How To Enhance the Virtual Conference Experience

In a world of so much uncertainty, it's obvious that you need to stay ahead of the game of the virtual conference game....
How To Enhance the Virtual Conference Experience
Written by Brian Wallace
  • Ever since the pandemic began, there has been a rapid acceleration toward virtual conferences. They are easy to host, accessible for anyone, and the associated costs are much better than using a physical space. What’s more, a virtual conference can go on regardless of future quarantines or public gathering restrictions.

    While it’s becoming commonplace to host virtual conferences, though, that doesn’t mean that every event is the same. On the contrary, as is the case with physical conferences, a virtual event can consist of a variety of good and bad experiences.

    If you want your next virtual conference to fall on the “good” side of the leger, here are a few tips to help you enhance the experience.

    Use Tech to Take Your Sound to the Next Level

    Before you make any strategic adjustments to your virtual conferences, it’s important to start on the IT side of things. Just because you’ve paid for a conference tool doesn’t mean you instantly have all of your technological elements sorted out.

    If quality is a concern, you can invest in technology that is designed to take your event to the next level. A good example of this is the spatial audio feature.

    Spatial audio is designed to provide a natural feel to the conversation within a virtual meeting space. It separates overlapping voices and makes it sound as if each person is speaking from different areas of a virtual “room” with position-based listening.

    This overcomes cross-talking when multiple people speak simultaneously. Rather than hearing a jumble of voices, individuals can hear each person clearly. This doesn’t just make hearing easier. It provides a natural atmosphere and can reduce things like listener fatigue and disengagement.

    Improve Your Video Experience

    Along with audio, you want to consider how your viewers are seeing each speaker. Watching someone speak down into their low-quality laptop camera for two hours can get boring quickly.

    Instead, look for tech tools that allow you to manipulate the visuals for your event. A great example of this is Zoom’s solution for the condition named after its own software: “Zoom fatigue.”

    The condition was coined after the pandemic led to endless hours spent on dull video calls. In response to this ongoing issue, Zoom developed Immersive View. This is a video format that allows you to bring all of the attendees of a meeting or webinar into a single virtual “view.”

    As is the case with’s Spatial Audio, Immersive View brings a more natural, engaging aspect to a meeting.

    Think Bigger Than Individual Webinars

    A virtual conference should never be a disconnected string of webinars with nothing in between. That is one of the best ways to induce disinterest in a hurry. Instead, make sure to think about the bigger picture with each webinar that you host. 

    This starts with your theme. A guest speaker is great. So is some insightful advice from a team member. Having your CEO open up the event with a presentation is great. But if these pieces aren’t focused on a similar theme, they’ll feel disjointed and uninspiring. Make sure each event has a clear theme.

    In addition, you can use your tech tools to help tie things together. For instance, encourage people to log in early to each webinar. Then, have an MC or even the speaker for that session oversee some two-way conversations with the attendees. This can help warm everyone up and get them interested in the topic of conversation.

    Use Time and Humor

    When Forbes asked its Forbes Business Council members to share some strategies to spice up a video conference, it’s no surprise that the second recommendation was to start with some fun. In addition, even when they weren’t focused on humor, multiple recommendations incorporated an element of entertainment. 

    The goal, of course, is to lighten the mood and encourage attendees to invest in the experience. This could come through having someone’s child give an opening statement or showing off each attendees’ pet. There are plenty of ways to infuse humor to bring a splash of fun to an oft-mundane communication medium. 

    In addition to the fun, make sure to keep each session concise and to the point. Don’t give speakers lavish amounts of time to drone on or get overly detailed. That’s difficult enough in a live setting. Doing it with virtual listeners guarantees that they’ll check out before long.

    Timing can make or break your event. Remember that conciseness is your friend in the virtual world.

    Encourage Engagement

    We already touched on this in the earlier point regarding letting people interact. However, you can (and should) let this camaraderie spill over into sessions whenever possible, too.

    Obviously, if you have a guest speaker mid-slide in a serious lecture, you don’t want people interrupting. But there are many other occasions where you can naturally encourage engagement.

    Chat bars allow people to exchange thoughts and commentary during a live presentation. Call and response also works well. If you have a question, don’t make it rhetorical. Don’t answer yourself, either. Ask someone else to raise their hand, unmute their channel, and answer for you.

    If you want your next event to be a success, remember that you need to invest in enhancing the experience. Improve your sound and audio options. Weave your webinars together and give time for people to engage with one another.

    Little improvements like these can help turn a virtual event into a valuable asset for your business that offers an experience that will have people coming back time after time.

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