SMARTER CONFERENCING FOR A DIGITAL WORLD

SMARTER CONFERENCING FOR A DIGITAL WORLD

FAQs

B2B marketing professionals involved with virtual events have so much to learn, with little time to do so all while preparing the next event. The team at The Virtual Conference Company are happy to pass on our real world experience. If you can’t find the answer to your question here then just give us a call, we guarantee no pressure and no sales pitch.

What’s the difference between a virtual conference and a webinar?

At its simplest a webinar is a one way and often sales focused form of communication whereas a conference is a multi-way discussion between presenters and delegates.

Webinars are relatively short normally under an hour and have few opportunities or reasons to establish any sensible discussion or networking. Most conferences are a full day or even more. Often with multiple streams of activities and speakers.

Webinars are single issue or topic focused conferences cover a wider brief with many different but related presentations and topics. Almost by definition a conference has more presenters than a webinar. Not just to break up the experience but to give different perspectives to the subject area with different speakers.

The major difference is the community created around a conference with delegates returning time and again to hear and discuss the latest ideas and findings on the conference topic. Interactivity and the ability to create and expand on relationships between people is what makes a conference work.

That’s why the platform needed to support a conference and its community of delegates, speakers, and sponsors is different to the one-shot webinar even if the webinars are part of a series.

Use the button below to arrange a convenient time for a brief chat to see if we can help. It costs nothing and there will not be any sales pitch.

How do virtual and hybrid events differ?

Hybrid events, or Blended events involve both virtual and the more traditional in-person face to face conference format.

For for the delegate the conference experience and indeed the expectation is different. At a face-to-face event you expect to be present and engaged for the entire conference. At a virtual event you expect to flit in and out and or multitask reading and responding to emails.

At a conference venue you expect to meet people – even if you don’t want to. In the virtual world you can see but not be seen.

In the conference hall, delegates more or less have to listen but when on-line they simply switch off and do something else. Presenters have to work harder to gain and keep the delegates attention. The beauty of this is that the messages become more focussed and polished. Consequently, they are often more effective at getting their message across.

As a conference organiser you can reach a greater number of delegates in the virtual world. In many ways this is great but if delegates do not engage with the sponsors or speakers it was all for nothing.

The budgets for virtual and hybrid events are different. You need a venue and catering as well as AV equipment. With virtual there are different costs. But to be effective they may not be less rather they are different. It all depends on the reason you are running the event and what your are trying to achieve.

Here at The Virtual Conference Company, we are always happy to share our experiences and point you to cost effective ways to make your conference a success.

Use the button below to arrange a convenient time for a brief chat to see if we can help. It costs nothing and there will not be any sales pitch.

Why not use something like Zoom to run my virtual conference?

Zoom and similar products are great for small meetings. They are designed to allow a relatively small number of people to have a short meeting over the Internet and that really is the problem. They are not designed for hundreds even thousands of people to take part in an involved conference and interact with each other.

Zoom and its competitors require the user to download nd install a program on to their computer. Not a massive task but can create problems especially when compared to just using a web browser to see and communicate with thousands of other conference goers.

If you had 100 people all talking at once on a Zoom call nothing would be understood whereas a purpose designed conference platform provides a framework for orderly discussion and networking.  As an example, although Zoom has breakout rooms, they can be difficult to manage with lots of delegates. Especially compared to using dedicated platform that supports sponsored and branded discussion groups that can be open to all delegates or made invitation only.

Probably the biggest problem with using a video conferencing tool like Zoom to run a conference, beside the cost which can grow very quickly, is how you involve and create business opportunities for your sponsors and exhibitors.

There are other reasons why you should consider a dedicated virtual conference platform instead of Zoom. They will vary depending on how your conference is structured and what you are trying to achieve. Here at The Virtual Conference Company, we are always happy to share our experiences and point you to cost effective ways to make your conference a success.

Use the button below to arrange a convenient time for a brief chat to see if we can help. It costs nothing and there will not be any sales pitch.

What’s the difference between you and every other events platform?

There are many organisations jumping on the virtual event bandwagon. Many of them have great products and people. Most have been forced in to the virtual world because their previous operation was suspended when face to face events stopped in 2020. Many came from a single specialism such as AV, Video or had an on-line registration system.

Very few had it all or any in depth real-world experience of running and promoting conferences, exhibitions or awards ceremonies.

That’s why The Virtual Conference Company is different. Our team has been involved in all aspects of conferences and exhibitions for years. We have planned, managed, promoted, and sold conferences. We have sold sponsorship and exhibition stands. We have been presenters and exhibitors as well as designing and building powerful marketing software. We have years of experience of directing and stage managing live shows and on-line productions.

The Virtual Conference Company team combines grey beards with youthful vitality – experience and new ideas all at the same time. From industry leading technologists to Disney trained production teams and multi-national sales directors and CEO’s we can help you.

Use the button below to arrange a convenient time for a brief chat to see if we can help. It costs nothing and there will not be any sales pitch.