What is Online Conferences? An Overview
Online conferences have been highly successful formats of online events, and it is the reason they are trusted by several professionals across the globe. The reason online meeting have gained immense popularity in the past few years is simply the advantages and conveniences it comes with. It is the reason several organizations have now decided to go completely online with their conferences. Given the popularity and numerous benefits they come with, it can be safely said that online meeting along with webinars, are definitely the future, and they are going to stay here for longer than we thought they would.
If you are also fascinated by the fact that online conferences are so convenient and popular, and wish to host the same for your organization, go ahead. Also, if you wish to know more about them, look no further. In this blog, we will talk about everything about online conferences.
Hence, get ready to explore online meeting with us. Read on.
Before diving deep into the concept, let us take a look at the meaning of online conferences. It will make it easier for you to learn more about the same.
What is the Meaning of Online Conferences?
An extended version of online meetings, online conference are simply conferences that take place over an online conference platform. These conference platforms utilize the internet and are capable enough to accommodate hundreds of attendees from across the globe. The reason we said online conferences are the extended versions of online meetings is that while online meetings last for one-two days, online conferences can last for as long as a week.
They consist of webinars, panel discussions, keynote speeches, interviews, and so much more. Not only this, online conferences come with several networking opportunities and enable attendees to connect and interact with fellow attendees and boost their networks.
Talking of the key difference between online and offline conferences is the medium of hosting. Where offline conferences are simply regular conferences hosted in person at a physical location, online conferences are hosted over an online conference tool.
Moving onto the types of conferences that are popular around the world, we have the following types:
We are sure you have understood the meaning, as the name itself is explanatory. Online Academic Conferences are simply academic conferences hosted for students. In such conferences, researchers present their thesis and have a discussion around it.
Associations’ Conferences involve discussions and discourses around a practical subject. Other than that, these conferences are similar to academic conferences.
As you would have understood by the name, training conferences are those conferences that include training sessions, workshops, demo sessions, and everything with the intent of providing training.
Why Should You Host An Online Conference?
One can host an online conference to:
- Address a long overgoing issue.
- Conduct research about a new issue.
- Gather a particular group of people with a common interest.
- Collect inputs and feedback from a particular community of people.
Who Can Host an Online Conference?
Though there are no written rules specifying the organizations or people who can host an online conference, the following organizations or professionals host online conferences generally.
- Professionals of an organization.
- Government-run agencies or bodies.
- Organizations that are private or run by individuals.
- Organizations that work on alliances.
- Educational organizations and departments.
- Groups of activists.
What Are the Most Common Features of Online Conferences?
As we mentioned earlier, online conferences are different from online meetings and have several features and elements associated with them. Here are the most common features of online meeting that make them stand apart from the rest of the kinds of events.
- Online conferences include keynote sessions, where the speaker addresses the audience, followed by a quick question and answer round, where the audience asks questions to the speaker.
- A virtual conference generally consists of panel discussions, demonstration sessions, webinars, etc.
- Online meeting facilitate online networking and enable attendees to connect and interact with fellow attendees, speakers, organizers, and even sponsors. It is the reason online conference tools come with tools such as audio-video calls, live chat, virtual breakout rooms, and networking lounges.
- Several online conference tools come with audience engagement tools such as live polls, surveys, live comments, emoticon reactions, and so many more. These tools enable attendees to stay engaged throughout the conference. Not only this, but with these tools, the attendees get to express themselves and their satisfaction while the session is going on.
- In addition to this, online meetings enable brands to display their products and services with virtual booths. These booths come as a great opportunity for the sponsors and enable them to make money and boost their business.
- While many perceive online meeting to be boring and lengthy, they are interesting and short. However, it generally depends on the organizers. Online conference tools come with several gamification tools and features that let attendees have a fun time. Not only this, several organizers include virtual coffee breaks and break and rejuvenating sessions for the attendees. It is to maintain a consistent audience engagement and attendance rate at the conference.
What are the Benefits Online Conferences Provide to Those Attending the Conferences?
The benefits that online meetings provide to attendees are as follows.
- They enable attendees to join the conference from any part of the world. It means they don’t need to spend hefty amounts of money on tickets and other travel expenses.
- The attendees can join the conference at the scheduled time; they don’t need to travel for hours to reach the conference venue. Hence, they enable attendees to save their precious time.
- Attendees can rewatch the session many times with the recording feature.
- They can interact with fellow attendees and make long-lasting connections.
Online conferences are much more than simply having some attendees over a regular online meeting platform and calling it a conference. Online conferences, like online webinars, are interactive. In fact, they consist of several segments, which makes them just a virtual depiction of their in-person counterparts. However, it all depends on the platform one chooses for the same. If you wish to host a conference that is as lively as a physical conference, you are required to use an engaging and efficient online conference platform.