An Unusual Location for Your Society’s Next Online Virtual Conference

Here is one organization’s solution when the Covid-19 “Shelter in Place” rules forced the sponsoring organization to cancel its scheduled in-person conference and move it to an online virtual conference. The experience might serve as an example for genealogy conferences.

Instead of holding the virtual conference on Zoom, WhatsApp, Skype Meetings, Microsoft Teams, or some similar online video conferencing product that simply shows all the presenters as (boring) talking heads, why not hold the virtual conference inside Animal Crossing, the Nintendo Switch hit game released in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. If not Animal Crossing, how about some other online game?

A technical conference held recently in Animal Crossing

Other than the unusual, and incredibly colorful and fun setting, the conference is very much like any other conference. The conference content was identical to what it would have been had it been held on a “normal” videoconferencing service. The speakers’ avatars are standing behind a podium, their slides are being displayed next to them, and attendees sit in the audience. Crucially, the conference isn’t about Animal Crossing, it’s kind of a standard software development type conference. It just happens to be happening inside a video game.

More than 1,000 people registered to virtually attend the conference.

You can read more in an article by Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai in the Motherboard web site at

One Comment

Using the game “Second Life” as a webinar platform was popular for awhile. I wonder if any groups still meet that way?


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