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Timezone differences? Here are some ways to pick the right time for your virtual event


Given the numerous benefits that virtual conferences provide for all parties involved such as attendees saving time and money and organizers being able to sell more tickets, organizational time zone challenges may appear inconsequential. Almost everyone, though, must consider the time zone issue. The only exceptions are conferences with all participants in the same time zone or where there are small differences in the timing for the targeted demographics. The issue is that once the conference gets virtual, you won't be able to know where people are logging in from.

Last year, when the most pressing issue was simply finding a way to make the conference happen, organizers largely relied on the simplest and most obvious solution: choosing the time zone of the location where the conference would have taken place under normal circumstances – like a live world championship in sports that will only be broadcast once. For people from different time zones, this wasn't the most convenient answer, but most of them were able to accept it because their daily lives had been flipped upside down as well. Time zones should be given greater care now that the spectrum of virtual conferences has grown and become more varied, and organizers are taking a less practical approach to prepare events thanks to the general flexibility of virtual event planning timelines.

In this new world of event management, we must think about availability differently and adjust our calendars accordingly. So, how do you begin to schedule content so that many individuals from various time zones can attend? After all, few individuals want to see a keynote address after they've finished working for the day, and family and other obligations, understandably, take precedence. Few people will want to participate in networking events early in the morning or late at night. Some activities are better suited to specific times of the day depending on where you are in the world.

8 Tips For Navigating Virtual Event Time Zones

1. Examine your peers' work schedules to see when (and if) they overlap

Working from home gives you the flexibility to create your hours. Employees should spend four hours of consistent work each day. This honors their schedule and flexibility while also allowing you to identify what their best cooperation times are. To see if you can discover one hour in common each week, compare hours and time zones. Scheduling at several locations: What if your offices are on opposite sides of the world? What if one member of the team lives in Sydney, another in Dublin, and yet another in New York City? Finding a mutually agreeable time to meet might be difficult. Rotate meeting times so that everyone gets an equal chance to meet at the most and least convenient times.

2. Plan Live Sessions Strategically 

Speakers are frequently the people that require the greatest attention. Consider how they might fit into your foreign itinerary as you certify speakers. Plan your sessions so that presenters from various time zones can talk at a time that is convenient for them. Finding speakers from all over the world will help you cater to a larger audience. Suffice to say being able to plan the timeline of your virtual event to coincide with the timing of your virtual speaker's availability is essential in maintaining audience retention throughout the event.

3. Optimize Your Session Catalog for Each Time Zone

Allow participants to choose their time zone via a drop-down menu in the session catalog, or better yet, have it done for them automatically. Consider writing in several time zones for each of your sessions if you don't have the resources to enable local time selection (PT, CST, EST, etc.). From the Session Catalog or their Targeted Agendas, you can select to present attendees both their local time zone and the event time zone at the same time with RainFocus.

4. Simulated Live Sessions

On-demand content is a simple method to address many of the challenges that can arise when hosting a virtual event that spans many time zones. Make no doubt about it. Recently, pre-recorded content engagement solutions have evolved by leaps and bounds. However, seeing the clock countdown to a live speech is a fantastic experience. Temporary happenings, as demonstrated by Snapchat and Instagram Stories, have a sense of urgency and expectation. The same principle applies to a virtual decision made at a specific time. 

Fear of missing out (FOMO) is something that can't be easily duplicated with on-demand programming. Simulated live sessions are an innovative solution. For the audience, a simulated live session produces the same enthusiasm and excitement as a live stream presentation. To accommodate diverse regions while putting less strain on your presenters, you can give simulated live sessions many times throughout your time zone planning.

5. Offer Virtual Session Multiple Times

Let's pretend you want your keynote session to start at 10:00 a.m. in each region. One possibility is to repeat your keynote presentation. When your attendees are onboarded into your virtual event software, they can choose not just their time zone, but also their region. The keynote session taking place in their region is the only one shown on their agenda, based on their choices.

This method for time zone planning improves the attendance experience. What about your keynote speaker, though? Will they be willing to get up in the middle of the night to make a presentation to Asia Pacific attendees? 

Unlikely. Having numerous presenters give the same keynote presentation is a workaround for this. Returning to our product launch example, you would want to have the CEOs of your Europe and Asia Pacific divisions present the keynote speeches. Another option is to hire a well-known presenter from that location to pique the interest of your virtual audience.

6. Record The Meeting

Time zones don't always coincide, and everyone can't make it to the meeting you'd like to attend. Take it as a triumph and record the meeting to give to others who couldn't attend if you have a widely scattered 15-person team and everyone is available except for two people because the meeting is at 3 a.m. for them. This is a solid rule of thumb for any large team gathering as time zones and vacation time will almost always result in a few absences.

7. Set An Agenda And Ask For Questions In Advance

Ensure that people who will be unable to attend the meeting have the chance to submit questions in advance. When you send out your meeting agenda (at least one business day ahead of time), ask those people to submit their questions and talking points ahead of time, and read them aloud at the beginning of the meeting.

8.  Appropriate Length Time

Virtual events should be significantly shorter than in-person events, or at the very least, be divided up into smaller portions across several days. People will not sit in front of their computer for 8 hours and be a fully engaged audience. This aids in time zone navigation because 3 hours of television across different time zones is considerably easier than 6–8 hours of programming.

Other Advantages of Online Events

1. Save Time And Money

An online event saves your firm and its partners a lot of time. It all starts with not having to travel to a venue, not having to reserve any lodging or transportation, and not having to spend time setting up. Both the host and the guest will save a lot of time by reducing travel time as well as housing and venue costs. 

Additionally, because virtual conferences do not require catering or other forms of lodging, the event organizer will save a lot of money. Furthermore, while organizing an event online, the event setup time, including planning and logistics, is reduced. So, if you want to increase revenue while lowering costs, consider organizing a virtual conference instead of an in-person gathering.

2. Be More Sustainable

Your gathering suddenly becomes a lot more sustainable without a venue, transport, or catering. In-person activities generate a lot of waste, which would be eliminated if they were hosted online. Furthermore, pollution and CO2 emissions produced by air and automobile travel would be considerably reduced if your invitees didn't have to travel vast distances to your event and could instead stay at home and enjoy the experience from the comfort of their own office. So, if your company is concerned about environmental health, consider going digital for your next event.

3. Make It Convenient

Businesspeople who travel frequently understand how exhausting travel can be. Trains are late, flights are canceled, and traffic congestion is always an issue. Organizing a virtual conference for your partners, clients, and students could be a great way to add convenience to business meetings and make them more pleasurable for everyone involved.

4. More With Less

How long does it take to prepare, set up, and host an in-person event on average? Because it takes weeks, if not months, a corporation can only hold a certain number of events per year. What if you could pull together an event with just a few weeks or even days of planning? This can be accomplished by hosting a virtual event. Once you've found a platform that works for you, you can host several events in a short amount of time because there's no need to factor in travel time or location research.

5. Better Data Capturing

Your firm can track attendance of your event on a whole new level with virtual conferences and online events. While it can be impossible to get a hold of all attendees in person, let alone collect their contact information, a virtual event allows you to track analytics, attendee data, and behavior in a very different way.

Apart from flexible virtual event planning timelines and better control of timezone differences, even management via virtual event platforms like Boom can really boost various other aspects of organizing events from better engagement and wider reach to deeper insights on performance.


Boom is an online event platform offered to anyone or any business, a stage to showcase and sell their products live to event attendees.

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