Hosting virtual conferences is a not-so-new normal, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges in the road ahead. A fully virtual event is still fresh to companies that have hosted in-person conferences for decades, and that inexperience can lead to issues with engagement.
Problems can arise when you don’t adequately adjust your presentation for the digital format. Barreling on as if nothing has changed can result in lower engagement and technical difficulties — not to mention brewing dissatisfaction amongst your shareholder base.
Fortunately, these challenges can be solved with the right investor relations technology, preparation, and practice. Below are three common challenges you might face and their simple solutions.
Challenge #1: Poor Engagement
All too easily, digital attendees can turn into passive observers when sitting in front of their computers. A cold screen separates you and your shareholders, and any number of distractions on their side may break their concentration.
The trick to handling this challenge is by giving your attendees plenty of options to interact with you and other guests. You can do this by choosing IR software that breathes as much life into your conference as possible.
The right IR software gives you the tools to run a successful virtual conference by making it an interactive experience. It can support virtual lobbies and exhibitor halls where your attendees can network, as well as live Q&As, surveys, and elections.
Challenge #2: Integrating Reporting and Analytics
Your virtual conference is an excellent opportunity to test the waters with your shareholders and take the temperature of the room. However, the challenge here is figuring out how you can collect this data in a meaningful way and integrate it into your current IR strategy.
The solution is simple. When looking for IR software to help facilitate your event, make sure this technology can help you consolidate this data on your CRM platform.
Many webcasting software go hand in hand with IR desktop programs. This kind of software will help you analyze the information you collect from polls and Q&As.
Challenge #3: Digital Miscommunications and Fatigue
One of the challenges of hosting an engaging virtual conference is how difficult it can be for speakers to convey their message over the web.
At an in-person event, your speakers rely on visual cues that can fall flat on the screen. With these elements missing from your conference, it’s very easy for your attendees to check out — or worse, hit a wall.
To help your speakers communicate in an engaging way, make sure you coach them on body language before they take the stage (or screen, as it is). Encourage them to practice their presentation and to stick to the agenda so that they’re respectful of attendees’ time.
It may also be a good idea to give them early access to your IR software so that they’re familiar with the way webcasting works. Allow them to test out effective slide decks and screen-sharing tools to eliminate any glitches that may waste people’s time.
Every Challenge Has its Solution
It may be a while before you get comfortable hosting virtual conferences, but these tips can help you embrace the digital format faster. Remember them before you send out invitatins to your next conference, and you’ll sidestep many of the barriers that could limit your event.