Building Connections with Virtual Conferences

Building Connections with Virtual Conferences

For years, marketers, sales managers, and business owners believed it was difficult to forget personal connections through virtual conferences. Myths perpetuated that virtual events failed to create valuable interactions between participants, exhibitors, and speakers.

The pandemic forced brands to rely on virtual events and conferences to stay in touch with their market. Soon, it became evident that today’s webcast and webinar technology can improve interactivity amongst large crowds.

Of course, you need the right platform to deliver the ultimate experience for your speakers, exhibitors, and attendees. What are some of the capabilities your virtual conference technology systems should have to deliver a more interactive event?

Live Chat and Polls Connect Speakers and Attendees

Live chat capabilities can make people across the world feel as if they are in the same room together. Functionality such as the chance to “upvote” questions brings the most popular queries to the top, so speakers know they are addressing attendees’ most pressing concerns — even if they can’t see the faces of their viewers at home.

Live polls give speakers immediate feedback, helping them “read the crowd” as they might in a live setting and increasing engagement between the speaker and the virtual audience.

Networking Lounges Give Attendees a Chance to Mingle

In-person conferences offer many opportunities to mingle, from networking breakfasts and luncheons to after-hours gatherings in the hotel bar. Replicate this vibe in your virtual conference with networking lounges where attendees can chat. Similarly, breakout rooms following sessions can give attendees with similar interests a chance to discuss specific content.

Social Media Connects Participants Beyond the Event “Rooms”

Establish event hashtags and encourage interaction on your brand’s social media channels, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Remember the purpose and focus of each platform and set up specific activities tailored to that platform.

For instance, you may host a photo contest on Instagram or ask attendees to use specific hashtags and tweet their biggest takeaways from various sessions. Encourage attendees to connect with each other and with event speakers to strengthen relationships and networking connections after the event.

On-demand Content Delivers a More Personalized Experience

As with any event, the content during your virtual event should stand out as being informative, customized, and unique to your brand.

Offer on-demand content that caters to specific audiences to give attendees a more personalized experience. Allow speakers to share screens and even offer interactive demos to increase engagement.

Post-Event Follow-ups Keep the Momentum Strong

Those who used to attend in-person conferences remember the tedious days of follow-up once you return to the office: sifting through business cards, sending emails, trying to remember personal details about each meeting.

Digitized attendee lists from your virtual conference make following up as easy as a click. Of course, drip email campaigns shouldn’t take the place of personalized notes to prospects deeper down the sales funnel. But you can get the conversation started easily with follow-up emails to attendees, asking for their thoughts about specific sessions or reminding them of exclusive, attendee-only specials.

Plan your next online event or virtual conference with help from PGi and our GlobalMeet platform.

About Jamison B.

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