We all know conferences that utilize an online platform for hosting are known as online conferences. These conferences have gained immense popularity in the past few years, and given how popular they are becoming continuously, they will continue to rise even more. The reason behind this popularity of conferences is the fact that they are far more convenient and flexible than their offline counterparts.
Not only this, online conferences enable the organizers as well as the attendees to be a part of the conference right from the comfort of their homes. Since they are also feasible when it comes to the money part, organizations across the globe prefer hosting an online conference more than they rely on offline conferences.
However, contrary to popular belief, online conferences are much more than just gathering people on a regular online conference software, addressing them, and calling it a conference. Online conferences include interactions, discussions, keynote sessions, and other kinds of audience engagement and interactivity tools.
In this blog, we will discuss all the features of online conferences and what features make online conferences unique and a top choice among organizations. So, without any ado, let us start and see what more you should learn about online conferences. However, before we dive straight into the blog, let’s go through the basics of this format of online events, and how it is different from others.
What is the Meaning of Online Conferences?
Online conferences can be defined as conferences simply hosted over the internet. Where offline conferences are hosted at a physical location, online conferences are hosted using online conference platforms. These conference platforms are the venue of digital conferences. Though online conferences are completely different from offline conferences, there is no significant difference between the two of them. The only major difference that differentiates both these formats is the medium of hosting.
Where online conferences utilize online conference platforms, offline conferences are held at a physical venue.
Other than that, online conferences are as real as offline ones, and it is due to the fact that technology these days is highly advanced. It is why online conference platforms are highly efficient and can easily replicate offline conferences over the internet.
Online conference platforms offer several tools and features to the organizers. These tools not only help in carrying out the entire conference smoothly, but they also boost interactivity among the attendees.
Features of Online Conferences:
As we said, online conferences are more than just having two people on the conference platform and calling it an online conference. An online conference consists of several elements and factors, and together they make an online conference.
1. Keynote Sessions:
The first vital component of an online conference is a keynote session. These keynote sessions generally are the highlight of the conference. Also, in most cases, the subject of the keynote session is the subject of the entire conference. In fact, since keynote sessions are the highlights of the conference, it is the major component that draws the attention of the audience. A keynote session is generally followed by a question and answer session, where the audience asks questions from the speaker and interacts with them.
The next main component of an online conference is a panel discussion. Panel discussions involve people discussing a certain topic and coming to a constructive conclusion. Panel discussions are a key feature of online conferences and provide a great opportunity for networking and exchanging ideas. These panel discussions are usually moderated by a moderator who will keep the discussion on track and ensure that all attendees have a chance to interact. The panelists for each discussion are usually experts in their field, so it’s a great opportunity to learn from the best. Attendees can also ask questions of the panelists during the discussion.
Interactive sessions are a key feature of online conferences that allow attendees to engage with each other and the speaker in real time. These sessions can take the form of Q&A, polls, and live chat. There are several online conference software that come with such tools that boost audience engagement and interaction at the conference. Q&A sessions give attendees the opportunity to ask the speaker questions directly. Polls allow attendees to share their thoughts and feedback on the conference topic in real time. Live chat provides a space for attendees to connect with each other and discuss the conference content. By offering interactive sessions, online conferences provide a more engaging and intimate experience for attendees. These sessions encourage attendees to actively participate in the conference and connect with each other, which enhances the overall conference experience.
It is very common and natural for people to get bored of attending online events since there is a lack of interpersonal communication. However, this is when as an organizer, you should include elements that are a source of entertainment for the attendees and make online conferences less boring. There are certain ways to do that; for example, You could hire a comedian, musician, or other performers to entertain attendees during breaks or in between sessions. Not only this, you can use visuals to help bring your sessions to life and keep attendees engaged. It could include using slideshows, infographics, or videos.
Overall, online conferences are a great way to connect with others and share information. They offer many features that can be beneficial for both the conference organizer and the attendees. With so many people now working remotely, online conferences provide a convenient way to stay connected and learn new things. Though there are several advantages of online conferences, there are a few limitations too. For example, it might become difficult for organizers to keep a hold of the attendees and their attention. However, one still cannot deny the fact that online conferences are still a great option for those who want to connect with others without having to travel. With the right planning and preparation, they can be a successful and informative experience for all involved.