Important Planning Tips to Make Sure Your First Virtual Conference is a Success
Redstone recently hosted a multi-day full scope virtual conference for one of its association clients. Their in-person conference had been cancelled due to COVID-19. Our team worked with the planning committee to organize and execute the association’s first-ever virtual conference within just six weeks! Based on our lessons learned, we developed this two-part blog series to help you successfully transition your in-person conference to a dynamic, engaging, virtual event. The series began with considerations for your conference agenda and technology platforms. We continue this series with a few tips for sponsorship and networking opportunities.
1. Don’t Underestimate the ROI of Virtual Sponsorships
With the trade show circuit slowing to a halt, suppliers are eager for alternate ways to generate leads and connect with potential buyers. Creating opportunities to meet their business objectives without the travel and accommodation costs is a compelling selling feature for virtual sponsorships. What will provide the most ROI for sponsors is the opportunity to connect directly with attendees. Physical trade show booths limit connections to a specific square foot location. While virtual booths create the opportunity for attendees to access exhibitor content and make connections at any time with a click of a button! If you create the right virtual environment, you can offer valuable virtual sponsorship opportunities that will cover the technology costs (and more!).
2. Make Room for Making Connections
Based on attendee feedback, the most meaningful component of many virtual conferences is the networking opportunities. Whether that’s Zoom networking sessions, in-app chat rooms, or post-session Q&As, there are many creative ways to replicate the interactions attendees would have at an in-person conference online. Many of us have been working remotely for several months now, and although we might be “Zoomed-out”, there’s nothing like making a new connection or unwinding with fellow colleagues after a long day of learning. Make sure you schedule time in your agenda and create designated spaces for networking in your virtual conference.
We hope these tips will help you as you transition to hosting a virtual conference this year (and beyond!). As virtual events become part of the “new normal”, setting your organization up for success with effective planning and implementation will ensure your events continue to be profitable and meaningful. Looking for more information about making the switch to virtual? Check out Redstone’s Digital and Hybrid Event Services or reach out to us. We’d love to hear from you!