Virtual Conference Platform

The virtual conference software and support services trusted by over 250 associations.

  • Earn back sponsorship revenue
  • Delight attendees with a simple interface
  • Create niche networking between members

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Trusted by Industry Leaders

OpenWater was able to tell us what we needed, their experience was evident from preparation to the last session of the conference. We utilized the training materials for attendees, speakers and room moderators. Great support combined with an easy to use platform enabled our team to impress our members.

Liz Giannini

CESSE - Senior Operations Manager

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Conference Homepage

Match the look and feel for your website. Get attendees to where they want to go without getting lost in a virtual exhibit hall that feels like a video game.

Conference Schedule

Personalized agenda builder, search/filters for high session volume conferences, restrict sessions by registration level.

Session View

Join or start sessions in one click, host live or pre-recorded sessions, speaker information, one click to join session chat.

Sponsor & Exhibitor Gallery

Easy search/filter options for conferences with a high volume of exhibitors, earn more revenue from sponsors by charging for top placement.

Sponsor & Exhibitor Page

Flexible pages allow sponsors to easily add collateral without creating special graphics or resources. Allow sponsors to customize their call to action buttons in order to optimize their lead nurturing.

Poster Gallery

Scale up your poster gallery with OpenWater, upload large file sizes, foster niche networking through poster chat rooms.

Attendee Networking through Chat

Flexible chat configuration for detailed discussion by session, or by topic. Browse attendees and send chat requests, allow sponsors to host conversations and engage with attendee discussions.

Typical Virtual Conference Platforms

  • Platform Only Support

    Your team spends most of their time building the conference inside the virtual conference platform and gets by on support articles a 24/7 help desk.

  • Virtual Reality, Clunky Attendee Experience

    Your conference has a low ROI for sponsors and members beacuase everyone is caught navigating virtual worlds, or jumping between seperate platforms for sessions and networking.

  • Technology Limitations

    Not all virtual conference platforms have unlimited scale, sometimes audience caps can force keynote speakers onto alternative streaming platforms further splintering the virtual attendee experience.

OpenWater Event Cloud

  • Platform + Services

    You build a conference package that contains both the tech and services in order to scale up your team for speaker training, day of conference support, or conference build out.

  • Match the Look & Feel of Your Website

    Our virtual conference platform matches the look and feel of your existing website and utilizes a conventional point and click design to get attendees where they want to go all within one platform.

  • Scale Up High Volume Concurrent Sessions

    OpenWater helps academic, scientific and medical conferences like ISPOR, AAG, and AAS scale up conferences with a high volume of concurrent sessions or exhibitors.

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FAQ

  • 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.

  • Can you do virtual corporate events?

    OpenWater’s virtual conference platform is flexible. Whether you’d like to use it as a corporate event platform, a virtual summit platform, a virtual exhibit hall software, or just an online conference platform, we will make it work for what you need.

  • How can I increase networking at a virtual conference?

    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.

  • Can I expect the same service from other virtual conference providers?

    OpenWater stands out among other virtual conference companies because of our service offerings. We are with you from beginning to end with a project manager, optional in-room technicians and service staff during the conference to ensure your virtual event goes off without a hitch.

  • 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 onto a virtual academic conference management software 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.

  • My academic event is huge. Is OpenWater a good virtual conference software for large groups?

    The more the merrier! OpenWater’s virtual conference platform is scalable to nearly any size conference. Additionally, OpenWater partnered with some of the most reliable software like Zoom to make sure there are no hiccups during your virtual event.

  • 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 to host 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. OpenWater provides virtual event networking software as part of its platform.

  • What are examples of a virtual conference?

    Recently the American Association of Geographers moved their event to a virtual conference in under 30 days. A virtual conference example can include both in-person and virtual components. Combining both in-person and virtual attendees and presenters can also be called a hybrid conference. How to find the right blend of virtual and in-person programing is a challenge, here are some tips and Here are additional examples of virtual conferences.

  • What is the best virtual conference software 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 do I 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 Zoom a virtual conference platform?

    Yes, Zoom can be used as a virtual conference platform. When you think of using Zoom for a large conference, think of Zoom as the session rooms, then think of your venue, or hotel as the virtual conference platform. In other words, your platform organizing everyone and allows everyone to find the right Zoom room to join a session.

  • I don’t have any experience. Will you teach me how to run a virtual conference?

    We have a support staff that knows all there is to know about how to create a virtual conference. Each customer is offered a project manager with over 30 conferences under their belt who will teach you all you need to know. Additionally, we have free weekly virtual conference office hours you can utilize if you need assistance.

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