Contingency Plans For Virtual Conferences


July 15, 2020

Helping event organizers create raving fans for their organizations and events!

Nothing ever goes 100% according to plan especially when it comes to virtual events. We always suggest having backup plans because in times of crisis people usually default to their level of preparation. With this in mind we share with you our top tips for virtual event contingency planning

Virtual Event Contingency Plans

  1. Creating & Sharing A Plan
  2. Backup Internet Connections
  3. Presentation & Agenda
  4. Conference Calls

1. Creating & Sharing A Plan

Having contingency plans helps to ensure your virtual event will be a success. It’s not enough to simply create a backup plan though. It’s important that this plan is openly shared and communicated with your entire team and stakeholders. This way everyone knows what they need to do in case something goes wrong.

2. Backup Internet Connections

We suggest using a wired internet connection (versus a WiFi connection) because it providers a stronger, more stable connection. In case this fails, we also suggest you have one or more backup internet connections including WiFi as an option. This could be a public internet connection or a neighbor’s wifi. 

Because internet outages typically happen in large clusters, we suggest having a backup to your first backup internet connection as well! In general, it’s best that this backup not be connected to your normal internet service provider. Some options include internet tethering via phone or tablet and/or personal internet connection device.

3. Presentation & Agenda

We suggest Speakers share their presentation files and/or planned agenda with others (e.g. the moderator) before the session begins. This way if the Speaker drops from the session/meeting, someone can pick up where they left off while the Speaker is trying to reconnect.

4. Conference Call

We suggest all video webinars/meetings have a backup conference line that can be accessed via phone. This is a good option in case an internet connection completely fails during a call. This is also a default option when using Zoom and other video conferencing platforms. This will allow Speakers/Panelists to reconnect even without an internet connection.

Use this in combination with backup presentation sharing so that the backup presenter/moderator can navigate the presentation while the Speaker continues to give the presentation while on their device. For example, the Speaker can call in and direct the moderator the proper Slide via numbered slides.


While you may never use your virtual event plan, the process of planning is priceless. It will help your entire production and presentation team to feel prepared and ultimately help your virtual event be a success, no matter what happens.

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