Choosing the Best Session Format for Your Next Virtual Conference
Delivery of the content is as important as the content itself. And that stands true in the case of virtual and hybrid conferences as well. Talk to experienced event specialists, and they will tell you that the event format is one of the most critical aspects of event planning. You might pick the most relevant and burning topic and create high-quality content around it. However, if the format you choose is not appropriate, it can crash the whole event.
Today, a virtual conference is a package of a myriad of sessions. You need to choose the most apropos format for each one of them. A session’s format defined how you are going to deliver the content. It determines the technology you would use and also the way the script will mature during the conference. The format tells your emcee the amount and scope of improvisation needed or possible. Here is a guide to assist you in picking pertinent session formats for your next virtual conference.
Livestream vs Simulive
While talking about the events in the virtual realm, terminology gets muddled. For instance, the word ‘live’ sometimes describes in-person events and sometimes virtual events in real-time. So let us first elucidate the terms.
Most digital conferences use either of the two broad formats, viz Livestream and Simulive. A Livestream session is the one that you broadcast to your attendees in real-time. Conflictingly Simulive format allows you to cater sessions once with real-time engagement features.
Virtual Conference Session Format: Livestream v/s Simulive
Choosing between Livestream and Simulive can be confounding. You have to strategically decide which part of the conference will take what setup for delivery. A virtual symposium allows you to include the ‘face-to-face’ element. It can be exceedingly engaging even when multiple people are involved.
Both Live and Simulive have pros that make them suitable for different types of sessions. A live session is potent when you want to sense your audience and improvise to accommodate immediacies.
On the flip side, Simulive sessions mollify technical risks and enhance production quality. While the Simulive sessions are prerecorded, experts still endorse the presence of a moderator. It helps in capturing the audience with an impactful intro and outro and spurs active engagement. Here we discuss some prevailing formats for different sessions of a virtual conference.
- Keynote speaker
The keynote speaker can either give you a significant head start or nose-dive your event. It sets the tone for the entire event, which is why getting it right is crucial. With your speaker going live, you can blend feedback and live polls within the speech. You can also nail the engagement in Simulive format by letting your speaker dive into chat and respond to the audience live while the session goes on.
- Panel discussion
Livestream with real-time off-the-cuff exchange is a sterling format choice for a panel discussion. Its unfiltered nature proliferates the excitement and fuse energy in the audience and the participants. However, with the Simulive format, you can evade the technical glitches and have greater control over the discussion.
Most convocations prefer live streaming as it helps maintain secrecy and keep the audience intrigued. But you can also include some prerecorded sessions for commencement speech and highlight reels.
- Product demos
Demos are not quintessential to a conference. You might sometimes need to showcase a product to convince your investors and decision-makers. In such cases, Livestream is a terrific choice as it escalates credibility. Nonetheless, Simulive gives you more flexibility to demonstrate your product in variable settings in more polished presentations.
- Educational presentations
Tight editing multiplies the impact of educational content. You might want to deliver a leadership speech or present market research to the board before a conference commences. You would wish the presentation to be as precise as possible, which is why Simulive is the chosen format for them.