Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, many associations are debating the pros and cons of turning their major conference into a virtual conference.

Holding a virtual conference means that members still have an opportunity to connect with each other, continue their professional development and discuss the implications of this unprecedented time on their businesses and the broader community.  Sponsors still have an opportunity to connect with and promote their offerings to delegates.

Importantly, it also offers your association the opportunity to reinforce the value of membership, to demonstrate your ability to adapt to change and to potentially make-up some of the revenue shortfall or recover some of the sunk costs that would occur if your planned face to face conference was cancelled for 2020 all together.

However, pivoting to a virtual conference does comes with significant risk.

A virtual conference is not the same as a face to face conference (read our blog post about this!). It delivers a very different delegate and sponsor experience and requires a rethink of the program structure, delegate and sponsor value proposition, pricing, branding, and the financial model for the conference. Boards can also have unrealistic expectations of the price and effort involved in delivering a virtual conference.

Running a virtual conference requires a new platform to deliver the event and the technical risks of something going wrong are high. Even if you have an events team or an external PCO, few have hands-on experience successfully delivering virtual conferences.

That’s where FineHaus can help.

Our approach to virtual conference management

FineHaus has a four-stage approach to managing a virtual conference. Our approach is robust, pragmatic, and highly collaborative. We work closely with you, as an integrated part of your team to deliver a successful virtual conference.

We can manage every aspect of the virtual conference or provide strategic advice and technical support to your event team and committee.

Hands-on virtual conference management experience

Our team has hands-on virtual conference experience. We understand the challenges and know how to mitigate the risks. Virtual conferences we have managed include:

FineHaus is also managing ALTACON 21, which will be a hybrid event, with an in-person conference and expo at the W Hotel, Melbourne livestreamed to a global audience.

We have also provided strategic advice to a number of associations on how to pivot to a virtual event and plan their virtual event.

Virtual conference platforms

FineHaus has delivered virtual events using commercially available platforms including Events Air OnAir, Microsoft Teams and Zoom. We have also developed a virtual conference portal in partnership with ToroDigital.

The portal is integrated with Zoom, so delegates can attend sessions and navigate their way around the conference without having to leave the portal environment. The portal also provides access to recordings from the conference on-demand post event.  Features include:

  • Interactive conference program with links to Zoom webinar or online meeting rooms for each session
  • Supports multiple streams of content
  • Online FAQ’s and chat
  • A virtual expo to enable exposure for and interaction with conference sponsors
  • Conference specific offers
  • News and announcements
  • Conference social media feed.

The video below provides an overview of the functionality of the virtual event portal as deployed for the Australian Legal Technology Association’s virtual conference, vALTACON.  The portal can be easily re-skinned to support your brand guidelines and quickly customised to meet your specific requirements.

Our pragmatic, hands-on and rigorous approach to managing a virtual conference is why clients choose us to support them deliver this critical project.  If you would like to know more, then get in touch!



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“The FineHaus team have done an outstanding job since taking on association and conference management for our organisation. They have understood us and our vision and worked with us to move our association forward. Their expertise, innovation and professional support have been exemplary. We are confident that with FineHaus assisting our association, we will not only achieve our strategic aims – but far exceed them. 

Strategic planning is one of the most important processes for an organisation to undertake. We were fortunate to have FineHaus as facilitators to guide us skilfully through what can be a challenging and often time-fraught process. We highly recommend them to any organisation about to undertake this journey.”

Karen Lee, CEO, Institute of Professional Editors