking with participants

Talking and engaging with participants before, during and after the event is a great way to increase engagement. People feel like they are a part of the conference.

Clapping or sending confetti in the chat when something special is said by the speakers in the event creates a joy and engages the audience

Also, you can take a pulse of how the conference is going on. Do the people find the speaker involving or are they getting bored.

You can also check whether the equipment is working properly or not. Can everyone properly hear the speaker saying or not.

Are they able to watch the video or not.

People can send in any issues they are experiencing in the chat and the team can resolve them

Giving breaks

It is quite important for us to give breaks to people. Especially if our conference is going to last for a few hours

People get bored sitting at one place for long periods of time. they need a break to drink water, eat some thing or taking a piss.

As time passes the attention level also drops. Giving people breaks rejuvenates them and makes them attentive and an engaging audience once again.

Sitting at a place for longer periods of time is also not good for health. People roaming around and scratching is good for their health as well

Generally it is recommended to give a 15 minutes break every 45 minutes of conference.

But, you can organize breaks according to how intense the topics is and how many sessions are we going to have.

Polls

Conducting polls is a good idea on how to gauge the audiences opinion on a specific topics

like when a session is over we can conduct a poll on what audience thinks about the subject that the speaker talks about

We can also use this data to create a after conference report and let people know what the results of the conference are.

Polls also increases audience engagement and they feel like they a are a part of the conference and they are participating in the conference

Chat is one of the tools that can be used to conduct polls when the event is going on

DeadSimpleChat is one such chat that has the ability to conduct polls built into it.

Q&A session

moderator can select questions

Ability to conduct Q&A session is also a fantastic idea to increase engagement and ask relevant questions to the speakers by the conference participants

After a speaking session is done or during the speaking session itself audiences or participants can ask questions and moderators can select a few relevant ones to ask the speaker

Speaker can answer these questions for all audiences and everybody feels like they are part of the conference

People can also vote for the questions that needs to be answered by the speaker and the moderators can also get a gauge as to what questions are important for the participants

Chat is the tool that is required to conduct Q&A session during or after the event.

DeadSimpleChat is one such chat that comes with pre-built Q&A session functionality.

you can easily conduct Q&A sessions along with Group Chat and 1-1 Chat  with DeadSimpleChat

Visually appealing slides

Creating visually appealing slides and video to go with the speaking is a good way to engage the audience

spend a little time and energy to create slides that are more visually appealing and easy on the eyes

You can also create short videos or gifs to engage the audiences when the speaker is explaining his part

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Having multiple moderators to engage with people

It is always a good idea to have multiple moderators to engage with  people and to control the participants.

We want the conference to be a well orchestrated event, where every thing goes as planned.

Having multiple moderators that have the ability to ban users, delete messages and privately converse 1-1 with participants as to what to say and what not to say goes a long way in having a successful virtual conference. DeadSimpleChat has all these features and more including

  • A.I based moderation tool
  • Ability to automatically ban bad words from the chat
  • Ability to add custom bad words in the bad words list
  • Banning specific I.P address
  • Single Sign On functionality

Having different rooms for people taking in different languages

If you are having a large conference in multiple languages it is a good idea to include people speaking a common language in a single room and creating different room for different languages

In DeadSimpleChat you can create Channels which are chat rooms inside of chat rooms for different languages or you can create seprate chat rooms for each language.

This could also be a great idea if there are multiple sessions going on at once. people can choose to participate in which session they want to join and enter the specific chat room accordingly

Having booths for special discussions

Having separate chat rooms for specific discussions is a great idea. Maybe you have multiple speakers catering to a specific type of participants, and you need the ability for the participants to choose the topics they want to attend

You can create Channels in the DeadSimpleChat. Channels are basically chat rooms inside of chat rooms for various topics etc

So, if you have a large audiences and multiple events and speakers speaking at the same time and you want to give choice to participants as to what speakers they want to listen to

then creating channels is a good idea to separate out the topics among speakers and participants

Virtual conference swag

Handling out virtual swag is another great way of increasing engagement in a virtual conference

Virtual swag is basically virtual stuff like recording or tickets or videos and photo albums that you can give out to participants

To increase engagement you can give out the virtual swag to everybody or you can hand out the virtual swag as a reward to winners or have won something or participated more during the conference

It all depends on the type of conference you are having and how you would like to distribute the swag

Everyone feels better that they have got a gift and thus feel better about it.

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Virtual Conference / Event Best Practices

In this section we are going to talk about the best practices that would make your virtual conference the best ever.

There are something's to remember when having a virtual conference and plan the conference accordingly

Here is some of the major stuff that you need to take care of:

Who is your audience

It depends a lot of who your audience is and what type of conference are you having.

Is it a fun type of event or is it something serious like a management event.

Is the conference focused on developers, or HR people or management.

What are the topics that are going to be discussed here and what is the mood of the event. It could be relaxed or serious

Having a Virtual conference / event marketing strategy

You need to market your virtual conference to potential participants and here are a few tips on how to market

  1. Create an awesome marketing page

Having a website dedicated to the conference or a web page on your company website focused on conference is a great idea

You can explain on the website why people should attend the conference and what are they going to get out of this

Any fees and registration requirements must also be listed on the virtual conference page.

2. Use SEO and digital marketing

You can use SEO and put out ads in Google and display ads to popularize the event.

Running ads is an excellent idea to reach targeted audiences and request them to register for the event.

3. Use Email marketing to reach potential participants

If you have  a list of emails that you can send the flyer to then you can send email to inform them of a conference that is happening

So, email marketing can also be a good tool in marketing the virtual conference

Always remember to market the conference after it is over. Marketing how successful the event was creates a feeling of having missed out on something worth while and people are more inclined to attended the next conference that you organize

You can create brochure / flyer / pdf with moment during the event and screen shots of networking and experts giving their speaches and other awesome things that are happening during the event

you can use the same channels that you used to advertise pre conference plus ask the attendees to spread word of mouth on how good the conference was

Networking at a Virtual Event

It is important to have networking during an Virtual Event. Many times people come to the event for the purpose of networking opportunities

Providing a space for network is an excellent way to engage audiences and create a successful event where everyone is happy

Chat is an essential part of networking. Because of chat there is communication between participants

there can be

  1. Participant to organizer networking
  2. Participant to participant networking

You can enable both types of networking with DeadSimpleChat DeadSimpleChat comes with Group Chat, 1-1 chat.

rehearsing the event before hand

Always remember to rehearse the event before hand with your team members. So,. that there is no unexpected event that happens

Try to rehearse what will happen during contingencies. What is participants are abusive, do you need to give them a warning or ban them

How will the Q&A session will be conducted or how the networking will take place

Rehearsing will give you a practice as to what will be happening during the event

Having fun

Most importantly always remember to have fun when organizing a virtual conference.

Take the process to organizing as journey to achieve a successful conference and finally when you have conducted the event you will feel very happy on the success of the event

Conclusion

In this article we explained how you can organise a virtual conference and have fun doing so. Let us know what you think of the article at support [at] deadsimplechat.com