How to Organize an Impactful Virtual Summit or Conference (Training & Checklist)

Organizing a successful large-scale online event like a conference, summit, or symposium is no small task. At We & Goliath, we’ve helped organize hundreds of events for amazing causes. 

Below, we share the key steps to generate attendees, speakers, and partners for your virtual event. 


In this free training video, originally delivered at the Organizing 2.0 Online Conference in April 2020 (which we were honored to bring online), our team of grassroots event marketing strategists go through some of our key tactics and strategies across planning, promotion, partnership, post-event and more.

You’ll discover: 

– how to use this strategy to increase the impact of your mission and powerfully land your message

– how to choose which type of online event to run

– how to build your list

– how to create meaningful relationships with influencers and experts in your field. 


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Obviously, you’re not going to check off each box unless you have a long lead time, large team and/or significant budget. Still, see how many you can check off and watch your event grow.  


Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance 😉
Tip: requests a free consultation with our event marketing experts to help you start planning early on, and avoid mistakes that could cost you significant time, energy, engagement, and revenue.


Why should people invest their time and money at your event?
Tip: Talk more about your audience than yourself. Don’t just describe WHAT your event is/WHO you are, but also the WHY, for WHO, and HOW it will improve their lives, and help solve their problems.


Choose and setup the right tools for your needs 
Tip: some event consultants (like us!) not only know this software inside and out, but have already invested in licences that offer better rates than going directly to the software providers.

Design & Marketing Materials

Good design attracts a crowd
Tip: consistency is the basis of professional branding. Create these marketing assets before promotion 


How to reach out, signup and support your speakers
Tip: speakers are often your best promoters – aim to bring on speakers with large email lists and give them all the tools they need to spread the word.


Sign up sponsors and follow through
Tip: start small and build up – big sponsors don’t want to be first to the party.


Tip: your speakers are often also your best promoters – give them all the tools they need to spread the word

Leverage Your Email List and Other Owned Media (social media, blog, sms)

Write and schedule campaigns in advance. Spend time here based on the size of your list

Paid advertising

This can be tough and expensive – need your targeting, messaging, and landing page dialed in to make it worthwhile.

Activate Speakers, Influencers, Sponsors & Partners

This is generally the primary driving force for event registrations

Create an Affiliate Program

These are built into some summit/conference software

Misc Promotion Tactics

Some creative ideas to get more eyeballs on your event


Maximize attendance with a multi-channel reminder campaign. Tip: Leverage marketing automation software to schedule personalized email, text, phone, and/or ringless voicemail reminders.

Training & Support

Depending on the complexity of your software and the technical experience level of your speakers, staff and attendees. 
Tip: create a knowledgebase for your event that provides a single place where staff, volunteers, speakers and even attendees can get automated answers and submit questions.


Tip: based on your goals from the Planning phase, pre-schedule a follow up campaign including messages, events, and actions that build on your momentum and drive towards your desired results.


Stay in touch with follow-up emails, event(s), community, and/or offers


Collect data and make notes on how to improve next time

Repurpose Content

Convert your event videos into other formats


Tell us about your ideas and goals for an online summit or conference … we’ll answer any burning questions about your event planning and strategy and see if we’re a good fit to work together.


You do good work in the world. We help it reach more people. With 20+ years of battle-tested digital strategies, let us be your secret weapon.

Our lead strategists, Daniel, Michelle, and Jay, each have decades of experience producing and marketing hundreds of online and in-person events for grassroots organizations. 

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