The popularity of virtual conferences has greatly increased in recent years. Virtual-first events can take place anywhere and at any time, so long as exhibitors, vendors and attendees have a strong enough Internet connection and a working device.
Despite the popularity of the virtual format, unaware event managers can make mistakes that disrupt their conferences or meetings. Continue reading to learn ten common mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. A Lack of Dress Rehearsal
Practice makes perfect, and on a similar note, hosting a dress rehearsal for your digital event will help you anticipate roadblocks, allowing you and other panelists to iron out any issues before the main event. Practicing will also help you to avoid any technical difficulties so you can become familiar with the software you’re using to host the conference.
2. Diverging Expectations
Though virtual conferences are often used as substitutes for in-person events, they are not one and the same and expecting them to be can lead to disappointment. The gap between the event you promised and what was delivered can also disappoint attendees. You’ll also end up disappointing your audience, especially if you can’t manage to deliver on anything you advertised. Ensure you can deliver on the event that was promised to better manage expectations.
3. Set Clear Accomplishments
It won’t matter how customized your conference is if you don’t meet your own objectives.
Your event planning team can avoid virtual meeting planning mistakes by setting clear goals in advance of the conference. Regardless of your goals, it’s best to plan your event to focus on your own finish line.
4. Lacking an Itinerary
Successful conferences benefit from having a structured agenda in place. Maintaining a schedule helps event managers to keep conferences organized and prevent attendees from spending too much time on a single track. Creating an agenda available helps attendees, exhibitors and vendors know what to expect and when to expect it.
5. Becoming Overburdened by Event
Hosting virtual events allows for your conference or meeting to be accessible to more guests. Organizing guest speakers and presenters will also be easier as location won’t be a limiting factor. While event attendees can access presentations and panels from a device, it’s important to not overwhelm them with sessions. Presenting conference information in manageable formats can ensure your guests stay engaged.
6. Overlook Hiccups
Mistakes happen, and virtual conferences aren’t free from error. Technological issues will become especially apparent in a digital-first environment. When hiccups happen, acknowledge them and move forward with grace.
7. Lacking a Backup Plan
Neither people or technology are without error, and technical issues can arise no matter how many times you practice. It is of key importance to prepare a backup plan in the case of a technological error. A co-presenter can be on stand-by to manage content while another host gets to the root of the issue.
8. A Lack of Engagement
No matter how exciting your conference sessions, you’ll lose track of your audience without building in engagement. Audience participation, such as interactive Q&A segments, that reinforce the topic of discussion can support your event’s messaging.
9. Hosting Sponsors that Miss the Mark
Financial or mutually beneficial support from sponsors can allow you to have a more successful event while exposing attendees to their content. Sponsors that don’t align with the conference subject have the potential to confuse your audience and disrupt the event. Select sponsors that relate to your event and set the correct tone.
10. Using the Wrong Platform
A virtual conference is only as strong as the platform it’s hosted on. Identifying which event platform technology is right for your event needs is crucial. Becoming familiar with platform features that support your conference goals is an essential part of hosting a virtual event.
Our event specialists are familiar with the ins and outs of hosting virtual conferences and meetings. Request a demo of our enterprise event technology to learn how Bravura can support your next virtual event.