17 Top Online Conference Ideas

Team Building Resources
Team Building Resources February 01, 2023 17 Top Online Conference Ideas

Here is our list of the best online conference ideas.

Online conference ideas are different ways to enhance virtual conferences through activities, games, and workshops. Examples include rapid-fire learning, networking lounges, and social media campaigns. The purpose of these activities is to add fun, excitement, and engagement to your online event.

These ideas are similar to examples of online event ideas, online field trip ideas, and free online team building activities.

This list includes:

  • online conference games
  • online conference activities
  • online conference engagement ideas
  • online conference workshop ideas

Let’s get started!

List of online conference ideas

From keynote speakers to mindfulness breaks, there are many ways to create an engaging online conference experience. Here are suggestions for the top online conference ideas to make your event exciting.

1. Interactive event platform

When hosting a virtual conference, the most important factors are keeping your audience engaged and maintaining their attention. Interactive event platforms have these needs in mind, making them the perfect solution for online conferences.

​Dedicated event platforms are more interactive than traditional video conferencing systems like Zoom. In addition, virtual event platforms  can host larger audiences of up to 1,000+ attendees, whereas video conferencing tools are typically limited to a few hundred participants.

Here are a few virtual event platform options:

Platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams are great for standard team meetings. However, you should use dedicated event platforms for online conferences. Event platforms include customizable options, such as webinars, app integrations, and marketing tools.

2. Rapid-fire learning workshop

A rapid-fire learning session is one of the best online conference workshop ideas to help attendees sharpen their skills. To lead your 30-minute learning workshop, recruit a host for the class. Your host can be a skilled professional or an employee who is passionate about the topic. Then, provide your host with the conferencing details so they can log in and lead the class.

Rapid-fire learning is an ideal conference activity for teams that want to grow and develop in their careers. Be sure to tailor your workshop to a skill or topic your team is interested in, such as leadership, time management, or resume tips.

3. Conference Slack channel

Creating a Slack channel dedicated to your online conference is the best way to inform attendees about updates or changes to the program. With this app, you can send real-time notifications, messages, and updates to your attendees.

For example, if your next session is ten minutes away, then you can send a quick reminder in your channel. Your message may read: “@channel 🔔REMINDER: Our keynote speaker is getting ready to present in 10 minutes. Grab your coffee, and head over to the virtual auditorium for this engaging session❗”

Slack is one of the best tools for instantaneous communication among teams, and we highly recommend using this app for your online conference.

4. Social media campaign

Creating a social media campaign around your conference is a great way to boost engagement and excitement. To launch your campaign, develop a hashtag for attendees to use in their posts. Including your event title and the year is a quick way to create a simple hashtag. For example, your hashtag can be #XyzConference2023. Once you have made your hashtag, encourage attendees to post about the event on their profiles.

When it comes to social media engagement, you can ask participants to post:

  • Screenshots of attendees on the video call in gallery mode
  • Pictures of attendees in their home offices
  • Short videos from a workshop or webinar
  • Screenshots from a team building activity
  • Photos from the event’s after-party

Social media is one of the most valuable and cost-effective marketing tools. You can encourage your attendees to share their excitement on their social media channels using your event hashtag. These posts will help promote your event for free.

5. Keynote speakers

Securing a unique lineup of keynote speakers can help set your conference apart from the rest. The best part about hosting a virtual conference is that you are not bound to a physical location. As a result, you can invite speakers from all over the world to participate.

Be sure to research and choose a speaker and topic that can relate to your team. For example, if you are planning a presentation for your diversity and inclusion team, then find a speaker specializing in this topic.

Getting speakers set up is also simple. All you have to do is share the conferencing details and provide directions on how to join via webcam. We suggest including keynote speakers in your rehearsal so you can ensure they do not experience any technical difficulties.

6. Entertainment

If you want to add fun to your online conference, we recommend incorporating online conference games and entertainment options.

Here are a few examples of fun team activities for your conference:

  • Trivia championship
  • Escape room
  • Murder mystery
  • Talent show
  • Riddles and icebreakers
  • Magician performance
  • Jam session
  • Karaoke

Incorporating different games and entertainment opportunities is a great way to break up your conference with exciting activities.

