CONGRESS – the Virtual Conference Platform
We built Congress to provide the technical environment for virtual and hybrid conferences and exhibitions
Many conferences and exhibitions are going on-line either in full or as a hybrid blend of on and off-site delivered on-line.
As the conference and exhibition business model changes, it is difficult to forecast how many delegates will travel to a venue and spend time in the relatively close company of strangers. They may say they are coming but, on the day, change their minds.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, there has also been a growing reluctance from exhibitors’ staff to travel and be exposed to potential harm.
This creates a quandary for event organisers, solved with…
The Virtual and Hybrid event model.
Part on site and part on-line. Sessions can be recorded and made available to be viewed via the internet after the event, creating both a lasting resource and record for those who attended the event and a revenue opportunity from post event access.
How Congress works for Event Organisers
The Virtual Conference Company provides the technical services to manage and register delegates, speakers and exhibitors involved in virtual or hybrid events using Congress – our virtual conference platform. We provide the technical capabilities to make it simple for you to run some or all of your event through the Internet.
We can provide you and your presenters with as much video and Internet technology as you need to run a virtual event. We help you to make it just as impressive as a traditional live event.
As an example by using green screen technology it is possible to use the same background for a pre-recorded presentation and a live Q&A. Simply wearing the same clothes in both helps create the illusion of everything being live. If all the speakers have the same background a panel discussion looks as if they are all together.
Delegates to the conference use Congress to send questions to the speakers before, during and even after the event. Speakers can manage the questions themselves or, more realistically during a live session, a session moderator will pre-filter, grade and often combine / reword questions so that it makes more sense to the speaker.
The event organiser controls when and who can ask the speakers questions. This leads to several additional revenue opportunities based on the tier pricing for the type of ticket a delegate has been given or purchased:
Gold ticket holders (top tier price) are allowed to send questions to a speaker in advance of the session – allowing the speaker to cover the delegates needs in their presentation. Similarly, a speaker could respond directly to a gold delegate before the event or even arrange a one 2 one meeting.
VIP delegates (premium price) could have the right to ask questions both before and after the event – giving them privileged access to the speaker that others do not have.
Ordinary delegates (standard price) may only have access during the presentation, and they may have to watch at least 5 minutes of the session before they can ask a question.
The ticketing and tier pricing possibilities are endless.
During a session, the speakers can select which questions they are going to answer using a simple screen on a tablet computer. They can choose to display it on a screen or projector behind them or even on to a video link page during a live streamed session.
Using Congress, session speakers can conduct polls both before and during a session to test audience reaction and involvement. Again, the organiser can decide when and who can answer such polls.
Typically, polls are restricted to delegates that have been actively watching and involved with the session either on-site or for a minimum time on-line.
Exit polls can be conducted both on-site and on-line. These are designed to be simple – did the session meet your needs on a scale of 1 – 5 as an example. In the physical venue tablet computers on stands are set up to catch delegates as they leave the auditorium. The on-line the exit poll automatically pops up as the delegate leaves the session screen to go to another part of the system.
Benefits for the Delegates
Delegates benefit through using Congress to manage their schedules, review exhibitors’ offerings, speak with exhibitors, join speaker sessions, ask questions of speakers and network with one-2-one meetings with other delegates both before and during the event.
One-2-one meetings can be in person on on-site or via the built in video meeting and chat functions. No need for Zoom, Skype or Teams. This means it is entirely up to the delegate if they wish to share their contact details with anyone else.
Presentations can be streamed live through Congress or pre-recorded and delivered as if live as well as being available after the event.
Live interactive Q&A sessions that follow pre-recorded and live presentations.
Benefits for the Exhibitors
Congress enables speakers and delegates to engage directly at any time during a conference, boosting interaction and information “stickiness” to the delegates.
Exhibitors can always be available via their on-line video conference booth to show the visitor on-line presentations and images and send them documents through the platform.
Exhibitors can instantly transfer a delegate to a more relevant colleague or schedule a video meeting for another time, avoiding the common issue of a delegate “walking away”.
Create a richer experience for the delegates by ensuring the appropriate resources are matched to the delegates enquiry.
Use the well-established lead tracking features in Congress to record details of any enquiries, conversations and follow up actions.
Supplement the normal stand dressing and graphics with one or more touch or voice activated screens so that on-site delegates can easily speak to the sales staff who are back in the office, allowing less staff to man a stand.
Kickstarting your conference and exhibition business
What you should do
There is so much more to The Virtual Conference Company and Congress – the virtual event platform.
Give us a call to for a no obligation chat about what you are trying to achieve.
We are always happy to talk and share our experience so that you can learn about virtual and hybrid events and how to make your job easier. Call us now!
“I can’t believe it took us this long to make a change. So happy that we did.”
Mat Bowers, Stratoria