How to run a virtual summit


Every year my company hosts an in person summit, usually in a European city. We have offices over Europe and the Americas and this preparation for this event take 2/3 months. Because of Covid we are unable to organise this as usual for January 2021.

Have any people here ever run a virtual team getaway, or have any ideas how to host an event over multiple time zones?



Hi Hannah,

I can appreciate your challenge! I am assisting a client company to facilitate an online "conference that covers North/South America and Australlia/Asia. They have the timezone issue as well as translation considerations for the South American contingent.

A couple of things to consider: Pre record sessions to allow for translation work where needed and to allow flexible delivery to wide ranging timezones. For interactivity: consider a platform that gives more space for people to meet others/chat/interact. My client is opting for Zoom at this point to allow for lowest cost. We are still working on translation options for maximum results.

If you have some “sponsors” who want to advertise, then you might need to bump up to a conferencing platform that lets people see sponsor showcases (remember this can be internal departments who want to “show and tell” their projects or accomplishments:

Let me know if I can give you a hand with th e design process to get the most engagement and interactivity.


Hey @HannahDRichards thanks for being part of the people geek answers community and posting this.

I’m not an expert in this space, but for our Culture First community use Bevy Labs to host all our community events and they are amazing. Happy to facilitate an introduction if you like.

Hi Hannah,
I am in the midst of planning a virtual retreat for the organisation in place of the in person year end session. We are still in the midst of planning it and have been working with Meeting Magic from London to help us conceptualise and design. Would be glad to share more if you want to exchange learning points.

Your language requirement would be an added challenge on top of time differences.

We plan to make it fun through “gather town” to simulate the get to meet with each other over more chillax ambience local on the ground gathering with some beer / drinks. Also Miro / mural for discussions and sharing about what have we gone through and achieve in the last 1 year.

A virtual World Cafe using Miro to have groups mix and cross pollinate ideas
and finally a costume party on zoom to have some fun and take some photos and karaoke.

Do plan for a technical crew to make sure you have support with the various tools and functionality.

Hey Hannah,
I’m designing and hosting virtual retreats for my clients across time zones. One major thing to think about is how to make use of asynchronous time for activities. Then the synchronous time can be used for the thing thats can only be done that way.
As Sharon said, you definitely want a technical crew. I work with a co-facilitator and producer on our events.
If you’d like some support, here’s info on us

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