Remote communication

From A to Z: The Only Virtual Summit Checklist You'll Ever Need

Published on May 9, 2023 • Updated on May 9, 2023 • About 10 min. read

Increase attendance with these virtual event email templates.

From A to Z The Only Virtual Summit Checklist You'll Ever Need

Planning and promoting a successful virtual event requires a sharp eye for detail and killer organization skills. But all your hard work will pay off once you’ve hosted a dynamic virtual summit that helps connect with your audience and establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry.

And the winning ingredient? A video platform that simplifies and automates the organization process while providing your audience with an interactive environment that mimics face-to-face interactions.

In this guide, you’ll find all the steps you need to guide you through the planning process of a successful virtual summit. Then, we’ll walk you through how to host the event and follow up once it's over.


Access these 6 email templates to drive attendance to your virtual events.

15 Steps for a successful virtual summit

When done right, a virtual summit can help you generate engaged leads that can convert into loyal customers or brand advocates. But to make yours memorable, you need to follow a series of steps before, during, and after the event. Here’s your virtual event guide to planning and hosting a successful event, broken down into three phases.

Phase 1: Before the summit

This is the preparation phase and lays the groundwork for attracting attendees and getting event registrations. You’ll focus on:

  1. Research and strategy
  2. Securing speakers, event organizers, and partnerships
  3. Choosing a virtual event platform
  4. Planning the agenda
  5. Setting up registration and landing pages
  6. Creating a marketing strategy
  7. Check your email cadence

1. Research and strategy

To make virtual events resonate with your audience, you need to truly get to know them first. You need to find out:

  • What type of content interests them?
  • What problems will your virtual summit solve? Or, what goals will it help them achieve?
  • Which speakers, experts, or influencers do they admire?
  • What time are they most likely to join the live stream?

Once you know your audience, the next step is to pick a topic that aligns with your brand's values. Use tools like Answer The Public or Also Asked to explore trending topics, popular questions, and common pain points within your industry.

2. Securing speakers, event organizers, and partnerships

As soon as you have the virtual summit topic, reach out to potential speakers. They don’t have to be influencers or well-known personalities, so long as they’re experts with relevant experience.

You can also consider sponsorship or partnership initiatives with relevant companies in your niche. This can help boost your event figures and pool resources to deliver more high-budget events as well as discounts, memberships, or pre-sales that interest your target audience.

If you can’t manage the technical aspects of your virtual summit alone, hire an experienced event organizer. An event organizer can help you set up the virtual conference platform, manage the registration process, moderate the sessions, and troubleshoot any technical issues during the live event.

Pro tip: Reach out to potential speakers, partners, and event organizers early on to ensure their availability and provide them with ample time to prepare for the event.

3. Choosing a virtual event platform

Next, choose the best virtual event platform that lets you:

  • Host a large audience without crashing
  • Share a recording for attendees who may have missed the live sessions
  • Create custom registration and landing pages
  • Set up automated email reminders
  • Export your email list and attendee information to find the most engaged prospects.

Pricing is another important factor to consider. For example, Zoom Events and Webinars doesn’t have a free plan, so you’ll need to be certain you want to commit. You’ll also need to pay separately for advanced features like translated captions, cloud storage, and additional hosts.

On other hand, Livestorm’s virtual event software starts at $88 per month for up to 100 attendees and unlimited team members. Plus, it has a marketplace of 1000+ integrations to help you plan, promote and execute a successful virtual event (more on that later!).

Livestorm for interactive virtual summit

4. Planning the agenda

Generally, virtual summits can range from half-day events to multi-day events. The ideal duration depends on your event's goals, format, and target audience. You’ll need to define:

  • Event format: Keynote speeches, panel discussions, breakout sessions, or workshops
  • Interactive elements: Q&A sessions, live polls, quizzes, or virtual networking opportunities
  • Comfort breaks: Allocate enough time for short breaks to avoid attendee fatigue
  • Event flow: Order of sessions, breaks, and interactive elements

Once your agenda is ready, share it with your speakers and add clear time slots to help them plan for the big event.

5. Setting up registration and landing pages

Before you jump into social media channels for promotions, you need to collect attendee information. If you’re using Livestorm, you can build branded landing pages and customize fields on your registration form to gather as much information as you need to tailor your event content. You can also embed your registration form on your virtual event landing page.

