We recently held an informative event organizers panel, which you can access here if you missed it. During this conversation, each of our panelists shared a list of the technologies that helped bring their events and conferences together in the virtual environment. We’ve compiled the software for you to choose what will complement your event, be easily implemented by your team and keep your attendees engaged.
Communication & Networking
Both Discord and Slack are excellent ways to encourage a networking atmosphere similar to that of an in-person event. Creating servers or channels to act as the types of rooms one might find at your event typically will help people identify where to continue their conversations after sessions.
- Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/
- Twitter – https://www.twitter.com/
- Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/
- Mastadon – https://mastodon.social/about
Social media has always acted as an excellent networking tool to keep your event’s participants engaged after your event. Suggesting that attendees and speakers share their profiles during your virtual event to keep conversations and collaboration going is definitely encouraged.
Video & Streaming
If you haven’t run a virtual event before, you might be worried about how to implement a new process, which is why we’re happy to share our experiences on how to best choose a video platform for your event.
Here are the considerations you should factor in when making a decision:
- Number of participants
- Number of speakers
- Single or parallel tracks
Live streaming refers to online streaming media broadcast in real time. It is as close as you can get to face to face interaction, and can easily be interactive, improving the attendee experience. Be sure to simultaneously record and so you can access the video later; Services like YouTube Live or Facebook Live will do this for you automatically.
Keep in mind that with these benefits, it carries the risk and challenge of technology or connectivity issues. Help prevent these problems by preparing speakers to speak before their session(s).
An alternative would be creating a recording before the session time. This can be much easier to scale and manage, as most of the work is done beforehand and you can play a video for attendees at the virtual event.
Recorded videos avoid unexpected glitches, there’s no worry of juggling multiple speakers, and it can work well in multiple time zones.
Hybrid of live streaming and pre-recorded material
A mix of both mediums includes playing a pre-recorded video for attendees, and then having a follow up panel or Q&A live online afterward.
- Vimeo – https://vimeo.com/
- YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/
- ON24 – https://www.on24.com/
- Communiqúe – https://www.communiqueconferencing.com/
- Restream – https://restream.io/
- Twitch – https://www.twitch.tv/
- Facebook/Facebook Live – https://www.facebook.com
- Instagram Live – https://www.instagram.com/
- Jitsi – https://meet.jit.si/
- Hopin – https://hopin.to/
- Zoom – https://zoom.us/
Zoom Webinars vs. Meetings
Though Zoom provides options for you to get more social with your attendees, your average webinar has one or a few people speaking to an audience. These are great for large events (50+ attendees). Typically, webinar attendees do not interact with one another.
Record each live session to allow your attendees to watch any missed sessions afterward.
We’ve seen a decent mix of pre-recorded video, live sessions, and streaming from various online platforms. Identify what would best serve your attendees before committing to one platform, or find out which options speakers and presenters are more comfortable using prior to assigning video or streaming services to their sessions. Most importantly, if you’re exploring new tools, make sure you test all possibilities to ensure your comfort navigating the software so your team can troubleshoot any questions or concerns which arise during your event.
Zoom meetings are ideal for hosting more interactive sessions where you’d want to have direct audience participation or break your session into smaller groups to talk with each other.
Be sure to double check initial settings before going live:
- Mute all participants at entry
- Disable participants’ screen sharing
- Disable participants’ annotation
- Disable participants’ video recording
Ticketing & Scheduling
- Sched – https://sched.com/
- Airtable – https://airtable.com/
- Eventbrite – https://www.eventbrite.com/
- TicketSocket – https://ticketsocket.com/
- WordPress/Woo Commerce – https://wordpress.com / https://woocommerce.com/
- FNTECH – https://www.fntech.com/
While many virtual conferences can find solid footing by using Sched alone, or with ticketing assistance, keeping track of all of your data, ticket sales, and other management tasks can be made easier by adding a few other programs to your organizational arsenal. We highly recommend attending introductory webinars prior to deploying solutions to ensure your comfort in using them.
Find out how Sched can help you launch your virtual conference.