With the organization of a virtual conference, many organizers are entering completely new territory. The experience gained over many years from the world of face-to-face events suddenly only works to a limited extent or not at all in a digital environment, and advice from the field has been sparse until now. We would like to change that and provide you with a few tips that will help ensure virtual conferences be successful for all.
Conferences are more than just lectures. That was the clear result of a survey we conducted with hundreds of participants of academic conferences and congresses. In response to the question “What makes a successful conference for you?” the aspects “networking” and “meeting new contacts” were each answered with almost the same importance as “gaining new knowledge from lectures.”
Against the backdrop of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, organizers as well as conference-goers had to get used to virtual alternatives. Born out of necessity, many different creative approaches have popped up in the meantime, seemingly overnight.
Last month, we published our first article on the Coronavirus pandemic (in German only), at a time when it wasn’t recognized as a pandemic. In view of the current situation, some of the statements we made didn’t age well – even if we referred to legitimate sources who since had to rectify their statements, too. The danger was generally underestimated in the beginning, particularly with regard to conferences. Time for an update and some decision guidance for conference organizers.
Do you know every detail in the contracts you have signed with the provider of your conference software? It’s always better to read the small print for there are providers out there who prefer to follow their own interests rather than to address your needs. Sometimes, you’re even helping it happen by unknowingly providing the data.
Online registration for your conference has started but it’s only on rare occasions someone comes across the website and even more rarely, someone actually completes the registration process.
Maybe you should have advertised it a bit more?
Our tips are here to prevent you from being greeted by a yawning void and will let you in on the art of enticing more people to attend your conference.