Virtual Conference Software Platform
Provide your audience with an intuitive and engaging virtual conference experience through OpenWater. Our enterprise grade virtual conference platform offers high quality broadcasts at scale. We are a proven partner and support team that has enabled associations to flawlessly go virtual.
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OpenWater's Virtual Conference Platform
Virtual Session Portal
Building an event agenda has never been easier.
- Schedule View of Sessions
- Personalized Agenda Builder
- Advanced Search/Filtering
- A dedicated page for every session
- Live or Recorded Video Sessions
- Written Descriptions
- Downloadable Materials
- Speaker Headshots and Bios
- One Click Join Session Button
- Comment Boards, Chat, Networking
Live Stream Sessions
- HD Video and Audio: Exceptional clarity and quality for virtual and hybrid classes.
- Join anywhere, on any device
- Built-in collaboration tools: Multiple participants can share their screens simultaneously and co-annotate for a more interactive meeting.
- Live stream entire conferences or specific sessions to global audiences of any size with the leading video platform, powered by Zoom.
Exhibitor Hall for Sponsors
- Exhibitor Gallery
- Dedicated Pages for Sponsorship
- Automated Breakout Rooms
- Dedicate breakout rooms (coffee sessions) for attendees to meet presenters
- Live chat and comments on session pages for niche networking and rich discussion
- Poster gallery
- Dedicated pages for posters, videos, images, text, contact information
- Dedicated chat and networking for each poster
- Dedicate breakout rooms (coffee sessions) for attendees to meet presenters
Single Sign On
- Single-Sign-On to your CRM/AMS
- Restrict access to sessions from your event registration system
End to End Support & More
- Technical guides for training staff, volunteers, presenters, moderators and how to upload pre-recording sessions
- Advanced day of conference support for to assist attendees, presenters and your internal team
- Shared communication with conference team (OpenWater, your staff, any AV partners, volunteers or technicians)
- Live-Chat widget on conference website for speakers / attendees
- OpenWater has a networking of partners to help you staff up and run a smooth conference
Conference Attendee Chat & Networking
- Attendee to attendee chat requests
- A dedicated chatroom for the entire conference, and per session, poster, or sponsor.
- Attendee Profiles
- 100% mobile friendly chat for ease multi tasking during conference sessions
Conference Session Manager
- Upload pre-recorded sessions, keep recording organized
- Online forms to collect speaker information
- Review portal for your conference chairs
- Group abstracts and papers into multiple session types
- Collect speaker slides/presentation materials
Sponsorship Revenue for Virtual Conferences
How can we drive revenue from sponsorship around sessions?
Sessions naturally have a lot of eyeballs on them, especially keynotes. There are several ways to monetize a session agenda, and presentations. Also, don't forget to make session demand a factor in pricing. Sponsors can present to kickoff or close a session with questions. In addition, sponsor logos can be placed on the agenda page next to sessions, or within session pages themselves. A branded background for presentations during a session is a subtle method to gain additional promotion. Placing a logo below the "Join Now" button on session pages is high traffic area prime for visibility opportunity.
How can we drive sponsorship revenue from an exhibit hall?
Every virtual conference should include a sponsor exhibit hall which would contain a gallery view of sponsor logos, and a dedicated page so that sponsors can post materials, contact information, or videos. Pricing by placement toward the top of the pages is an easy way to extract more revenue from an exhibit hall format.
How can our virtual conference earn more revenue?
Virtual conferences naturally leave behind a clean footprint of data around attendance and participation. Associations that preserve privacy while offering sponsors insightful data will have additional revenue opportunities from a virtual conference. Something as simple as chat logs, polls results, and session attendance are valuable to sponsors.
Breakout Sessions, Networking, Production Value, Support Staff
How can networking be enhanced from a virtual conference platform with breakout rooms?
Within OpenWater's platform each session has a dedicated page (mobile friendly) that enables comments or chat, or the ability for attendees to join pre-scheduled breakouts with presenters (coffee sessions). In addition, attendees can reach out to one another and schedule there own one on one sessions as a breakout. We integrate with Zoom and can automate online virtual conferences with breakout rooms after sessions. More about our virtual conference platform with breakout rooms is available here.
How will attendees network, are we dependent on virtual conference breakout rooms?
Whereas last year your attendees made connections at the hotel lobby, after sessions, during breakouts, over happy hour or in the exhibit hall next year at this time they’ll be talking about how they connected over the session comment board, virtual breakouts, a sponsor poll, or on the conference live chat. Much like a in person conference a virtual conference has a variety of ways to connect.
What role does online conference chat have on networking?
Typically an online conference platform with chat features will have a conference wide chat, and also chat rooms by session, poster, sponsor, or exhibitor. On our platform each poster, exhibitor, session or sponsor have a dedicate page with dedicated chat.
What virtual conference management services are most often used by associations?
Probably the most overlooked aspect of planning a virtual conference is how to handle training presenters and assisting attendees having trouble the day of the conference. At OpenWater we offer both a platform and virtual conference management services. We’ve assisted associations in a number of ways. First we offer training guides to your staff on helping presenters navigate the session gallery, instructions for uploading presentations and how to prerecord presentations in Zoom or Power Point. In certain situations we have provided dedicated live support the day of the conference to attendees and presenters alike. This can include jumping into a session room when something goes wrong, or being there to moderate for an important keynote.
