After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

1. List benefits to holding a virtual conference.
2. Explain the elements of the conference that need to be decided.
3. Describe how to choose the theme of the event.
4. Explain the different roles that need to be filled to produce a virtual conference.
5. Explain the characteristics of a great volunteer team.
6. Describe the IKEA Effect.


If you haven't already, download the course workbook.

Watch the Initial Strategic Planning video to learn strategies to plan the virtual conference.

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The tasks below will be automatically checked off once you complete watching the video and taking the quiz.


The very first step is to make a plan. This requires bringing the right people together for a focused discussion. The initial decisions you make will be the seeds from which the entire conference will take root. The following section will highlight some of these important first considerations. Many of the decisions are deeply intertwined, which is why we recommend thinking about and discussing them all at once.



These questions will guide your decision making.

~ Why are you hosting a virtual conference?

~ What are the main goals?

~ What decisions can you make to further those goals?


How does the event tie to your organization’s overall objectives?


To help you decide on your specific goals, here are six main benefits a virtual conference can offer your organization:


It can provide a potential source of revenue.

It can be an excellent email list builder.

It can provide a unique way of offering learning content.

It can strengthen your community.

It can encourage in-person attendance to existing events.

Deeper engagement with your organization.



Click each element to learn more.


Your team can bring enthusiasm that helps the event reach a higher level of success.


Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist who coined the term “The IKEA Effect,” brought a group of people together to build IKEA furniture. He later asked them to value the final product by asking how much it should cost. He then brought the same furniture to a control group who didn’t know the context and asked them to value it. Those who were directly involved in building the furniture rated its value at 30% higher.

The Lesson?

When people are involved in creating something, they are more likely to see the value in it. First, if they are closely connected, they understand the labor required to build it. Second, they are emotionally attached to the outcome because their time went into its creation.

What made our virtual conference successful was it developed a genuine sense of community. We highly recommend you take extra time and care in ensuring every volunteer feels valued and part of the team.



Take time now to brainstorm your event’s elements including:

~ Who to include in the decisions

~ KPIs

~ Team member roles

~ Event layout

~ Content plans

Use the workbook to document your thoughts.


See if you understand the concepts by completing the quiz. Click Strategic Planning Quiz to begin.

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