If you’re here, you’ve got enough on your plate. You don’t have time to create an event agenda from scratch. And unfortunately, building an agenda for a virtual event isn’t as simple as copy/pasting your in-person timing and calling it a day.
No matter how large or small your event, a streamlined virtual meeting agenda will keep your attendees engaged and on-track.
Spoiler alert: People don’t show up to your events just to sit back and watch.
Make their time worthwhile by building a virtual event agenda with compelling content, high-impact keynote speakers, and other engaging marketing plays such as virtual team building games, swag giveaways, and more. (Building an agenda for a webinar and not a virtual event? Grab these free webinar agenda templates to save yourself some time.)
But exactly what details should a virtual conference agenda include?
Here are the top requirements for a highly engaging agenda:
Without a clear agenda to keep your event flowing, it can be easy to veer off track and risk inconveniencing your attendees—especially for large and multi-track events. Skip the ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’ and bring it back to the main reason they’re there.
An opening for an end-of-year holiday celebration or team meeting will look a whole lot different compared to an event opening for an expert-led masterclass on cybersecurity. Whether it’s a compelling video or inspiring story, always test the first two minutes of your opening to make sure you’re setting the right tone.
Leave time in your opening remarks to cover the key highlights from your event code of conduct and any other important housekeeping items. This is also a good time to share your social media hashtags and encourage attendees to share their own insights and experiences in real-time.
With a virtual event, your platform is your venue. Don’t let attendees wonder how to use it. In addition to including all details in your pre-event emails, make time in the agenda to clearly explain how to log-on, mute, and interact.
Last but in no way least, design your virtual event agenda for contribution—not just consumption. Work with your moderator to go beyond the awkward “any thoughts?” ask and build in easy ways for attendees to engage via live polls, Q&A, and emoji.
You’ve worked hard to secure the types of speakers that draw a crowd. Now it’s time to really make them shine. To keep your speaker intros brief and engaging, focus on highlighting the top two to three accomplishments that will resonate most with your audience. The goal is to tee up your speaker for maximum impact—not deliver a live read of their resume.
Are you ready to help your attendees get the most out of each item on your agenda? Take the time to really think through every discussion topic and piece of content and why you’re asking them to pay attention. Then, adjust your talking points to ensure you’re delivering maximum value with each session.
Attendees love virtual events for their convenience and flexibility. Of course, that also means it’s easy to pop in late for a session. Consider your unofficial start and end time for each session to encourage an organic flow. This may mean adding a five minute buffer for each agenda item where you kick off with an audience question or icebreaker as attendees roll in.
Virtual audiences don’t have the same attention spans as in-person audiences. Fortunately, smaller sessions are a great way to keep them tuned in. Add space in your agenda for breakout rooms with clearly assigned facilitators and predetermined talking points. You can even customize rooms with specific branding to highlight sponsors and partners.
If you want your entire team to be pulling in the same direction, take time to assign each agenda item a clear owner before the event. Use your Run of Show document as your single source of truth for all event activities and stakeholders, including who’s responsible for what. Then streamline execution with a rock-solid agenda.
While your Run of Show document will cover all the above details and more, your event agenda should be a quick and easily accessible reference point to make sure you’re staying on track. Be sure to house it in a place that’s easy to access for your team members and attendees.
Already a Goldcast user? You can easily build event landing pages with clear navigation to the event agenda via our customizable page builder. Attendees can filter the agenda by different tracks, making it easy to decide which ones to attend.
Now that you know the key requirements for a highly engaging event agenda, it’s time to start customizing your template. Below you’ll find sample templates for half- and full-day virtual meetings, as well as larger scale multi-track conferences.
Note: Timings will vary based on your meeting goals, event content, format, and audience. If the type of meeting you’re hosting includes entertainment, interactive sessions, or deep dives, consider extending the session to 45 minutes or an hour and adding more opportunities for audience participation.
Before you go, take a quick look at this list of bonus action items to make sure you’ve covered all the right bases for a truly seamless event experience.
Productive meetings can’t happen without proper planning. To ensure your next meeting or event delivers the right amount of value in the right amount of time, you need an agenda that moves your attendees seamlessly from one session to the next.
You also need an event platform capable of keeping pace.
With easy-to-build event landing pages, customizable breakout sessions, and a plethora of branding options, Goldcast is the virtual event platform that makes the right impression every time. Go beyond Zoom-based event planning and embrace immersive experiences that make effective meetings possible.