7. Complimentary lunch

One of the best parts of an in-person conference is the variety of lunch options, from food trucks to catering. With an online conference, you do not have the opportunity to bring attendees together for lunch. Instead, we suggest providing a meal stipend or voucher for a complimentary lunch.

Be sure to explore different food delivery options, like Uber Eats, DoorDash, and GrubHub. These services provide many dining options close to your employees’ locations, giving them the freedom to choose their meals. Plus, conference attendees will surely appreciate a tasty complimentary lunch.

8. Networking lounge

One of the best online conference engagement ideas is a networking lounge. A networking lounge is a virtual space where conference attendees can take a break from the event to chat with peers.

To create your networking lounge, open a breakout room in your conferencing platform. This breakout room should remain open throughout the event so attendees can drop in as they please. You can keep the fun going by creating a Slack channel where conference attendees can connect with each other after the event is over.

Networking lounges are the perfect addition to online conferences. These digital spaces can provide a break from the event while allowing participants to relax and connect with fellow attendees.

9. Mindfulness breaks

One of the best online conference workshop ideas is a mindfulness break. During this break, give attendees different options to practice mindfulness, such as guided meditation, stretching, or yoga. We recommend incorporating two to three 15-minute mindfulness breaks throughout the conference.

Be sure to enlist a host for each break, such as a trained professional or a team member with a passion for wellness. The host should guide attendees through the exercise. Another option is to have the host follow along with a YouTube video focused on wellness exercises. Either option is great for helping attendees decompress in the middle of the conference.

Mindfulness breaks are effective in helping conference-goers take a breather and clear their minds before the next activity or session.

10. Attendee roundtables

If you want to give attendees a chance to make their voices heard, then include a roundtable activity in your conference agenda. During your roundtable session, encourage participants to speak up and share their ideas.

You can focus your roundtable on a variety of topics that are beneficial to your team. For example, if you want feedback on your online conference, then you can ask participants to share their thoughts and ideas about the conference, including the agenda, activities, and organization. Then, have each attendee share their thoughts one by one in a roundtable discussion.

Hosting an attendee roundtable is a great addition to an online conference. These activities can add authenticity to your event while promoting active listening and engagement.

11. Buddy system

One of the most helpful online conference activities is the buddy system. To create a buddy system, pair conference attendees in groups of two. Then, remind each pair to contact each other via Slack, email, or text message. Each pair should remain in contact throughout the event, reflecting on sessions and answering each other’s questions.

Implementing a buddy system is an ideal way to ensure attendees have support as they go through the activities and sessions throughout the day.

12. Ask me anything

If you want to add a question-and-answer session to your conference agenda, then we suggest hosting an ask me anything session. An AMA is an interactive Q&A session where a designated host answers pre-submitted audience questions. AMAs are different from typical Q&A sessions because they allow hosts to cover a wider range of topics instead of relying on audience members to ask live questions.

Before the session, start a thread on Slack or email where employees can submit their queries. To set up your AMA, designate two employees to serve as the host and moderator. The moderator should funnel questions to the host, and the host should answer each question. If you have extra time, you can also take live audience questions.

13. Live polls

Live polls are ideal for collecting attendees’ thoughts and real-time feedback. Polls are also some of the best online conference engagement ideas since this activity encourages attendees to actively participate.

There are many ways to incorporate polls into your online conference. For example, you can share poll questions throughout the event to gauge attendees’ thoughts and participation levels.

Here are a few poll questions you can use to get valuable feedback:

  • Which part of the conference did you enjoy the most?
  • Have you experienced any technical issues throughout the conference?
  • What would you change if you could change one thing about this online conference?
  • What topics would you like to see covered more during the conference?
  • What topics would you like to see covered less during the conference?

You can also use live polls to quiz attendees on specific topics. For example, if you host a workshop covering the company’s new paid time off policy, then you can ask, “How many hours of PTO do new hires receive in their first year?”

We recommend using data and responses to help you improve your event based on attendee feedback.

14. Virtual helpdesk

During an online event, technical issues are bound to happen. Therefore, we recommend implementing a virtual helpdesk to tackle these technical mishaps promptly.

To create your virtual helpdesk, open an ongoing breakout room in your conference platform. Be sure to recruit three to five IT specialists to operate the helpdesk by remaining in the breakout room throughout the event. You can keep this room open, allowing attendees to pop in as needed if they face technical issues.