6. Creating a marketing strategy

Use your social media channels and event marketing tools to promote your virtual summit. Don’t just depend on your mailing list. Find groups and community discussions where your potential target audience is already engaged, like Facebook and LinkedIn groups.

Also, consider creating a unique hashtag for your event. This makes it easy to track mentions and engagement related to your event.

Pro tip: When promoting your online event in social communities, remember to check the group guidelines for self-promotion, content relevance, or posting frequency to avoid being marked as spam or removed from the group.

7. Check your email cadence

Depending on the virtual summit software you choose, you may need to set email reminders manually in your customer relationship management (CRM) system. But if you’re using Livestorm, you can set these emails automatically since your email list will be pushed into your CRM’s contact list.

So every registrant gets a series of notifications:

  • A ‘Thank you for registering’ email
  • A confirmation email with event details and a schedule
  • A reminder email prior to the event
  • Post-event follow-up email thanking attendees
  • Upsell email promoting future events or related products/services.

When choosing your virtual event software, look for a platform that lets you adjust delivery dates on automatic emails and select send times that best suit your audience.

Livestorm’s email cadences for email automation

Phase 2: During the virtual summit

The 'during' phase is all about real-time engagement, content delivery, and seamless execution. Here you’ll focus on:

  1. Kickoff and orientation
  2. Engaging your audience
  3. Running breakout sessions
  4. Social media and promotion
  5. Sharing downloadable resources
  6. Guiding your attendees to take the next step

8. Kickoff and orientation

Start the summit by keeping your video on and waiting patiently for everyone to join in. Once you have a good audience, introduce yourself and your team. Then set clear ground rules and give them an overview of what to expect from the event. This is also a good opportunity to highlight features like the Q&A tab, polls tabs, chat box, and emoji reactions to help them navigate the virtual event platform.

Remember to hit record as soon as you start the event and inform your attendees. Some webinar platforms require you to start the recording manually. But a platform like Livestorm can be set to start recording automatically.

9. Engaging your audience

Give your audience a stage to ask questions to guest speakers. You can run Q&A sessions during certain breaks or after each speaker’s session. Invite them to:

  • React with an emoji if they agree or disagree with the discussion at hand
  • Add questions to the Q&A tab

You can then assign a moderator to screen questions and ensure they’re relevant and appropriate. They can easily manage the questions list and message the speaker privately to answer them.

Pro tip: With Livestorm's question upvoting feature, attendees can submit their questions and vote for the one they want answered the most. Questions that receive more votes move up in priority, making it easy to identify the most popular or relevant one to your attendees.

Livestorm’s question voting feature for Q&A sessions

10. Running breakout sessions

Breakout rooms give your attendees a space for discussion in smaller groups so they don’t feel intimidated to share their thoughts and ideas or even network with other attendees. Depending on your goals, you can run breakout sessions like:

  • Interactive workshops or sponsor showcases (e.g. product demos, how-to sessions, case study reviews, industry insights)
  • Networking opportunities (e.g. speed networking, topic-specific meetups)
  • Group discussions (e.g. roundtable discussions, industry-specific discussions)
  • Interactive games (e.g. trivia, team-building exercises)
  • Q&A sessions with speakers (e.g. "Ask Me Anything" sessions, expert panels)

Many virtual meeting platforms offer breakout rooms, but with Livestorm, you can create as many breakout rooms as you need and add up to 16 simultaneous speakers. You can even assign a facilitator or note-taker to each room.

Breakout rooms feature on Livestorm for virtual summits

11. User-generated content

Of course, promoting your virtual summit on social media is a must—but encouraging user-generated content (UGC) will add even more buzz around your event. . You should encourage attendees to share quotes, insights, and event highlights across social media channels during the live event and use your event hashtag.

You can even ask attendees to:

  • Record short videos sharing their experience of the virtual summit, what they learned, and how it will impact their business
  • Share their thoughts and insights in real-time on Twitter using a branded hashtag.
  • Customize a premade graphic or meme related to the summit and share it on social media using a specific hashtag
  • Share a photo of themselves attending the virtual summit and tag the speakers

12. Sharing downloadable resources

Your attendees need to be on the same page as your speakers. So if you or your speakers are talking about specific industry insights, research reports, or eBooks, you should share those files with your attendees.

If you’re using Livestorm, you can easily share those downloadable files within the meeting room with the Handouts plugin. Sharing such resources can help position your brand as a thought leader in your industry and build trust and credibility with your target audience.

