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Virtual Conference Planning: Lessons Learned

Virtual Conference Planning: Lessons Learned
Photo by CHUTTERSNAP / Unsplash

Virtual conferences have become increasingly popular in recent years, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing many in-person events to move online. Planning a virtual conference, however, is not without its challenges. From choosing the right platform to creating engaging content, there are many factors to consider when organizing a successful virtual event. In this article, we will discuss some of the lessons we have learned from our experience in virtual conference planning.

Choosing the Right Platform

The first step in virtual conference planning is choosing the right platform. There are many options available, each with its own set of features and limitations. It's important to consider factors such as the number of attendees, the types of sessions you will be hosting, and your budget when choosing a platform.

One of the most popular virtual conference platforms is Zoom. Zoom allows for live streaming, screen sharing, and breakout rooms, which can be helpful for organizing smaller group sessions. However, it can be expensive for larger events and has a limit on the number of participants that can join a single call.

Another option is Hopin, which is specifically designed for virtual events. Hopin offers features such as a virtual expo, networking opportunities, and a variety of session formats, including live streams and pre-recorded sessions. However, it can be difficult to navigate for both attendees and organizers.

Creating Engaging Content

The content of your virtual conference is the most important aspect of the event. It's essential to create engaging content that will keep attendees interested and excited about the conference. One way to do this is to include a mix of formats, such as live sessions, pre-recorded sessions, and interactive sessions.

Live sessions allow for real-time interaction between presenters and attendees, while pre-recorded sessions can be watched at any time. Interactive sessions, such as Q&A sessions or virtual networking events, allow for engagement and connection between attendees.

It's also important to choose presenters who are knowledgeable and passionate about their topic. Presenters should be able to deliver their content in an engaging and interactive way, keeping attendees interested and motivated.

Promoting the Event

Promoting your virtual conference is crucial for its success. It's important to get the word out to potential attendees and encourage them to register for the event. Social media is a great way to promote your event, as it allows for easy sharing and can reach a large audience.

Another effective way to promote your event is through email marketing. Send regular updates to your email list, including information about new sessions and presenters, and remind them of the benefits of attending the conference.

Managing Technical Issues

Technical issues are a common challenge in virtual conference planning. It's important to have a plan in place to address any technical issues that may arise during the event. This can include having a dedicated technical support team available to troubleshoot any issues and having backup plans in place in case of a platform outage.

It's also important to test your equipment and internet connection before the event to ensure that everything is working properly. This can help prevent technical issues from arising during the conference.


Virtual conference planning can be challenging, but by choosing the right platform, creating engaging content, promoting the event, and managing technical issues, you can ensure the success of your virtual event. Remember to keep your attendees' needs in mind and focus on creating an interactive and engaging experience. By following these lessons learned, you can plan a successful virtual conference that will leave attendees excited for your next event.

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