During the COVID-19 Pandemic, event professionals experimented with different tools as virtual conference platforms and simple virtual meeting platforms to try planning and implementing remote conferences (with varying degrees of success).  Online conferences and virtual events are effective if you’re using a virtual conference platform specifically designed to meet the unique needs of virtual conferences.

Virtual conferences are becoming more popular, but remote alternatives won’t completely replace the in-person experience. In fact, adding remote components to in-person conferences (hybrid events) offer event professionals additional flexibility. 

“Live gala shows, incentive trips, sales conferences, product launches, etc., still have to happen and still need engagement with their audience.  So even if we cannot have anyone meet in person, we still have virtual options to accomplish the event goals.” – Dave Merrell, CEO/Creative Director, AOO Events 


Virtual Conference Basics

Virtual event conferences provide a host of benefits that offer the meetings and events industry incentive to continue to offer virtual options for upcoming conferences and events.

While many people have attended or planned a virtual conference using a virtual meeting platform, there are still plenty of event professionals who aren’t quite sure what goes into planning a virtual conference. 

Top 5 Most Asked Virtual Conference Questions

1. How do I host a virtual conference?

The most important step in hosting a virtual conference is selecting the right virtual conference platform for your event. Rather than piece together separate software tools (which can be overly complex and expensive without fully meeting your needs) choose a customizable, all-in-one solution, ensuring your conference’s success.

2. How does a virtual conference work?

It depends on the tools you’re using. Do you want more than streamed content and text-based chat? With the right virtual meeting platforms, you can do most things you do at an in-person conference. Move freely through a virtual 3D event venue. Network with exhibitors, sponsors, peers, and new connections. Whether you’re on the conference floor, watching a presentation, at a booth, or in a breakout session, you can connect and share live, face-to-face with real people.

3. What should I expect from a virtual conference?

With the right virtual conference platform, you can expect an immersive, engaging experience similar to attending in-person, and do it for less money than an in-person-only event.

4. How long should a virtual conference last?

While there are many schools of thought regarding how long a virtual conference should be,  consider the following when planning to host a virtual conference:

  1. Identify your audience – what are they looking for in a virtual conference? Are attendees joining from multiple time zones? 
  2. What are your event objectives?
  3. Are you using the virtual event in a hybrid situation to compliment an in-person event? 
  4. Is your virtual event replacing an in-person event? 
  5. Engagement – What are you planning to offer attendees in terms of engagement? Are their speakers planned? Entertainment? Interactive demos and sessions?

One of the most important things to remember in the virtual landscape is that the only thing keeping your audience engaged is what’s on the screen. In-person events can offer so many things to keep guests occupied and engaged, even just through lighting, decor, live entertainment, background music, rooms to explore, people to network with, etc. There’s SO much to do and look at compared to dialing in remotely.

With virtual events, your guests are only occupied with what’s directly in front of them. So, keep your content short and to-the-point; don’t skimp on interactive elements or moments of entertainment and fun; think about what you can send to guests in a care package that might keep them occupied or engaged for days or weeks following your event; and more.

5. What are the pros and cons of virtual events?

Pros: 

If you’re using a proven virtual conference platform with the right functionality, a virtual event can mirror nearly all you enjoy at an in-person event.

At a virtual event conference, you can: 

  • Move through a virtual 3D event space as if you were attending in-person 
  • Choose the content you want 
  • Choose the people you talk to
  • Get real-time analytics you can’t get at an in-person event
  • Save money compared to an in-person-only event

Cons:

You can’t:

  • Physically be in the room with other people.
  • Touch, taste, or smell 

Best Virtual Conference Platforms

Allseated EXVO. Your next-generation virtual conference solution.

Allseated’s innovative virtual conference platform EXVO is the best virtual conference platform available. EXVO blurs the line between virtual and in-person conferences as it works great as a stand-alone replacement or to enhance an in-person conference (a hybrid event). 

EXVO is unique in that it brings in-person and virtual attendees together to meet, exchange ideas, and learn and laugh together.  EXVO gives every participant an incredible experience: enter meeting rooms for breakout sessions, listen to keynote speakers in large halls,  and utilize features including chat, Q&A, 1 on 1, and group networking. With endless customization options for your theme and sponsors, EXVO brings the live event experience to virtual events. 

  • Incredibly interactive
  • Powerful experiential hybrid platform
  • Full immersion and engagement
  • Whether in-person or at home

EXVO gives every participant an incredible experience – the networking opportunities are endless and easy, no matter where you are.

