Gone are the days of crossing borders and flying through mountains and oceans to attend that particular conference. The world is now accessible on our fingertips, and so are the conferences. Since technology has evolved so much, one can host conferences and events on digital platforms.
As we all know, the conferences held on online platforms are known as online conference platforms. These platforms are efficient enough to replicate an in-person conference on a conference platform. Given the fact that online conferences don’t require the organizers or attendees to leave their homes and hence, their comfort zones, they have now become a preferred choice of people around the world.
There are several professionals who have to attend numerous conferences in a month, which requires them to travel. Since physical conferences include travel, spending money, and whatnot, they always come with the inconvenience. However, it is not the case with online conferences. Also, there is a lot more that one should know about online conferences. What is it? Let us find out in this blog.
What is an Online Conference?
One can define an online conference as a conference that are digital. These conferences are much more than regular meetings. These conferences enable people to connect from all over the world over a single platform. Where meetings generally run for shorter durations, conferences are generally for more than a day or two. Not only this, meetings are on a smaller scale, and conferences are on a larger scale. Online conferences comprise keynote sessions, interactive sessions, interviews, workshops, and whatnot.
Whereas, this is not the case with an online meeting.
The main highlight of online conferences is they allow people to join in from different corners of the world. They eliminate the need for travel, booking venues, spending on catering, and other several expenditures that come with offline conferences.
Also, it goes without saying that online conferences are more beneficial, flexible, and convenient than traditional conferences.
Talking of the platforms one can utilize for hosting conferences digitally, online conference platforms are the platforms that facilitate online conferences. These platforms are nothing but the venue for online conferences just like how physical venues facilitate offline conferences.
Talking of the features that online conference platforms offer to users, one can count on features such as live chat, live polls, Q&A sessions, live comments, customization, analytics, and so many more like them. These tools together help users in delivering experiences that are closer to reality and give all the feels of a real-life conference.
Types of Online Conferences:
There are several types of online conferences that organizers host around the world. Where some conferences get their names after the purpose they fulfill, others get their names after the industry.
Here are the most common types of conferences across various industries:
As the name clearly derives, academic conferences are the conferences that schools, colleges and other academic institutions host. These conferences revolve around academics and academicians. In these conferences, they present their research and thesis.
Training Conferences: As one can understand by the name, these conferences are hosted to provide training to the participants on a particular subject. These conferences are hosted mostly by organizations and corporations.
Professional Associations’ Conferences: The intent behind these conferences is to discuss something. However, the subject of these conferences is generally practical and they are concluded with a practical conclusion.
What are the Features of an Online Conference?
Here are the most common and notable features of online conferences:
- An online conference consists of a keynote session where the speaker addresses the audience about a subject. The subject is generally the topic for the conference. In most cases, a keynote session is generally followed by a question and answer round, where the audience asks questions from the speaker.
- Online conferences are interactive and consist of several elements, such as panel discussions, engagement sessions, product and service demonstrations, and much more. Since conferences last for two days and more, various components come together to form a conference.
- As we mentioned, online conferences are interactive and promote two-way communication. It is why several online conference platforms come with audience engagement tools such as live chat, live polls, question and answer sessions, networking lounges, breakout rooms, and so much more.
- Not only this, but online conferences also focus on audience engagement. Many organizers are of the belief that online events don’t boost two-way communication. However, it is not at all true; online conferences and online conference platforms promote two-way communication and make the attendees feel like they are a part of the conference. Tools such as surveys, polls, comments, etc. make attendees feel involved in the conference.
- One of the most common challenges that organizers face is keeping the audience hooked throughout the conference. It is well known that humans have a short attention span, and it is why, it becomes necessary for organizers to ensure that the attendees are not distracted and leave the platform out of boredom. However, there are several platforms that come with interactive tools that make online events less boring and more fun. Such tools include gamification, contests, and many more.
- Not many of you might know it, but online conferences enable the organizers to set up virtual booths for sponsors. These digital exhibition booths come with several audience interactive tools that make them as real as their in-person counterparts. Not only this, but these tools also enable the exhibitors to set up 3D booths, which helps them enhance their overall conference experience.
Online conferences are very popular in today’s world, and it is all due to the fact that they are so convenient and easy to host. Not only this, online conferences are far more advantageous and flexible than offline ones. All these factors justify the popularity of online conferences and how every other organization is relying on them to boost their growth and reach a wider audience.
If you are also planning on hosting online conferences, you should consider choosing a platform that is easy to manage. Also, go with one that comes with all the tools and features that help the organizers make things lifelike.