Virtual helpdesks should assist in resolving complications like:

  • Registration issues
  • Audio/visual problems
  • Screensharing issues
  • Forgotten passwords
  • Meeting lockouts
  • Schedule/agenda information

Virtual helpdesks are valuable in resolving unexpected technical issues on the day of your event.

15. Goodie bags

Goodie bags are a great way to thank participants for attending your event. These gifts can also provide attendees with a keepsake from the conference. For an online conference, we recommend filling up your goodie bag with virtual gifts, like digital gift cards and e-books. To assemble your goodie bag, put together an email with links to each gift. Be sure to add visual elements like photos and icons to make the goodie bag visually appealing.

These are a few items to include in your conference goodie bag:

  • Virtual gift cards to Starbucks or Dunkin’
  • Digital coupons or vouchers for a complimentary lunch
  • e-books on self-help topics
  • Subscription to an online publication
  • Free trials for apps like Calm or Spotify
  • Podcast recommendations
  • Digital wallpaper with the conference logo and hashtag

Conference attendees will surely appreciate receiving a digital goodie bag of fun and useful gifts.

16. Conference recording and recap email

You may have employees who are unable to attend the conference or who have to leave the event early. Recording the conference is a great way to ensure that your team does not miss a moment.

Your conference might span a couple of hours, so we recommend recording each session separately and sharing the files with your team in a recap email. By dividing the recordings per session, employees can choose which sessions they want to watch. Plus, your recap email can share key highlights from the event, including keynote speaker quotes, team pictures, and important action items.

17. After-party

If you are looking for fun online conference activities, then we recommend hosting an after-party. These gatherings allow attendees to let loose and have fun after a busy day at the conference. You can host your after-party on Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet.

Here are a few activities to include in your after-party:

  • Virtual happy hour
  • Mixology class
  • Karaoke
  • Dance party
  • Cooking class
  • Trivia night

Choosing the right activities will help you throw a fun after-party that attendees will enjoy.


Online conferences can help you connect with a large audience in a virtual setting. However, you must consider more factors for an online event, such as video conferencing platforms, engagement activities, and conference swag ideas.

When hosting your online conference, get creative in your planning process, and choose activities that all participants will enjoy. You can also give your team the freedom to choose which activities and events to attend. Following these tips will help you host an online conference that attendees will never forget.

Next, check out our lists of online celebration ideas and online employee appreciation ideas.

FAQ: Online conference ideas

Here are answers to questions about online conference ideas.

What are online conferences?

Online conferences are company-wide meetings or events that take place via video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams. Online conferences usually involve more activities and exercises than in-person events. For example, virtual events allow you to host simultaneous workshops and seminars from different breakout rooms. We suggest giving attendees the freedom to choose which activities or events on the agenda they would like to attend.

One of the most significant benefits of hosting an online conference is the opportunity to attract a larger audience than you would if your event were in a physical location.

How do you hold an online conference?

When preparing for an online conference, you may find that the planning process differs from an in-person conference. For example, virtual events use different technology, such as video conferencing platforms.

Here are a few tips for holding a successful online conference:

  • Research and choose online conferencing software
  • Recruit experts, speakers, and entertainers to present
  • Plan a practice rehearsal before your event
  • Plan virtual activities, like team building games, seminars, and workshops
  • Record your conference for employees who are not able to attend

Once you have planned and organized your event from start to finish, you can begin advertising your online conference to potential attendees. In addition, we suggest creating social media posts and email invitations to help boost excitement and encourage employees to attend your online conference event.

How do you make online conferences fun?

We recommend incorporating various strategies to make your online conferences fun and engaging.

Here are a few suggestions for how to make your event fun:

  • Use a social media campaign to build excitement
  • Create a Slack channel dedicated to your conference
  • Invite guest speakers and entertainers
  • Incorporate engaging activities like mindfulness exercises and competitive games
  • Open a networking lounge for attendees to meet peers
    Send each participant a goodie bag

Fun activities like these will ensure attendees make the most of their time attending your virtual conference.

What are some good ideas for online conferences?

The best online conference ideas provide meaningful engagement opportunities for attendees. Some great online conference ideas include networking lounges, mindfulness breaks, rapid-fire learning workshops, and an after-party.

written with 💖 by Tasia Duske

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