Things to Consider When Organizing a Virtual Conference
The pandemic has transformed the way everyone hosts events — from simple birthday parties to corporate AGMs. And despite all signs showing recovery is well on its way, with many businesses planning their reopening strategies for the upcoming year and beyond, some habits formed under lockdown might be here to stay.
The virtual conference is one of them. With fewer costs and greater outreach, a digital event is an attractive way to reach out to shareholders and prospective investors. But to make sure your event stands out from all the others, you’ll need to consider how you present your information online.
Here are three things that specifically that need your attention.
1. Your Platform
First of all, you need to consider how you’ll host your event. Simply providing a link to a Zoom meeting or live feed isn’t going to cut it for large-scale investor meetings and other critical events. These platforms create a stagnant experience for your audience, and they make it hard for guests to engage like they would at a live event.
You need to update your investor relations strategy to include a platform that flawlessly translates the in-person experience into a digital one. The best IR technology does more than just deliver a video streaming platform. It creates an engaging event by providing the following additions:
- Virtual lobbies
- Private meeting rooms
- Exhibitor halls
- Networking spaces
2. Your Audience
Once you’ve decided on the right IR tool, you can move onto the next step: curating your platform to suit your audience. In many ways, this boils down to accessibility. Is the IR software you’ve chosen easy to navigate for all your guests?
While the best IR tools will streamline the digital experience, you must anticipate barriers that prevent all guests from participating equally. You’ll want to consider the following costs:
- Having IT professionals on hand to help anyone struggling with the digital aspect of your meeting.
- Adding closed-captioning and sign language interpretation.
- Testing your IR tool is compatible with assistive technologies.
- Ensuring your event can engage Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) users.
3. Your Content
Your conference could be one of many digital events your audience is attending that week. It may not even be the only one they’re attending that day! With this perspective, you can begin to create a conference that’s respectful of their time.
Burnout is a significant concern. The phenomenon earned the nickname of Zoom fatigue early on in the pandemic, but it can happen on any platform that doesn’t consider the user experience carefully.
To minimize the toll your event might have on your audience, schedule short, concise sessions and remember to allow for breaks just as you would with a live event.
It’s important to note that going digital doesn’t always create an obstacle. Sometimes, it creates an opportunity to enhance your meeting in a way that would be challenging (if not impossible) to replicate in person. With the right IR software, you can complement your sessions with digital tools, like landing sites, downloadable PDFs and programs, and even interactive Q&As and polls.
How you end up capitalizing on these digital services depends on the software you have at your disposal, so it’s crucial you research the available IR services carefully. Take the time to compare how IR tech can help you transition to online conferences. This upfront work will help you deliver value and engage your audience more successfully the next time you present.
This article has been scheduled in accordance with Socialnomics’ disclosure policy.