What exactly is a virtual conference or online conference?

At emailexpert we had always planned for Inbox Expo to be virtual first and we had put a considerable amount of thought into how we would deliver this. One of the primary elements of a virtual conference is obviously the streamed content. The sessions, seminars, keynotes and panel discussions. But a series of streamed events is not a conference and is no substitute for meeting people, interacting with your peers and the general networking that happens at a traditional conference. Whilst our event is hybrid with a physical event in London it is very much primarily an online conference. With the current situation and world attention on novel coronavirus more people are asking questions about virtual conferences. Whilst not all will be the same, we can tell you what ours will entail.

  • Online streaming of the events live
  • Access to view on demand of all sessions the same day they broadcast live
  • Pre and Post event networking via a dedicated delegate only online community, (privacy first) delegate directory, private messaging and more
  • Random networking opportunities with other delegates through our professional video chat-roulette system
  • Multiple opportunities to connect with other delegates and if you so choose exchange your virtual business cards
  • Structured networking by the way of informal and semi formal virtual round tables where delegates can join the discussion
  • Have one to one video meetings with other delegates that you connect with at the conference
  • Virtual Expo Booths where you can discover great vendors in the space and if you want virtually scan your badge to collect your digital #swag

With ever increasing amounts of the global workforce being asked or instructed to work from home, even larger numbers being told that non essential business travel is not an option and of course the ever huge numbers of conferences being cancelled or switched to online only, means alternatives will be found. Professionals are now accustomed to professional meetings over a video link up and well organised professional conferences which offer immersive learning and networking experiences will increasingly be delivered online. Whilst Inbox Expo might be the first time you considered a digital/virtual/online conference we are sure it will not be the last.

You can forget your preconceptions about the failed webinar you once attended, or the poorly filmed live podcast, the failed Google hangouts. Even if you have seen, and we all have great webinars, heard awesome podcasts and even attended a quality online training event we are sure none offered quite the same experience as we are looking to offer at Inbox Expo 2020. We do not want and never saw the digital edition as an after thought or add-on. It is core to what we have done and built. The reason for the micro-conference in London was always to maximise the quality of the online streams. By having a physical venue we could control the quality of the camera, lighting, broadcast and other variables. By having a small live audience it allowed us to bring our digital delegates the real conference experience and not simply a webinar.

For a real virtual conference we still felt the need for the stage and for the live audience reaction to truly deliver the stage experience to the digital delegate. But the content from the stage is not the only thing that makes for a great conference, random meetings and netowkring is a huge part of what drives many to go to a traditional conference.

For those random meetings that happen when you might bump into someone in the hallway at a traditional conference we have our video ‘chat-roulette’ where delegates can enter a speed networking session with other delegates and speakers. These are restricted to a couple of minutes per meeting. Enough time to introduce yourselves and if you like at a click of a button you can exchange virtual business cards to follow up for a longer one to one video chat or connect after the conference.

What about the breakouts? What about those meetings in the hotel lobby? We have you covered. Our virtual round tables allow up to 8 people to enter discussions on a variety of topics, whilst dozens more can watch and wait for a chance for a seat at the table and join the discussion. These lightly moderated round tables ensure everyone has the chance to join group discussions that are of interest to them.

To do all of the above we utilise an all in one events platform Hopin, that recently won $6.5mn in A round investment. It is a great platform but we wanted to offer our delegates more. So we have our members only delegates community site and forums. As well as an opportunity to network with other delegates before and after the event, message each other and discuss the event on the board, the site will also feature each session made available for playback on demand. This will allow our digital delegates the opportunity to discuss sessions with their peers not only in real time but over a period of time.

We also have our online vendor expo booths. These give you the opportunity to discover a great number of vendors in the space many of whom include special deals or virtual swag in the form of white papers and reports available to you with a virtual swipe of your digital delegate badge.

You can purchase your tickets on on the Hopin site. Prices do increase daily in the run up to the event so secure yours quickly.


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