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A person hosting an engaging virtual conference using a laptop.
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How to Host a Virtual Conference: Top Tips and Tools in One Super Guide

Use our guide to the top tips and tools you need for running a knockout virtual conference that gets results.

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Marketers always need to be looking for creative ways to raise brand awareness, generate leads, and reach more people. And coming up with new, interesting ideas for marketing your brand can be tough.

One solution is to host a virtual conference – but how will another boring conference help market your business?

We’ve come up with a few tips (and tools!) to help organize your virtual conference so it’s an engaging, knockout virtual event that’ll spark interest, spread awareness, and generate qualified leads.

What is a virtual conference?

Virtual conference definition

A virtual conference is a big, interactive professional event that can last over the course of a few days – and engages attendees with networking opportunities, Q&A sessions, product demos, and relevant (or industry famous) live panelists or speakers.

Virtual conferences are specialized in scope and are full of industry experts and professionals who either speak at the event, or attend to deepen their industry-specific knowledge, network, and generate leads.

What is the difference between a real-life conference and a virtual conference?

A real-life conference and a virtual conference are similar in that they both aim to educate and gather professionals within a specific industry.

A virtual conference happens online, which removes any travel obligations or overnight stays for speakers and attendees – giving attendees more flexibility and you the ability to reach and influence more people.

What’s the difference between a virtual conference and a webinar?

A virtual conference is bigger than a webinar and can span one to three days. It usually involves multiple keynote speakers, events, and presentations pertaining to one, detailed topic.

Virtual conferences are more specific to their niche and draw in industry experts to either share or sharpen their expertise. A webinar typically lasts between 30-60 minutes, sticks to one or two main topics, and attracts a general audience.

What are the benefits of holding a virtual conference?

A virtual conference offers major benefits in two key scenarios:

  1. Over real-life events
  2. For marketers

Here’s why.

What are the benefits of virtual conferences over real-life events?

Virtual conferences don’t disrupt the work week with travel demands and attendees can join from anywhere. That gives you a cost-effective solution to renting a conference space, organizing catering and hotels, and mobilizing shuttle buses.

Since virtual conferences are highly accessible, brands can also reach more people and effectively raise brand awareness at scale.

What are the benefits of virtual conferences for marketers?

If you’re a marketer, a great virtual conference can expand your reach, generate qualified leads, and help your brand build topical authority and thought leadership on industry-specific topics.

It can also help networking efforts by connecting you with other experts in your industry – which can lead to partnership marketing via brand collaborations, shoutouts on social media, and co-hosting future events.

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How do you organize a virtual conference?

Hosting engaging virtual conferences is a big undertaking. Done right, they can supercharge your marketing efforts and generate hyper-interested, actionable leads. Use the following tips to organize a killer virtual conference that gets results:

  • Plan your virtual conference
  • Promote your virtual conference
  • Engage participants during your virtual conference
  • Analyze your virtual conference
  • Follow up with attendees

Step 1: Plan your virtual conference

When organizing an engaging virtual conference, you’ll need to set an agenda, define your content strategy, and select a powerful video engagement platform for an optimal outcome.

Set an agenda

Creating and setting an agenda will ensure your virtual conference follows a steady progression of speakers and content that makes sense to your audience. Send scheduling emails to remind registrants when to attend scheduled events throughout the conference. You’ll also want to pick a date and time when your target audience is most likely to attend. Then share the agenda with your speakers including clear indications of timings and slots to help them plan ahead for the big event.

virtual conference email agenda example

Define a content strategy

When planning content for your virtual conference, whether that’s a slide deck or marketing materials, it should all be hyper-relevant to your target audience.

Make sure any visual media, presentations, videos, social posts, etc., are on-brand and provide value to your audience for an engaging event that resonates with participants. With Livestorm, you can effortlessly share downloadable files (PDF, MP4, etc.) with participants within the room.

sharing media during virtual conferences

Find your video engagement platform

The best virtual conference platform for engagement is Livestorm.

Livestorm enables true engagement with a host of interactive features like live chat, Q&A, surveys and polls, emoji reactions, virtual whiteboards, and virtual backgrounds. Use Livestorm to engage participants from start to finish for a successful virtual conference, without them having to download or install anything.

virtual conference engagement platform questions

Step 2: Promote your virtual conference

Now that you’ve planned your virtual conference, you’ll need to promote your virtual event to boost attendance and spread brand awareness. Do this by finding the right partners and utilizing the power of social media.

