Remote communication

How to Host a Virtual Town Hall Meeting

Published on June 2, 2022 • Updated on January 12, 2024 • About 11 min. read

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How to Host a Virtual Town Hall Meeting in 2022

The shift to remote working means there’s no limit on your access to global talent - but it comes at a price. It can be harder to create a sense of community when employees only interact online. And how do you communicate key updates in an engaging way?

One solution is to hold a virtual town hall meeting. But first, you need to know what it is and how you can avoid contributing to “Zoom fatigue” with yet another online meeting. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of virtual town hall meetings and give you tips for hosting one successfully.


Download Livestorm's virtual meeting kit to host efficient virtual meetings using our meeting preparation checklist, agenda and minutes templates.

What is a virtual town hall meeting?

A virtual town hall meeting is an online, company-wide event, usually hosted by someone on the leadership team. It’s used to keep everyone who is working from home updated about company news, developments, and performance. It can also be used to nurture company culture and build community among remote teams.

Ideally, virtual town halls encourage two-way communication between employees and management, and will have plenty of opportunities for interactivity through Q&A sessions, live chat, polls, and breakout rooms.

virtual town hall platform

What’s the difference between a virtual town hall meeting and other internal business meetings?

Online town halls are similar to some other internal business meetings, like all-hands meetings, as they’re open to all employees and communicate company-wide updates. However, most internal communications meetings are tailored to smaller departments or teams and focus on specific projects or decisions.

For example, virtual town hall meetings are very different from huddle rooms, which usually only allow for up to six participants. Virtual town hall meetings are usually company-wide and cover a wide range of topics relevant to employees, like company performance, business updates, plans, and policy changes.


Download Livestorm's virtual meeting kit to host efficient virtual meetings using our meeting preparation checklist, agenda and minutes templates.

What are the benefits of a virtual town hall meeting for your team?

Virtual town halls are an important part of many companies’ internal communications strategy and have several benefits:

  • Cost savings. Since you’re meeting online, you don't need to spend on venues, airfares, hotels, or refreshments. With good online meeting software, your employees can enjoy the same experience from the comfort of their homes (with access to their own snacks).
  • Company alignment. You can use town hall meetings to communicate your organization’s mission, vision, and long-term goals. This helps align teams to collaborate effectively. It’s also an opportunity to reinforce company culture and values, reflected in the team meeting agenda.
  • Employee engagement. Virtual town halls give employees a forum to share their thoughts and ideas. Be sure to highlight when their feedback has been implemented - this helps employees feel valued and invested in the company.
  • Connection and community building. Transparency and two-way dialogue help build trust, empathy, and a sense of community and bridge the “us-and-them” divide between employees and management.
polls for virtual town halls

What’s the format of a virtual town hall meeting?

There's no one-size-fits-all format for online town halls. The team meeting agenda depends on the specific goals you want to achieve. You can get creative and design your own structure or use our favorite town hall agenda:

  1. Kick-off
  2. Goals and progress
  3. Company updates
  4. Quick Q&A session
  5. Interactive segment
  6. Closing remarks

1. Kick-off

Setting the tone and energy at the start of your virtual town hall is like starting a concert with a killer guitar solo — it gets everyone pumped and ready for an epic ride! You can start with a short video clip, share a personal story, a virtual team-building activity, or host fun ice-breaker activities for a more engaging virtual event.

2. Goals and progress

Share your team's milestones and share insights on the company’s current performance. You can create a virtual map that shows the company's journey toward its goals or use an interactive graph that illustrates the progress made in key performance indicators (KPIs). It’s also an opportunity to motivate and celebrate employee achievements (big or small).

3. Company updates

In a virtual town hall, you can provide employees with updates from every department. This can include product launches, changes in strategy, new employees, and any other upcoming initiatives. For example, you can have a panel discussion where heads of different departments share updates and insights.

4. Quick Q&A session

Encourage two-way communication from employees to increase engagement and make everyone feel heard. Have a Q&A session where you take questions from participants and answer them on the spot. With Livestorm you can also upvote questions so your attendees can see if a common question has already been answered. You can request employees to submit their questions ahead of time so you can prepare answers or provide resources in advance.

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5. Interactive segment

Use this opportunity to share ideas and try to solve a specific problem. You can use interactive tools like polls, and whiteboards to facilitate brainstorming. You can also use virtual team-building activities to get everyone engaged and relaxed.

