Virtual Conferences – Take the Survey, Get Some Data

BY Jeff Cobb

[Note: This survey – which is now closed – represents the initial stages of a report we are preparing on virtual conferences. If you would like to be notified when the report is released, we encourage you to sign up for the Tagoras research list:]

Today we launched a survey aimed at finding out more about how membership organizations are making use of virtual conferences. If you represent a membership organization and are the right person to provide input on this topic for your organization, we would be really grateful if you would participate. The survey applies to:

  • Organizations that have no current plans to offer a virtual conference
  • Organizations that have already offered one or more virtual conferences
  • Organizations that plan to offer a virtual conference at some point in the future

In other words, it applies to pretty much all membership organizations. We will share summary data from the survey with all participants who elect to receive it and will also be presenting findings from the survey in August at the ASAE & the Center for Association Leadership annual meeting (which features a virtual conference component this year!). Here’s the link to the survey followed by a few other notes that we recommend reading:

The survey will close at the end of the day on Wednesday, August 11.

Notes worth reading:

  • For organizations that have already offered a virtual conference or plan to, the survey should take about 10 to 12 minutes of your time. For organizations that have no plans to offer a virtual conference (we really need to hear from you too!) it will take significantly less.
  • The survey should be completed only by individuals who represent a nonprofit membership organization and can reply to questions about virtual conferences accurately on its behalf.
  • Only one person from an organization should complete the survey. Before beginning, please consult with your colleagues as appropriate to determine who will complete the survey on behalf of your organization.
  • We say this in the survey, but I thought it would also be helpful to note here the definition that we are using for “virtual conference.” In our experience, the meaning of the term can vary greatly from individual to individual and organization to organization, but here is our definition (feel free to quibble as much as you would like in the comments to this post:

A virtual conference is a Web-based event that replicates many aspects of a traditional place-based conference. It features multiple sessions (not just a single Webinar or Webcast) and may include keynote presentations, training and education workshops, discussion areas, social networking opportunities, exhibit areas for vendors, and various other features. Activities in a virtual conference may take place in real time (synchronously), on demand (asynchronously), or some combination of the two.

We hope you will participate, and we would also be grateful if you would help spread the word – on Twitter, on Facebook, on your blog, in your e-mail newsletters, etc. Just send folks to this post, or directly to the survey at:


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