Livestorm’s Handouts plugin for downloadable resources during virtual event

13. Guiding your attendees to take the next step

Ideally, you should end your presentation with a clear call-to-action (CTA) that prompts your audience to take action. Whether they need to sign up for a mailing list, register for a future event, or schedule a demo call, the value of your virtual summit should extend beyond the event itself.

Pro tip: Use Livestorm to create and share customized clickable CTAs within your event room. And if you're using a different platform with a Chrome browser, you can generate a free QR code that links to a specific page by adding it to your presentation.

Livestorm’s clickable CTA feature

Phase 3: After the virtual summit

In this phase, your focus shifts to implementing lead nurturing strategies to convert attendees into customers or brand advocates. You’ll focus on:

  1. Follow-up and lead nurturing
  2. Analyzing metrics for your next virtual event

14. Follow-up and lead nurturing

Send thank you notes to everyone who signed up — even if they didn’t turn up. This is also a great opportunity to share the virtual event recording and a short feedback survey. You can also use the recording to create on-demand videos.

And if you use Livestorm, you can use the transcript app to convert conversations into high-quality evergreen content like blogs and podcasts that are always accessible to qualified leads, creating a pipeline of potential customers.

15. Analyzing metrics for your next virtual event

The last step is to view your virtual event’s success metrics to identify what you should keep doing or improve for your next events. If you’re using Livestorm, you can easily track analytics data like:

  • Number of registrants/attendees/no-shows
  • Number of replay viewers
  • Messages, questions, and polls
  • Average duration

Keeping historical data can help you benchmark your performance against industry standards, identify trends and patterns to refine your virtual event strategy and improve the overall impact of your events.

Livestorm’s analytics and reporting capabilities for tracking success metrics

Virtual summit checklist: Done!

When done right, your virtual summit can help you effectively market your brand, generate highly qualified leads, and ultimately drive revenue for your business.

But hosting such virtual events can be challenging as you need to keep attendees engaged and interested throughout all phases of the summit — from registration to post-event follow-up. That’s why choosing virtual event software with various interactive elements and engagement tools can make it easier.

A virtual event platform like Livestorm helps you to plan, invite, host, engage and analyze your event all in one place. Plus, you can create on-demand content and automate key aspects of your strategy.

And if you’re on the Enterprise plan, we can shadow your next virtual event, and you give you technical support so you won't need to hire additional event organizers. We’ll help you save time and resources while ensuring your attendees a seamless and engaging experience.


Interactive virtual summits, made easy

The only virtual event platform you’ll need to promote, host, and analyze events


Access these 6 email templates to drive attendance to your virtual events.

Frequently asked questions about virtual summit checklists

What is a virtual summit?

A virtual summit is a series of online events that bring experts from different fields together to discuss relevant topics and share their knowledge with an audience. It’s a great way to build relations with partners and customers, increase brand awareness, generate leads, and ultimately drive revenue for your business.

How do you conduct a virtual summit?

You can conduct a virtual summit by:

  • Planning: Brainstorm ideas, identify topics/speakers, define goals and objectives
  • Inviting: Create an invitation list and invite speakers to join your event
  • Hosting: Choose a virtual event platform like Livestorm to host the summit and promote it online
  • Engaging: Use interactive elements such as Q&A, polls and surveys to keep attendees engaged throughout the event
  • Analyzing: Use analytics tools to track key metrics and understand the success of your summit
  • Following-up: Send thank you notes, share a recording and/or an on-demand video with qualified leads, and ask for feedback from attendees.

How do you plan a virtual event checklist?

You plan a virtual event checklist by:

  • Creating a timeline and setting deadlines
  • Identifying the topics, speakers, and session topics you want to cover
  • Choosing the right virtual event platform for hosting your event
  • Planning out how you will promote the event online
  • Creating the registration page
  • Scheduling all event sessions and making sure they are running smoothly
  • Sending invites to speakers and attendees
  • Preparing all materials needed for the day of the summit

How long should a virtual summit be?

The length of a virtual summit will depend on the topics you plan to cover. Some events may be half-day events, while others can be multi-day or even week-long events. It’s important to consider your audience’s attention span and make sure that sessions are engaging and not too long.

Are virtual summits worth it?

Yes, virtual summits are a great way to market your brand, generate leads and drive revenue for your business. They allow you to reach a larger audience from all over the world and expand your network in a cost-effective way. Plus they’re easy to set up with the right tools and resources.