Pro tip: Use Livestorm’s Miro integration to access whiteboards directly within your webinar room without switching apps

Person hosting a Livestorm meeting using the Miro virtual whiteboard feature

6. Closing remarks

The finale of your virtual town hall is as important as the beginning. Wrap up by thanking everyone for their participation and summarizing key takeaways for the day. You can also share resources that employees can refer to, such as a video recording of the meeting or a transcription.

Virtual town hall meeting agenda template

Here’s a sample virtual town hall meeting agenda you can steal.

Quarterly virtual town hall

Attendees: All

Date: [Time and date]

Duration: 1 hour

Kick-off [10 minutes]
  • Arrival and icebreakers
Who we are [5 minutes]
  • Company values
  • Core value proposition
  • Current goals and objectives
General announcements [10 minutes]
  • Company updates
  • New team members and role changes
Departmental updates [15 minutes]
  • Operations and HR
  • Marketing
  • [Department 1]
  • [Department 2]
Wins [10 minutes]
  • [Employee name 1]
  • [Employee name 2]
  • [Employee name 3]

Nominate your team members for shoutouts by emailing [insert email address] by [insert date].

Any other business [10 minutes]
  • [Agenda point 1]
  • [Agenda point 2]
  • [Agenda point 3]

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How do you organize a virtual town hall meeting?

Organizing a virtual town hall meeting is much like planning any other event. Here’s a checklist to get you started:

  1. Create an agenda. Establish what you want to cover, set virtual meeting etiquette, and select speakers from different departments accordingly. You can survey employees beforehand to see what they want or invite questions in advance.
  2. Assign a host. It’s their job to moderate and keep the meeting on track, so they should be experienced in public speaking and crowd management.
  3. Schedule your event. Set a date and create your event in your virtual event platform. If you’re using Livestorm, you can create a branded registration page and automate email invitations and reminders.
  4. Promote the event. Share the event links on your internal communications channels. With Livestorm, you can use Slack and Twitter integrations to share right from the event platform.
  5. Gather presentations and organize a rehearsal for speakers. A key feature of virtual town halls is the employee-to-management Q&A section, so this is a good time to prepare for tough questions.
  6. Test the technology during rehearsals. Make sure everyone has a high-speed internet connection and can access the meeting and share their screen. Use a browser-based platform like Livestorm so your attendees don’t need to make an account or install an app to attend.
  7. Send automated reminders. A day before the event, send out a reminder with the links to the event. You can also use Livestorm’s automated emails to update participants on any last-minute changes or additions to the agenda.
  8. Record the event. On the day, record the meeting and use Livestorm’s on-demand feature to share it with participants after the event.
  9. Collect event feedback. Send out surveys or follow-up emails to get feedback about the event and analyze your engagement analytics
Tools for virtual town hall

How can you keep a virtual town hall meeting engaging?

Remote teams spend a lot of time in virtual meetings, so engaging your audience is more important than ever. Here’s how:

  1. Use an interactive video engagement platform
  2. Use icebreakers
  3. Invite a guest MC
  4. Use clearly defined segments
  5. Leverage breakout rooms
  6. Celebrate employees
  7. Make time fo activities
  8. Leave key announcements till the end

1. Use an interactive video engagement platform

Virtual town halls are all about two-way communication, so use a platform like Livestorm that has plenty of interactive features like breakout rooms, live polls, and integrations with the communication tools you already use.

Pro tip: You might think emoji reactions and chat tabs are just a bit of fun, but encouraging everyone to participate in a way that suits them is far better than leaving them to listen passively (and zone out…)

2. Use icebreakers

Set the tone at the start of the meeting with fun icebreakers that let them know this isn’t just another tedious, top-down meeting. Try asking employees to share something they love, announcing the results of company competitions, or holding a virtual background challenge.

3. Invite a guest MC

Make a change from the same old management faces by inviting another employee or external speaker to host the meeting. It’s fun and motivating for employees to see one of their own “on the other side,” and it should encourage them to join in.

4. Use clearly defined segments

Attention spans are shorter online, so keep your agenda points concise and your content interesting. Have a clear start and end to each section, and incorporate breaks into longer meetings. Physically moving around gets the blood flowing to the brain again and ensures employees come back fresh and ready to participate.

