How Long Should a Virtual Conference Be

How Long Should a Virtual Conference Be?

The ideal virtual conference will keep your audience engaged and interested in the speakers and topics you have planned out without risking lost attention.

With attention spans shorter than ever before, it’s hard to say how long the “average” audience member will be sticking around for a virtual conference. In fact, while virtual conferences are a growing trend online, audience attention span is something that seems to be sinking backward, not forwards. So just how long should a virtual conference be in order to effectively engage audience members, not lose their attention? The answer is — it varies.

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The Virtual Conference “Sweet Spot”

It’s easy to host an in-person conference that spans several days in which audience members engage and interact with one another while learning from keynote speakers and networking with other audience attendees. But how long should a virtual conference be? What’s the “sweet spot” for virtual conferences, when people are not interacting face-to-face and there are not activities and special events around every corner?

1 Hour. That’s the virtual conference “sweet spot.” Can you believe it? More than 70% of registrations for all virtual conference events are for events that are 1-hour long.

Are you now thinking, “how can I possibly fit everything I need to say and do and deliver to my audience in a single hour?” You would be surprised at how productive a virtual conference can be with the use of video, graphics, and the planning that goes into delivering the ultimate engaging virtual conference experience.

What About Longer Virtual Conferences?

People will sign-up for and engage in longer virtual conferences, but you may see a slightly lower sign-up rate for such events. People are busy, and the idea of sitting at their computer, laptop, tablet, or even their phone for more than an hour at a single time is not something most would find exciting or interesting.

However, if wondering, “How long should a virtual conference be?” had you instantly thinking about the struggle you’ll face fitting everything into an hour, and you legitimately believe that a virtual conference should be longer than 1 hour or that there must be some other, “better” way to deliver your content to your audience, consider breaking it all down into 1-hour events. Organizing your virtual conference by the main idea, into multiple 1-hour segments, allows you to deliver the most engaging, immediately inviting experience to your audience — without scaring them away due to the time constraints.

As you ponder, “how long should a virtual conference be?” consider how you expect your event to play out. Do you anticipate much of your virtual conference to be filled with networking experiences between your attendees or both your attendees and your keynote speakers? If so, consider hosting a 1-hour (or less) virtual conference without networking, followed immediately by a virtual happy hour that includes appropriate measures for your attendees and speakers to network with one another.

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Keeping your virtual conference short, sweet and to the point will ensure you maximize attendee signups and that you keep visitors engaged during the event. Still wondering, “how long should a virtual conference be?” Or do you have other questions about virtual conference event productions? Give Beverly Boy Productions a call today!

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