The Only Virtual Conference Checklist You’ll Ever Need

The world is one big global village now, thanks to technology that enables us to do things virtually. You can now host a virtual conference from your house; but that does not mean it’s all easy sailing. To ensure your conference is successful, you need to plan beforehand, which starts with creating a virtual event planning checklist. Read on for more on what you must have in mind before the event!

Zight | January 18, 2024 | 14 min read time

Article Last Updated: January 18, 2024

The Only Virtual Conference Checklist You’ll Ever Need

Did I miss something?

Should I include a Q&A?

These are some questions that cross your mind when recording a virtual conference. You want to capture everything for a successful and impactful meeting – just like a one-on-one meeting is.

A virtual conference call means you don’t have physical communication cues from your participants, and you could end up with gaps in your delivery. The setting also exposes you to technical issues like low audio quality, video lags, and even connectivity issues. So, what can you do to preempt the oversights?

The best solution starts with a virtual conference checklist. The devil is in the details when planning your virtual conference, and a checklist is a surefire way to help you avoid technical issues when you start recording, and plan for better participant engagement, reduced distractions, and more!

Read on as we tell you what you need to include in your virtual event planning checklist. We’ll also tell you how Zight can help you prepare for your virtual conference!

What Is A Virtual Conference?

A virtual conference is an online event that replicates the experience of a traditional in-person conference. It is hosted entirely over the internet and allows participants to interact, learn, and discuss a specific topic or a range of topics without the need to physically gather in one location.

Virtual events have gained significant popularity, especially in the wake of increased remote work and digital interaction.

Here are some common types of virtual events:

  • Virtual conferences and summits: These are large-scale events that often include keynotes, sessions, and workshops, focusing on specific industries or topics
  • Webinars: These are educational, informative, or instructional presentations that are usually interactive, involving Q&A sessions
  • Online trade shows and exhibitions: These events allow companies to showcase their products or services in a virtual environment, often including virtual booths
  • Virtual workshops and training sessions: These are interactive sessions focused on skill development or training, often involving hands-on activities
  • Virtual networking events: These events are designed to facilitate professional networking in a virtual space, often using breakout rooms or networking platform
  • Virtual product launches: Companies use these events to launch new products to a wide audience online, often including product demonstrations and interactive elements
  • Virtual awards ceremonies: These events celebrate achievements and milestones, adapted to a virtual format
  • Virtual happy hours or social gatherings: Informal events aimed at fostering team collaboration/building and social interaction in a relaxed, virtual setting

How Zight Can Help You Plan for Your Virtual Conference

A virtual event requires meticulous planning, and often, you will need digital files like images and screenshots to help you communicate better. You may also need to create a pre-meeting or share files for the conference with participants before the meeting.

Here’s what you can do with Zight for better preparation:

1. Take Screenshots and Annotate Them

During your planning sessions, you’ll come across loads of valuable information, be it a web page you love or a keynote speaker’s bio that sparks an idea. If it is something that will add value to your conference, you want to capture it and include the screenshot in your presentation slides.

With Zight, you can capture the information with a screenshot. You only need to download the Zight app, select screenshot or capture, and capture a full screen or select an area of the screen you want to capture.

But why stop there?

You can bring those images to life with annotations. Highlight the key elements, add notes or questions directly on the image, or even sketch out a quick layout idea.

2. Record and Annotate GIFs

Yes, you can use GIFs in virtual events!

They add a light-hearted touch to presentations and make the virtual conference more engaging and less monotonous. GIFs make a better alternative to bullets and ordered lists. While lists make it easy to go through presentations, it will take a while for you to go through them when presenting, which means they appear more static to your participants – which causes boredom and distractions.

On the other hand, GIFs are a more active form of communication – they loop continuously and that will keep participants engaged. You can use GIFs to illustrate concepts in your virtual event. and still maintain a formal tone if your conference requires formality.

You can use Zight to record your GIFs when you prepare your conference resources. Simply click the GIF button on the app, and record and annotate as you go.

3. Record and Share a Pre-Meeting

If you want to hold a successful virtual event, then it’s a good idea to have a pre-meeting where you discuss the meeting agenda, attendees, speakers, meeting time, talking points, etc. Here’s more on how to prepare your pre-meeting with video!