5. Leverage breakout rooms

Split attendees into smaller groups for more focused discussions, problem-solving, or brainstorming sessions. You can use breakout rooms to address specific topics or issues that may not be relevant to the entire group. With Livestorm you can add up to 16 simultaneous speakers and host unlimited breakout rooms. You can automatically assign attendees to breakout rooms so they can automatically switch back to the main room.

A Team assigning attendees to Livestorm’s breakout rooms

6. Celebrate employees

Shouting out individual wins and praising great performance shows employees that they’re valued. And for those who don’t get a mention, it gives them something to aim for next time. Rather than clapping as you would in person, encourage attendees to use emoji reactions during shoutouts to make this a fun, supportive experience.

7. Make time for activities

Activities like games and quizzes break up the monotony of listening to presentations and get everyone participating actively. After all, a bit of healthy competition never did anyone any harm!

8. Leave key announcements til the end

When you front-load the meeting with the important stuff, there’s less incentive for employees to stay till the end. Keep the juicy announcements — like updates on incentives, holidays, or bonuses — til the end to keep them engaged all the way through.

Woman from upper management wrapping-up an online town hall meeting

What tools should you use to host a virtual town hall meeting?

A high-quality virtual event platform should be the cornerstone of your internal communication software and tools stack. There are several options for virtual town hall software, like Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, or Zoom. But they often lack engagement features and tend to require participants to have an account or install software, which is a barrier to participation.

Opt for a browser-based video engagement platform like Livestorm that’s packed with features to keep people engaged–reaction emojis, polls, surveys, and live chat. Best of all, Livestorm integrates with all the other tools you need for streamlined event management and hosting:

  • Typeform to send pre-meeting surveys, build your attendee list, and create new registrants automatically in Livestorm
  • Mailchimp to sync webinar attendees with your email lists
  • A timer plugin to keep everything running on schedule
  • Our Handouts plugin to share downloadable materials during the event
  • Google Analytics to monitor traffic from your custom event view
  • Slack to set up alerts when someone registers, and when the event is about to start

How do you know if your virtual town hall meeting is successful?

You can measure the success of your virtual town hall meeting by sending an anonymous survey to ask for feedback afterward. If you’re using Livestorm, you also get detailed analytics for registrations, attendance, participation, and interaction rates.

 Questions to ask your ceo in a town hall

Virtual town hall adjourned!

Virtual town hall meetings are like a virtual potluck dinner party for your company — it's a way for everyone to come together, share their thoughts and ideas, and catch up on the latest news. It’s all about building a community and encouraging cohesion between teams.

Be sure to combat screen fatigue with two-way communication, fun icebreakers, and lots of opportunities to provide feedback and ask questions. And don’t forget, you need a well-rounded video conferencing tool that encourages employee engagement throughout your virtual town hall.

Co-workers on online town hall

Frequently asked questions about virtual town hall meetings

How often should a company host a virtual town hall meeting?

How often your company holds a town hall meeting will depend on how much news there is to share. For example, monthly meetings can keep employees updated on your company's progress, while quarterly or bi-annual meetings can be used to discuss long-term plans and strategies.

Can you hold a virtual town hall meeting over Zoom?

You can hold a virtual town hall meeting over Zoom and other browser-based video engagement platforms like Livestorm. Features like large meeting capacity, screen sharing, breakout sessions, recording, polls, and Q&A ensure that your attendees are engaged.

What should you prepare for a virtual town hall meeting?

For a virtual town hall meeting, you should prepare an agenda and presentations and set up an event page with a registration form. You may also want to include videos and visuals.

How should you promote a virtual town hall meeting?

You can promote a virtual town hall meeting over your company’s internal communications channels, like Slack, email, or social media.

What do you discuss in a town hall meeting?

You can discuss a variety of topics like company performance, future plans, changes in policies, updates on projects, employee feedback, community concerns, and other attendee-related topics.

What is the best way to communicate with a large amount of people?

The best way to communicate with a large number of people is through a virtual town hall meeting, where the company can share its message live and engage the audience in real-time through interactive features such as polls, Q&A sessions, and breakout rooms.

What’s the difference between a virtual town hall and a physical town hall meeting?

The difference between a virtual town hall and a physical town hall is that virtual town hall meetings are held online and can be accessed remotely, while physical town hall meetings are held in person at a community center. Virtual town hall meetings use video conferencing platforms and other interactive features, while physical town hall meetings rely on in-person interactions and face-to-face discussions.