Conferences on a virtual fair: are they really useful?
It all depends on the theme of your event of course, but one thing is certain: en event animated by relevant talks will always be more attractive than a show where there is only static content.
This applies to exhibitors, public chats , but also (and especially) to conferences!
What format should I select for these conferences?
There are several formats for live conferences, and there are many options to set up a discussion between several speakers. Not always easy indeed to make the difference between a conference, a webinar, a round table, a workshop, etc.
On AppyFair, you can create 2 formats of video presentations, beyond private discussions between users:
- conferences with one or more speakers, who broadcast content (presentation, webcam, screen sharing) to an audience, who can only view the content, and who can interact only by chat, on a specific discussion wall
- Roundtables conducted on plugged-in tool (such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Meet, Webex, GotoMeeting, etc.). In this case the platform will only redirect users to the link of the “meeting” chosen by the organizer, and the interactions will be defined by the user, according to the possibilities offered by the tool.
In the rest of this article, we will focus on conferences, which are aimed at a “spectator” audience.
Does AppyFair offer an integrated tool to carry out my conferences?
AppyFair indeed offers, in its current version, an integrated tool for talks performed by a single speaker. You will not be redirected outside the fair !
Once the speaker is designated by the organizer, he will be offered an dedicated space in his conference room, which will allow him to broadcast his camera, or share his screen, directly from the platform (without a third-party tool). The audience will then see his intervention via a simple video player, and questions may be asked through a live chat.
It’s extremely easy to use, and requires no additional tools.
Can you use your own broadcasting tool?
If you have your own broadcast tool, and the speaker(s) will present through a video player, then it is very simple to integrate this conference into the fair.
For example, you can use Zoom to organize a conference, and rebroadcast its content through Youtube or Vimeo. Some organizers run meetings on Microsoft Teams, which they can then integrate using the Microsoft Stream video player.
For the most demanding organizers, who organize their conferences with a video control room, it is very easy to “push” the video stream of this conference on a tool like Vimeo or Youtube Live.
In short, there are many possibilities, and we can help you to set them up!
Our advice on the content of a conference during a virtual show?
In order to make your conference as impactful as possible, we recommend the following:
- avoid the monologues with no presentations which last more than 40 min: it is bound to fail. Visitors will quickly leave the room, no matter how talented the speaker is,
- Prefer interventions with 2 or more people (even behind the same camera): the interactions between the speakers will be quickly contagious,
- A presentation support is important, but it’s better to avoid slides with large blocks of text: you will put the audience to sleep, or lose them,
- Avoid a long talk without a Q&A slot: ideally, if you manage to rhythm the talk with questions every 10-15 min, it’s a lot better to encourage discussions !”
- Encourage the audience to not hesitate to write their comments or questions on the chat, even before the live event is launched: it’s often the first messages that are the hardest to get, but once the machine is launched, there’s no stopping it!”
- Aim for a 30 min, or even 40 min if it is well-paced and animated, it’s the maximum that we recommend.
Any additional tips on the technical aspects?
With our experience, here are some basic but essential tips to avoid messing up on the big day:
- the absolute priority: don’t forget to have all the necessary real-life condition tests: same place, same equipment, same environment
- a relaxed and positive attitude are often the right ingredients for a successful intervention!
- think about closing the office door if you’re with colleagues, to avoid hearing Nicole calling John in the hallway
- frame your camera correctly, think about the background and the scenery
- choose the right lightning: avoid backlighting, and light your face properly, preferably with at least 2 different light sources
- avoid standing in a completely empty room: this will favor echoes, and may be unpleasant for the audience
- choose the right microphone tool: prefer a quality headset microphone rather than the integrated microphone of your laptop, which may pick up parasite noise
- think about disconnecting the notification sounds from your computer, to prevent them from polluting your ears (in the best case), or creating an echo (very unpleasant high-pitched sound) as it passes back through your microphone
- prepare your software tools (Microsoft Powerpoint, Google Slides, PDF or other) beforehand to avoid the panic of automatic updates when you have to go live
- do test the public chat by opening it simultaneously to be comfortable reading the audience’s questions, while giving out your speech
- check your battery level, and your internet connection, before the speach