The best part about this is you can create your pre-meeting video with Zight. Simply open the app, click Record, select Screen and Cam or Cam Only, and record your video. Once you record the important details about your upcoming virtual event, you can share the video with your target audience through the Zight link.

4. Share Files

Are you co-hosting your virtual event? if so, you might come across resources, like images, GIFs, or a premeeting you want to share with your other organizers. Luckily, Zight makes file-sharing a breeze.

You can create digital files, or even upload images and annotate them with Zight before sharing. Once ready, you only need to copy and paste the links to your recipients’ communication channels – Slack, Trello, WhatsApp, Facebook, Email, and more!

Virtual Event Planning Checklist (14 Items to Keep in Mind)

Ready to start planning your virtual event? Here’s a checklist you can create first to ensure you don’t miss addressing any topic.

1. Define Your Event Purpose

This is your ‘why’ – the core reason you’re bringing people together digitally.

Ask yourself, what do you want to achieve? Are you aiming to educate, inspire, network, or sell?

Your event’s purpose is its heartbeat, to guide every decision you make from here on out.

This purpose will shape your content, inform your choice of speakers, and even dictate the technology you use. Remember, a well-defined purpose resonates with your audience. It’s what hooks them in the first place and keeps them engaged throughout.

2. Identify Event Goals

This is where you decide what you specifically want to achieve with your virtual event.

Start by asking yourself some key questions: What do you want your attendees to learn or experience? Are you aiming to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or perhaps foster community engagement?

Your goals should be clear and measurable. For instance, you might aim to attract a certain number of attendees, generate a specific amount of leads, or achieve a set level of attendee satisfaction.

It is also important to keep your goals realistic and achievable – think about striking the right balance between ambition and practicality.

Finally, consider how you’ll measure the success of these goals. Will you use post-event surveys, attendee numbers, engagement metrics, or sales figures?

3. Create a Virtual Event Budget

For this checklist, you want to know where every dollar is going and ensure you’re investing wisely.

Start by listing all potential expenses. These can range from platform fees and speaker honorariums to marketing costs and technical support.

Here’s how you can approach it:

  • Break down the costs: Identify all the elements that will require funding. This includes technology costs (like your virtual event platform), content creation, marketing, and any additional tools or services you might need
  • Prioritize your spending: Align your budget with your event goals. If networking is a key component, you might allocate more funds to a platform with robust networking features. If content is king, invest in high-quality production
  • Keep a buffer: Always include a contingency fund in your budget. Unexpected costs can and do arise, and you’ll want to be prepared
  • Track and adjust: As you start spending, keep track of all expenses. Be ready to adjust your budget if certain areas need more or less funding than anticipated

A well-planned budget can guarantee a successful virtual event. It helps you make informed decisions and ensures you have the resources needed to meet your event goals.

4. Start Creating an Event Content Plan

A content plan for your virtual event is what keeps your audience engaged from start to finish. You need to decide what you’ll present and how you’ll present it to meet your event goals and resonate with your audience.

Here’s how to build a compelling content plan:

  • Understand your audience: Know who you’re talking to. What are their interests, challenges, or pain points? Your content should speak directly to them, offering value and relevance
  • Diversify your content: Mix it up with keynotes, panels, interactive sessions, and workshops. Variety keeps your audience interested and caters to different learning styles
  • Plan your sessions carefully: Each session should have a clear purpose and takeaway. Whether it’s educating, inspiring, or entertaining, ensure it aligns with your overall event theme.
  • Incorporate storytelling: People love stories. They’re memorable and engaging. So, use storytelling to make your content more relatable and even impactful
  • Leverage multimedia: You can use videos, infographics, GIFs, and slides to make your content visually appealing. This not only enhances engagement but also aids in better understanding
  • Interactive elements: Plan for Q&A sessions, polls, and breakout rooms. The interaction will keep your audience active and involved

Here’s the thing – your content is the backbone of your event.

It’s what delivers value to your audience and makes your event successful and memorable. So, take the time to craft a content plan that’s both informative and engaging. Your audience will thank you for it!

