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Making the Most of a Virtual Conference

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networkingWhether you participate in a physical conference or a virtual one, the goals are the same. Companies need to reach as many people as they can to inform potential customers of their newest and best technologies and supplies. There is also the opportunity to talk with current customers to receive feedback on products and services and to make sure their needs are being met or even exceeded.

It is common knowledge by now that a virtual conference is the latest and greatest channel for companies to expand their reach. Virtual conferences cost less than physical conferences simply because there is no travel or shipping of materials involved. In fact, the average virtual event can cost a company about 20% of the cost of a comparable physical event. Instead a virtual booth is built, housing a wealth of information and take-home resources for visitors. However, companies can either take advantage of this opportunity to spread the word about themselves or sit back and expect visitors to come to them. Here are some tips to ensure that you are making the most out of your virtual conference.

Get Involved: Sure, you might not be the most technologically savvy kid on the block, but by actively participating in the building of your virtual booth (how it looks and feels, what kinds of instrumentation or reagents should be displayed, and how visitors can find information or chat with a representative) you can create a personalized experience that users will remember instead of a stock template that looks like everyone else.

Sponsor Speakers: Ask about the possibility of either sponsoring a current speaker scheduled for the conference or inviting a speaker that your company collaborates with. This does not include telling your own technical specialist that she is now signed up to speak at the next virtual conference. Discuss the opportunity with a professor or investigator that partners with your company who has high visibility within their field to present on their current findings using your technology. Actual applications can go a long way to create a trust in a new product.

Take Advantage of All Aspects of the Conference: Each virtual conference generally has a wide variety of additional channels for attendees to participate in.

A Poster Hall allows people to display their work when presentations are not an option. Companies can participate in the poster hall as well. Posters are a great way for you to get more information out to your audience with the benefit of visuals and tangible results.

The Resource Center is the information hub of a virtual conference. Attendees can find white papers, brochures, relevant publications, protocols, case studies and more. This is an important place to house any informational documents you have to share with potential clients.

Most virtual conferences also have the option for Pop-Up Announcements. These are small alerts that pop up periodically during an attendee’s visit to the conference, letting them know about a keynote presentation that is about to start or reminding them to check out a certain booth for new information. These mini announcements can be a great way to stear visitors to your booth and generate an interest in what you have to offer.

The Networking Lounge acts as the social channel for virtual conferences. Since attendees are in their offices on their computer instead of physically walking around and meeting others, the networking lounge offers the opportunity to talk with others about the conference, the latest speaker, or that booth that has the most interesting product. Join in the conversation! Ask others questions and initiate discussions around a topic of your choice. You might discover a need or issue that you can help solve.

Attend the Event: Last but not least, attend the conference yourself! Watch some presentations, visit other booths, browse the poster hall. These can all give valuable insights into what others are doing and how you might be able to get involved. And frankly, conferences are just interesting! Why not enjoy them?

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