  • Enter meeting rooms for breakout sessions
  • Listen to keynote speakers in large halls
  • Meet with colleagues and make new connections too

Virtual conferences and events held in EXVO offer exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees a place to connect, share, and build business relationships.

“Events are such a successful forum for creating consumer advocacy and professional relationships because of the connectivity garnered by shared experiences, networking, and exposure to content. EXVO has created a virtual realm in which all of these objectives can still be successfully accomplished.“  – Kristin Banta, Kristin Banta Events.

Why Host A Virtual Conference In EXVO

Digital Twin To An In-Person Conference

Explore the event floor. Listen to speakers. Browse booths. Network one-on-one in the hallway. Choose where to go, who to talk to and what content to consume just like an in-person event. EXVO combines a photo-realistic, 3D model of the in-person venue with live video conferencing and chat. Fully interactive for individuals and groups, engage attendees through breakout sessions, interviews, presentations, Q&A sessions, and more.

“By allowing avatars to explore customized and visually life-like spaces, to experience content in a fresh and immersive way along with effortlessly networking with colleagues, the EXVO platform is in many ways truly able to match the attendee experience of a live event and to achieve similar objectives.” – Kristin Banta

Completely Customizable 

Allseated EXVO virtual conference software allows you to choose from a variety of venue models with customizable floorplans, with rooms for smaller groups, and speaker stage options too. Enjoy a wide range of branding options throughout the venue.

“You can either pick from any of the templates for stages, exhibit booths, and the virtual “brick and mortar” locations, or you can custom build anything you want beyond that. Branding is easy. Customization is simple.” – Dave Merrell

See also: Kristin Banta’s favorite virtual event designs created in EXVO. 

Real-time Analytics at your Fingertips

Understand your attendees with real-time critical data. Find out how many conversations there were; what exhibits, presentations or breakout sessions participants attended; how long participants stayed; and more. Gain lead intelligence and help improve future virtual and hybrid events.

Expand Event Reach

Hosting a virtual conference in EXVO expands the reach of an event. Attendees can join from all over the world, not limited by geographic location. Also, when the same live event can have a virtual component (hybrid!), audiences are substantially increased for pennies on the dollar.. With the ability to join virtually from anywhere, exhibitors are able to connect with attendees for one-on-one conversations which increases opportunities and leads. 

Case Study of Interest: Motion Picture Sound Editors 68th Annual Golden Reel Awards in EXVO

Save money 

Using virtual conference platforms isn’t cheap. In some cases, you’ll need to increase AV budgets; however, when compared to travel, hotel, venue rental, and food costs, ​​virtual conferences save money. 

Security in Planning

EXVO’s virtual event platform provides security in event planning. Virtual events are not affected by the same host of variables experienced when planning an in-person event. Weather, pandemics, and other situations which can postpone or cancel live events are not issues for virtual conferences. Also, with hybrid events and by offering a  twin world of a live event, the virtual event can fully replace the live event portion at any time which provides enhanced planning security during this uncertain time.

EXVO Event Case Studies

Allseated is experts in digital platforms for event planning.  With hundreds of virtual conferences, tradeshows, and networking events planned in EXVO and eight years working closely with planners, you can be sure that the company puts people first, the event technology is easy to use, is technologically sound, and totally reliable.

Numerous case studies have been written to showcase the challenges event pros face when planning virtual events and how EXVO provided the virtual conference solutions needed to meet (and exceed) event objectives.  EXVO has given planners, exhibitors, and sponsors a solution that is proven at making events successful.

To learn more about the events in EXVO and to read the case studies, click here.

The next-generation hybrid and virtual event solution, Allseated EXVO, provides immersive, engaging ways to explore, connect and share. Book a Demo (US) | Book a Demo (Europe).

FAQ

Designer Tool

Allseated's 3D Designer Tool is a Scaled Table & Buffet Builder. It shows you exactly what can fit on a tabletop, so there is no more guesswork around how the tabletop layout will look on the day of your event. Choose from a library of items including tableware, silverware, glassware, buffet pieces, center pieces, and linens.

Create Awesome Floorplans in Minutes!

Build your floorplans in minutes using a few simple tools. Join tables, knock off chairs and save templates for future events. Get access to thousands of scaled floorplans already in our library and watch our 3D viewing bring it all to life - it's spectacular!

Managing Guest Lists Can Be Fun!

With Allseated, creating or importing a guest list is a breeze – managing it is even easier! Instantly create seating charts by applying the guest list to the floorplan.