How can I raise the production value of a virtual conference?
We’re seeing a growing trend in which associations are increasingly interested in having a few pre-record in person panels, or prerecorded welcoming remarks. In response we’ve built a small ecosystem of diverse talent that is ready to offer your team a wide range of help.
Virtual Academic Conference Management Software
How can virtual academic, scientific or medical conference create niche networking?
For academics, scientists, and doctors conferences are a chance to share research, learn new skills, meet future supervisors, students, and collaborators. The key to recreating a vibrant virtual symposium or poster exhibit hall is to keep your conference website simple. OpenWater uses everyday tools like comment boards and chat rooms to encourage networking on a session or poster basis.
Do you have examples of virtual conferences with an academic focus?
This spring (2020) OpenWater helped the Association of American Geographers, AAPT Physics Education, American Astronomical Society, ISPOR (healthcare) and the Law & Society Association hastily migrate to a fully virtual experience. After each event we are proud to report our clients and attendees were satisfied. When we worked with AAG, one of the best outcomes for attendees was coffee session meeting rooms. Coffee sessions are small meetings between presenters and attendees.
What makes virtual academic conference and virtual symposiums so challenging?
Academic, scientific and medical conferences are content rich experiences that enable critical niche networking. Migrating these conferences to a virtual experience presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities for associations. OpenWater's platform enables conference administrators to manage both the process of accepting abstract applications, judging, and setting up a virtual conference home with a session agenda, and exhibit hall for posters and sponsors.
How to Plan a Virtual Conference
What virtual conference services are needed beyond a virtual conference platform?
Similar to how a physical conference may have a person in the room to help with the microphone and projector, a virtual conference needs staff to take ownership of troubleshooting if speakers or attendees have difficulty. The largest need for additional staff will be assisting presenters the day of the conference to ensure that they're able to access the correct virtual rooms, answer questions, and play on-demand recordings. Think of staff as technical assistants for remote conference software.
How do I host a virtual conference?
The best method tohost a virtual conference is to use a platform that facilitates the critical elements of a successful virtual conference such as creating network opportunities, organizing the administrative workload associated with managing speakers, and constructing a website that attendees can easily navigate. Platforms like Zoom are a small part of the virtual conference experience and are used to facilitate the video conferencing, but don't provide additional value to help organize and promote the actual event.
How does a virtual conference work?
A virtual conference works through a collection of software tools and processes. Organizations use virtual conference platforms to create an experience for attendees that are ease to navigate, facilitate networking and mitigate the administrative burden. Unlike a virtual event, virtual conferences involve sponsorship, multiple speaker session and create networking opportunity through the use of social networking and breakout rooms.
Do you have any examples of a virtual conference?
Yes, recently we worked with the American Association of Geographers who had to move their annual meeting to virtual in 30 days. The virtual annual meeting was a success. After the event we recorded a webinar interviewing AAG's Conference Director about the experience of working with OpenWater. Since we have held numerous other associations and can walk you through additional virtual conference examples. We're happy to share cases studies and review our virtual conference demo with you.
How to choose the best virtual conference platform?
In order to find the best online virtual conference platform it is important to consider the amount of technical help your team and presenters will need to put on a virtual symposium, virtual annual meeting, or virtual academic research conference. Associations that are planning a long term shift to virtual experiences should use this as an opportunity to invest in creating underlining efficiencies through a virtual conference software platform paired with a conference management software that can handle the influx of speaker submission and internal review.
How to plan for a virtual conference?
Much of the success in planning a virtual conference will be driven by the work you’re doing day to day. Try to avoid building up too much uninspiring work. Limit the time your team spends bogged down in mundane administrative tasks, and plan ahead for the amount of time you can responsibly spend on email everyday keeping organized. This is important to keep in mind when selecting a platform and choosing partner vendors.
What is a virtual conference vs. a virtual event?
A virtual event is usually limited to one day, a few speakers and some light networking. A virtual conference typically involved multiple concurrent sessions, ongoing networking, and an exhibit hall for posters or sponsors.
What are the basic components of virtual conference technology?
Virtual conference tools are typically divided up between tools used to enable video conferencing and tools to enable organizing a virtual conference. Virtual conference companies work with vendors to create the virtual home or venue of the conference. Think of a virtual conference platform as your convention center. Virtual conference platforms options typically include a homepage, back end administrative area, a session agenda builder, session pages, and virtual conference networking software through chat, comment boards, and polls.
How do I post automated conference recordings?
The best virtual conference platforms automate recording postings so that they are available shortly after the session ends. A good turn around time is about one hour. You online conference management system will enable this, sometimes by auto-configuring Zoom.
Is OpenWater a Zoom Virtual Conference Platform?
OpenWater is a Zoom partner and holds a Zoom master license that we use to automate and scale Zoom for large scale events. OpenWater is a Zoom virtual conference platform. Think of OpenWater as your conference venue, and Zoom as the conference rooms. OpenWater is the hallway into Zoom rooms.