Organising an online conference: with professional managing, success is guaranteed
As you read these lines, online communication is still taking countless forms all over the world. They include business, home offices and many web conferences, providing a modern environment for all of them.
In this article, we aim to highlight the potential of online conferences. In addition, we will highlight the components of web conferencing and how to implement it with professional help.
The principles of conferences
The fundamental components of a successful conference are evergreen. We made a checklist below, which is regardless of whether you are organising a traditional or online event. So:
● First, you’ll need an interesting and contemporary subject.
● After that, you must provide the required financial resources for the smooth running.
● If you have it, the next step is to assemble a team of well-prepared, credible and well-known speakers!
● It is also useful to provide networking opportunities for exhibitors and for people who’re interested in.
● To ensure that all the above, make a detailed programme plan.
The most important task when organising a conference is to start coordinating in time and then respond to the arising difficulties and challenges by following a disciplined schedule.
The offline conferences that we got used to over the decades – and the online events that are coming to the fore in wake of the pandemic are built on the same pillars. The exception is, of course, the question of “location”.
For an offline professional event, the choice of venue, its financial implications and then the smooth service of the conference visitors are the most important tasks. However, in case of professional events which are managed via the Internet the event runs on a digital platform.
Therefore, when organising a conference online, the financial implications of setting up the virtual platform must be considered upfront, rather than the costs of venue rental, staff, and catering.
The possibilities are equally given, among others:
● to stream presentations related to the chosen topic;
● to organise interesting and exciting round table discussions for the audience;
● the organisation of professional debates on a divisive issue;
● for networking, provided by dedicated chat rooms and a video camera
● while the exhibition space can also be furnished with virtual stalls, as it is common for conferences in the traditional sense.
With intelligent planning and professional organisation, a high level of visitor service can be ensured via the Internet. If major music awards or the Oscar awards can be successfully held online, why would it be a problem for online conferences?
What is a web conference?
Owing to the freedom of scope offered by the internet, a web conference can be suited for your needs. In addition to traditional business and scientific events, motivational speeches, workshops or – on a lighter note – online wine tastings and stand-up evenings can be held online.
From a technical point of view, the most commonly used option is multipoint group video conference. At this type both options of web conference and meeting are available at the same time. The possibility of streaming is an essential requirement, while interactivity has never been easier with the advanced internet-based technology.
The other possible option is virtual round table streaming. Streaming here is also a basic expectation, and there should be room for interactivity by letting the participants ask questions. The third typical category is the so-called virtual classroom. This includes webinars and other really effective and modern methods of online education.
There are also so-called hybrid conferences. Some of the visitors to these events are present offline, while others follow the event on the Internet.
That’s why online conferences become more and more popular
First and foremost, the health restrictions caused by the pandemic web conferencing become the only alternative – even if temporarily – to professional events. Of course, it is not difficult to see the arguments in its favour, such as
● it saves time for participants by eliminating the need to travel;
● it is available regardless of time and place (if it is recorded);
● as a participant, it is easier to combine it with daily work;
● it is financially beneficial, saving travel and the costs of venue hiring;
● while participation in online conferences is becoming more and more fashionable and usual.
The stages and tasks of organising an online conference
It is beneficial to decide the concept and theme at the planning stage. Once the programme has been defined, the next step is to search for and invite guest speakers. In addition to the presentations, it is useful to add some extra content and networking opportunities for the event schedule.
Meanwhile you should find a streaming platform and make a decision on video and audio technology. The quality of the audio-visual elements is the key to the success of the conference, so it is beneficial to be proactive in preparing for potential technical problems.
Before the event, it is worth testing the registration process, including technical background and presentations. Through modelling and testing we can spare time for solving unexpected problems.
On the day of the web conference a continuous presence can ensure a smooth running. In the following days, it is useful to measure the satisfaction of the participants with the form of a questionnaire.
Modern and reliable audio-visual equipment can contribute to the technical quality, while the invited speakers and carefully planned programmes to the content of the online conference.
It is a complex process of turning the initial plans into the online event of your dreams. This requires a lot of organisation, working hours and human resources. So
● by a smaller number of people and with more experience and capacity within the team, self-organisation can work.
● However, for more than 50 people and a more complex programme, it is better to have a professional team for coordinating the event.
That’s why it’s better to trust professionals to manage your online conference
Below we explain the added value of professionally assisted online conference organisation. As we mentioned it above, in the vast majority of cases this is the rational choice.
Professionally managed online conferences follow a proven and well-established process. You can practically feel like a conference guest, even if you are the organiser of the event.
Instead of uncertainty and constant stress, the details of the event are falling into places like a puzzle. The audio-visual technology, the content of the programme, the ticketing and the actual organisation of the event are all smoothly handled.
- An interesting, exciting theme and content is a solid starting point. It makes sense to structure your web conference around a specific issue, phenomenon or divisive statement that can attract the best of the best in our profession.
- However, we don’t suggest following the “good wine doesn’t need a label” principle and assume that strong content and a line-up of renowned speakers will fill the event with visitors on their own. A professional event needs professional marketing and sales activities, so you should keep in your mind the financial plan set as a target.
- Interactivity and a varied programme are essential. Many people have been disappointed by attending an overpriced or unprofessional conference. They need to be reassured that this time they will get more, better, more value.
- A truly professional live web conference will not disappoint anybody at the offline space, too, and ideally will exceed expectations. However, there is a ceiling of the organisation and delivery that can only be exceeded by working with a competent team.
How can a professional team add more value for your conference?
The help of an experienced team in conference management comes with some extra benefits right from the start. With a professional team, you can deliver presentations of higher quality and even convince a few more prestigious speakers through their contacts.
A team specialised in web conferencing management can help in promoting your event with promotional materials of impeccable quality and a marketing plan, while also providing invaluable help in preparation.
Because when you work with a professional team, you’ll be sure not to cut any corners when it comes to choosing your conference website, while online registration management and event coordination are also in expert hands.
In the spirit of outstanding quality, presentations can be recorded from multiple camera angles in a modern studio with studio microphones of perfect sound. What’s more, the audio and visuals of the broadcast can be recorded separately by each camera for post-editing after the event.
Therefore, a professional team is an irreplaceable help in the preparation, in smooth running and for the first-class implementation of your online conference.
It is an added ingredient to the success of an online conference organisation when a professional service provider is passionate about every aspect of the event preparation. This is exactly the kind of dedication you get while working with the AKCongress team.
They’ll be there to help with the initial planning, to take away most of the organisational work that requires problem-solving skills, and also there to provide smooth running on the day of the key event. After all, they are also concerned in making the online conference an undivided success.