5. Choose the Right Virtual Conference Platform

Selecting the right platform and tools for your virtual conference is like finding the perfect venue for an in-person event. You want a platform that not only aligns with your event’s goals and content but also enhances the attendee experience.

Consider the features you need: Do you require high-quality streaming, interactive tools like polls and chat, or breakout rooms for networking?

Also, think about the user experience. The platform should be intuitive and easy to navigate for both you and your event attendees. In addition, can the platform support the size of your audience and the scope of your event?

Don’t forget about technical support. A good virtual meeting platform should offer robust customer support to help you troubleshoot any issues that arise. Finally, consider the cost and how it fits into the overall event budget you planned above.

The right event platform can elevate your virtual conference, making it a seamless and engaging experience for everyone involved. Not sure where to start? Two popular options are Zoom and Google Meet, each with its own set of features and benefits.

6. Promote Your Virtual Event

You want your virtual event to attract attendees for success. So, to get the word out there, start by identifying your target audience and tailoring your marketing message to resonate with them. Highlight the value and unique experiences your event offers.

You can utilize a variety of digital marketing channels. Social media platforms are great for reaching a broad audience. Create engaging posts, teasers, and event countdowns to build excitement.

Email marketing is another powerful tool to use to send out invites, updates, and reminders to your mailing list and keep your event top of mind.

Don’t forget to leverage your website. You can create a dedicated event page with all the necessary details and a clear call to action. This event website should be the central hub for all information regarding your conference.

You also want to engage your speakers and sponsors in the promotion process – they can share the event with their networks to expand your reach. You can also consider partnerships or collaborations with other organizations to tap into new audiences (more on this below).

Remember, effective promotion is ongoing. Keep the momentum up before, during, and after the event. Share highlights, testimonials, and content snippets post-event to showcase its success and maintain engagement with your audience. This not only helps in promoting future events but also strengthens your brand’s presence in the virtual event space.

7. Find Virtual Event Sponsors and Partners

Do you want to build a support network that adds value to your event while offering exposure to the sponsors?

You can start by identifying potential sponsors whose brand aligns with your event’s theme and audience. These could be companies that share a similar target audience or have an interest in the topic of your event. Approach them with a well-thought-out proposal highlighting the benefits of sponsoring your events, such as brand exposure to a new or broader audience, lead generation opportunities, or association with a high-value event in their industry.

Also, offer attractive sponsorship packages tailored to different levels of investment – including branding opportunities during the event, such as logo placements in event materials, sponsored sessions, or virtual booths where sponsors can interact with attendees.

In addition, leverage your existing networks. Reach out to past sponsors or partners and see if they’re interested in participating in your virtual event. They already know the value you bring and might be more willing to collaborate again.

8. Prepare Attendees for the Virtual Experience

Remember when we mentioned pre-meeting or pre-event above? Preparing your attendees for the virtual experience is crucial for ensuring they can fully engage and benefit from your event.

Send out clear instructions on how to access the event. This might include links to the virtual platform, login details, and troubleshooting tips for common technical issues.

You can also educate your attendees about the platform you’re using. Consider creating short tutorial videos or guides on how to navigate the virtual environment, participate in sessions, and use interactive features like chat or Q&A. Familiarity with the platform will enhance their comfort and participation during the event.

Also, importantly, keep your attendees informed about what to expect from the event. This includes the event schedule, session descriptions, speaker information, and any interactive elements they can look forward to. Send regular updates via email or social media to build anticipation and keep the event top of mind.

9. Coordinate with Speakers for Virtual Events

Coordinating with speakers involves more than just scheduling their time slots; it’s about ensuring they are comfortable, prepared, and aligned with the goals of your event.

Firstly, communicate about the event’s theme, audience, and what you expect from their sessions. Provide them with detailed information about the event schedule, session formats, and any specific topics or points you’d like them to cover.

Then, introduce them to the virtual platform you’re using. You want to ensure they are comfortable with the technology and understand how to navigate it. Consider creating a tutorial or a demo session with your tech team.