6 Email Templates for Successful Virtual Events
6 Email Templates for Successful Virtual Events
Templates Templates

6 Email Templates for Successful Virtual Events

Access these 6 email templates to learn everything you need to know to write performing emails for your virtual events and make them a success.

Learn more

Find the right partners

Consider which (if any) partners make sense to include in your virtual conference. Partnering up with a similar or bigger brand can expand your promotional reach and secure a better turnout.

virtual conference partners

Use social media to market your virtual conference

Harness the authority of social media event marketing and post Instagram countdowns to your event using Instagram Stories. Or post speaker lineups and content sneak peeks on relevant social media channels like LinkedIn and Facebook to attract a more targeted, professional audience.

With Livestorm, interested parties can even register for your event using their LinkedIn profiles, adding to a seamless and positive user experience.

share virtual conference on social media

Step 3: Engage participants during your virtual conference

Engaging your audience is easy with the right virtual conference engagement ideas. Be sure to employ a sense of humor, make any introductions and closing remarks relatable to your audience, use visual media and presentations, and utilize your video engagement platforms’ engagement features.

Use visual media and presentations

There’s nothing more boring than a long-winded speaker offering zero visual support. Use visual media and presentations throughout the conference to help support speakers’ talking points more effectively. Engage the audience by changing up their visual and auditory experiences and offering interactive elements.

man looking at computer for a virtual conference

Utilize your video engagement platforms’ features

Depending on your video engagement platform of choice, you’ll probably have some features available to further entertain and engage your audience. With Livestorm, you can livestream virtual events or virtual panel discussions and engage participants throughout using: emoji reactions and live chat to encourage audience participation polls to gather valuable insights and Q&A to steer discussion and provide value for the audience.

virtual conference with emoji reactions
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Choose the best virtual conference platform

Host engaging virtual conferences with Livestorm

Step 4: Analyze your virtual conference

Now that your virtual conference is over, you’ll want to measure and analyze its success using strong analytics tools. Read more about virtual conference best practices in this article!

Measure virtual conference success

It’s important to keep track of your virtual conference analytics to determine what’s working and what you could improve on for the next one. If you’re using Livestorm, you can easily track things like registration page visits vs. total registrants, engagement and participation rates, attendee contact information, and chat messages and questions. Use this data to inform your engagement efforts and optimize accordingly.

Livestorm analytics dashboard showing online course data

Step 5: Follow up with attendees

Now that your event is over you can relax. Just joking! It is important to follow up with attendees and registrants by sending them the replay of the event. With Livestorm this is done automatically!

Send a post-event follow-up email

Thank your attendees for showing up and participating in your virtual conference with a thoughtful thank you email. Or, send a video replay of the event for those who couldn’t make it to keep up their initial interest in your brand.

With Livestorm, you can easily record and send replays of your virtual conference to remind participants of your great event. You can also create on-demand videos of your virtual conference so it’s always available to qualified leads – keeping your pipeline filled with opportunities.

virtual conference replays

Run your virtual conference with Livestorm

Done right, your virtual conference can help you effectively market your brand, generate networking opportunities, and solidify the perception of your business as a thought leader in your industry.

Use our guide to help you organize a stellar virtual conference that’s relevant, interesting, and exciting for attendees.

Frequently asked questions about hosting a virtual conference

How does a virtual conference work?

A virtual conference is a way of gathering industry experts and professionals to discuss one topic in detail. It’s a great opportunity to market your brand, network, learn about industry trends, and expand your knowledge.

How do I participate in a virtual conference?

To participate in a virtual conference, consider what’s most relevant to your product offering or area of expertise. Then, look for virtual conference dates and times you’d be able to attend and select one to register for. Once you’re attending a conference, use it as an opportunity to network and interact with industry professionals and topics.

How to price a virtual conference?

The price of your virtual conference depends on the specifics of your speakers, brand, and higher-ups. Virtual conferences can be free or cost anything from $100-$1,000 per attendee.

What do you wear to a virtual conference?

Depending on the industry you’re in, you can wear anything from smart-casual (T-shirt and jeans) to business-casual (nice shirt and pants) to very professional (suit and tie).

How long should a virtual conference be?

A virtual conference can last anywhere from 1-3 days, depending on the topic covered, industry, and the number of speakers or panelists.

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