How to Make the Most of Virtual Conferences

Robin Emiliani  /  Mar 25, 2020

Virtual conferences are coming for you—and that’s a good thing

For the last 10 years, business has slowly gone virtual. From face-to-face meetings to Zoom and Skype. From traditional offices to the 4.7 million US workers who now work remotely. From daily stand-up meetings to ongoing, real-time Slack conversations.

Up ‘til now, some companies have embraced digital, virtual business with both hands while others have held back, screaming that you can pry their physical memos and boring daily meetings from their cold, dead fingers.

But no longer. In the midst of the CDC’s advice to stay the hell home and flatten the curve of COVID-19, even the most resistant companies are now accelerating full-speed toward virtual.

Kids are remote-learning from their living rooms and listening to authors livestream readings of their favorite books. Companies with no-work-from-home policies are working remotely. Even food tours have found a way to go virtual.

Of course, conferences—a trillion-dollar industry—have rapidly started to go virtual as well. And companies who can do virtual conferences well in the coming years are going to thrive.

Now, as WIRED Magazine points out, so far “the…ideas have been fairly uninspired: webinars, panel livestreams.” And they’re right. Livestreaming is the baseline. Thriving takes more ingenuity.

The solution provider bringing that ingenuity to the table right now is Intrado—a platform that feels like a video game where you can walk down the hall into sessions, pick a seat, and (most importantly) have conversations with other attendees and speakers. You can quite literally grab a coffee (BYO, obviously) and have a chat with another attendee.

Presentations are recorded so that you can view (or re-view) on demand. And for exhibitors, virtual booths are amazing. A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to exhibit at one and what I loved most about it was that I knew immediately who people were when they walked up to the booth. Their name and title were right there, and I could quickly assess whether I was the right person to chat with them or if I should pass them to my sales engineers and their deeper technical expertise.

Even better, all conversations were logged, so I could reference the details later. Not to mention that exhibitors were also able to:

  • Show videos in their booth
  • Share collateral and case studies
  • Have booth games (these are REALLY popular)

In short, the virtual conference I attended had found a way to bring all the benefits of conference attendance—from networking to one-on-one meetings to exhibition halls—and all the benefits of digital—from data logs to presentations on-demand to marketing materials available with a click of the mouse—together for an even better conference model.

Since Intrado hosts the platform, you don’t need to get your IT team involved (unless you want them to be). And since the conference is virtual, you’ll likely save thousands on ballooning hotel rates and other travel expenses.

So, what does this mean for your business? It’s time to take a look at platforms like Intrado and start thinking strategically about what virtual conferences might mean for you.

And, of course, if you need some help navigating the new technology and the strategy that makes it successful? That’s where Catalyst can come in—to help you drive attendance, develop presentations, design cool digital booth graphics, create engagement games for your booth, produce videos for your booth, help you set up booth chat and make recommendations for logistics and engagement, and nurture leads after the event.

If that sounds pretty damn exciting (we think it is), let’s talk.


Recent Posts