When they can use your tech, schedule rehearsals. This is crucial for speakers to familiarize themselves with the virtual environment and iron out any technical kinks. It also gives them a chance to test their audio, video, and any presentation materials they plan to use.

Lastly, build a relationship with your speakers. They are a vital part of your event, and their performance can significantly impact its success. Keep them engaged and informed throughout the planning process, and make them feel valued and supported.

10. Conduct a Technical Rehearsal

This is an essential step in ensuring your virtual event runs smoothly. During the rehearsal, test the internet connection and all the technical equipment, including microphones, cameras, and any other broadcasting tools. Ensure that the audio and video quality meet professional standards. This is crucial for delivering a clear and engaging experience.

In addition, involve all key participants in the rehearsal, including speakers, hosts, and moderators to get them comfortable with the virtual environment and understand their roles and how to execute them during the event.

Run through the entire event schedule to identify and address any potential issues. This includes practicing transitions between different segments, ensuring screen sharing and presentation tools work seamlessly, and confirming that interactive elements like polls or Q&A sessions function correctly.

11. Plan How to Engage Virtual Event Attendees

Engaging attendees in a virtual event is crucial to keep them interested. You want to create an interactive and immersive experience that captures their attention and encourages participation.

One effective strategy is to use interactive elements like polls, quizzes, and Q&A sessions. These tools not only make the sessions more dynamic but also give attendees a voice, making them feel like an active part of the event.

You could also consider incorporating gamification elements in the form of contests, leaderboards, or rewards for participation. By doing so, you’ll add a fun and competitive edge to the event and encourage attendees to be more involved.

In addition, breakout sessions and small group discussions are also great for engagement and allow attendees to dive deeper into topics, share their thoughts, and network.

12. Double-Check Accessibility

It is necessary to ensure that all your attendees can access your conference. Ensure everyone, even people with disabilities, has an equal opportunity to participate and benefit from your event.

You could start by choosing a web conferencing platform that supports accessibility features. This includes options for captioning, closed captioning, and audio descriptions. These features are crucial for attendees with hearing or visual impairments. In addition, arrange for sign language interpreting services for deaf or partially deaf attendees to fully engage with your event.

Then, use clear, easy-to-read fonts, provide alt text for images, and avoid color combinations that are difficult for color-blind individuals to distinguish. Most importantly, you want to ensure your presenters speak clearly and describe any visual materials they use.

13. Consider Time Zone Considerations

When organizing a virtual event with a global audience, you also want to consider time zone differences. This will ensure your event is accessible and convenient for attendees from various parts of the world.

  • Identify your audience: Determine where most of your attendees are located. If your audience is spread across multiple time zones, consider their geographic distribution to choose the most suitable time.
  • Flexible scheduling: Offer sessions at different times or repeat key sessions to accommodate attendees in various time zones. This way, no one misses out on important content due to their geographical location.
  • On-demand access: Record sessions and make them available for on-demand viewing. This allows attendees who couldn’t join live sessions due to time zone differences to access the content at their convenience.
  • Communicate clearly: When promoting your event and sending out schedules, include time zone information. Use tools like time zone converters to help attendees easily translate session times to their local time.
  • Feedback and adjustments: After the event, gather feedback about the timing and use this information to make more informed decisions for future events.

14. Essential Post-Event Strategies

You also want to plan for what happens after the event. For starters, you will need to gather and analyze data to assess the event’s success. This includes metrics on attendance, engagement levels, session popularity, and attendee feedback. You can use these insights to understand what worked well and what can be improved for future events.

In addition, plan to send thank-you emails, share recordings of the event, and provide additional resources related to the event topics. Also, conduct post-event surveys to gather feedback, which is invaluable for planning future events.


Virtual conferences represent a significant shift in how we connect and share knowledge. They break geographical barriers, bringing people together from across the globe.

Our comprehensive checklist guides you through every aspect of virtual conference planning, from initial goal setting and budgeting to attendee engagement and technical preparations.

The best planning also includes preparing your resources for the presentations, especially images. We recommend using Zight for screenshots and also uploading and annotating images you need for your slides. This software is also super helpful for contacting your attendees with pre-meeting essentials.

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