Virtual conferences have gained popularity during the past few years due to the sheer convenience and safety they offer. They allow attendees to attend conferences held across the world from the comfort of their homes or offices. However, not all virtual conferences are a success.
When holding a conference on a virtual conference platform in the UK, you should avoid some common mistakes that businesses can make. If you don’t bear these errors in mind, your conference will not be a success regardless of the well-meaning effort you put into it.
So, keep yourself informed by exploring nine virtual conference mistakes you should avoid!
9 Virtual Conference Mistakes to Avoid
Even if you work with the finest conference organisers in the UK, you should ensure you don’t make the following virtual conference mistakes:
Losing Sight of Your Goals
Regardless of how seemingly successful or engaging your event is, if you don’t achieve your original goal, then all your efforts will be for nothing. It’s why you should have a clear idea of the goals you need to achieve before planning the conference.
Your event should be centred on achieving those targets. Whether you want to educate your attendees on a specific topic, convince them to invest in your new service or product, raise awareness for an issue that your business caters to, or any other objective you have in mind, you should plan your event accordingly so that you can meet your goals.
Before every big exam, presentation, meeting, or event, you always prepare for it so that you are ready for whatever challenge comes your way. Similarly, you should rehearse for your virtual conference to work out the kings, anticipate potential problems, check all the equipment, workshop all speeches, fine-tune your timing, and more.
Rehearsing will help you catch technology-related issues and get used to the software you will use for the event so that everything goes smoothly on the day of the conference.
Not Using an Appropriate Platform
A virtual conference platform can either make or break your conference. The platform you choose to host your conference on should meet your goals effectively and help you keep your audiences engaged. If you choose the wrong platform, you will struggle to communicate with your conference attendees and get your point across.
It might make your audience feel disconnected and keep you from achieving your targets. When planning your conference, study various virtual conference platforms and decide which one will support your goals seamlessly.
Not Enabling Conversation or Collaboration
Even if you have fun speeches planned for your attendees, you will bore them if you don’t let them become a part of the event. You should give your conference attendees the opportunities to engage with each other in healthy debates and facilitate conversations and collaborations. Invite people to participate in interactive Q&As, quizzes, polls, chat boxes, and more to remain engaged.
Going in without an Agenda
All successful and engaging virtual conferences need to have a defined agenda or, at least, a loose plan. Having a schedule for your conference will help you keep the event organised and keep you from spending too much time on each segment.
Without a timeline, the conference can go on and on in a virtual setting or veer off track. While you certainly don’t need a minute-by-minute schedule, allot a defined block of time for each session to keep things under control.
Becoming Overly Ambitious
Accessibility is inarguably the most significant benefit of virtual events. As long as your conference attendees have a stable internet connection, they can partake in your event from anywhere. You will also find it convenient to assemble presenters and guest speakers as a location that will not limit you. However, don’t let this accessibility take you overboard so that you end up overstuffing your conference or planning more than you can handle.
While your guests will have the benefit of accessibility, they will still have to focus on the event, so make sure it’s not too long or filled with too many sessions or speakers to overwhelm them. Present your conference information in small, digestible segments and limit the number of segments in each event to keep your attendees engaged.
Not Arranging Backups
When arranging a virtual conference, keep backups for all technology. Regardless of how many times you practice, chances are that you might face technical troubles on the day of your event.
Your internet might not work correctly, your microphone might stop working, your files might not be sharable, etc. Whatever issue you face, make sure to have a backup for it or at least a way to counter it quickly so that your conference does not suffer due to faulty tech.
Mismanaging People’s Expectations
A virtual conference has the potential to become incredibly successful. However, you should not compare it to an in-person event. It will only lead you and your attendees to compare the two and find faults in both. So, instead of marketing your event to be better or as good as an in-person event, capitalise on the USP of your event and market it honestly to build genuine interest and keep from disappointing people due to mismanaged expectations. Don’t try to make your event fit a predefined mould, and do your own thing!
Choosing the Wrong Sponsors
When organising a virtual event, you might need a sponsor to gain financial support so that your event might be bigger, better, and more memorable. It will also give your sponsors the opportunity to gain exposure and access to your audience.
However, sponsors can certainly set the tone for your event, even if they don’t actively promote their services or products. If your sponsor’s products or ideology clashes with your event topic, it might offend your attendees or make you appear to be confused. So, choose a sponsor whose services or products go seamlessly with your event topic and suit the tone of your event.
The Bottom Line
Hosting a virtual event is certainly not a piece of cake. However, with the right planning, well-informed strategizing, and an optimally functioning event planning platform, you can make your event a success and achieve your goals. Just make sure to remember the above-mentioned mistakes and avoid making them when planning your virtual conference.