Online events
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Time zone settings for international events

In our article, we will show you what is important and what you should consider when planning time zones for virtual events.

Table of contents

Due to the increase of international events that are held remotely, the time zone issue has gained value for the event industry. Here, the great advantage of virtual events is to address a global target group and to reach them in a compact way.

To guarantee the best possible experience, during the digital or hybrid event, some challenges like language barriers or different time zones have to be overcome.

Often, event organizers have opted for the obvious solution and determined the time zone of the location where the event will take place. In our article, we will show you what is important and what you should consider when planning time zones for virtual events.

What is a time zone and what is it needed for at events?

The 24 applicable time zones are based on Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) or Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). UTC is not a time zone, but a time standard for the worldwide calculation of local times in the respective time zones. GMT, on the other hand, is a time zone that is based on UTC and is used in several countries at once.

At what points is the time zone needed at an event?

Use a time zone calculator to convert local times between multiple participant locations. Important tools such as online conference planners, world time apps or the digital world time clock provide reliable information about the respective time zone.

For face-to-face events, the time zone of the venue always counts. Clearly advise virtual event attendees of the applicable time zone to avoid frustration and confusion. In the following organizational areas, the precise specification of the division of time zones of virtual events is needed:

1. mailing

2. poster

3rd agenda

4. invitation management

What are the technical and personnel requirements?

Increasingly, considerations about technical and personnel requirements for the feasibility of the virtual event are proving complex. Reportedly, setting the time of a virtual event after receiving confirmations of participation from all candidates has proven successful. Time zone settings were then selected from which most confirmations of participation were received.

Work with recordings of the presentations so that some program items can be viewed by participants at a later date.

For virtual conferencing software, use competent providers that provide a platform with extensive features such as videos, question area , Live chat, discussion forum, presentation materials as well as contact areas.

Lectures can be followed live and streamed afterwards.

1. technical requirements:

Leverage platforms with time zone integration, engaging landing page with registration form, constant email communication around the event as well as Integrations of calendar, webinar, video conferencing tools

2. personnel requirements:

If necessary, create several events and record the event. Keep in mind that increased personnel effort may be required here.

Reading Tip: How professional livestreaming succeeds

How do events with multiple time zones behave?

The main goal of all virtual events is to include as many participants as possible. By removing barriers to access, even more people will have the opportunity to participate in virtual events and interact with other content in different time zones.

Navigate through the different time zones to ensure a good experience for the largest group of participants in each time zone. Use the option to record individual modules and make them available to participants at a later time.

Offer the same session live multiple times so attendees can benefit from the live experience at a later time. Create separate content for virtual events and offer exclusive discussions/interviews with industry experts.

Schedule regular breaks into the daily routine and prepare content so that it remains available at a later time.

Hybrid conference from multiple time zones

What are the benefits of time zone integration in a Virtual Event Platform?

Users of a virtual event are automatically recorded according to their time zone and assigned according to the schedule of the event. Once a time zone is updated, the agenda items for the person attending appear in the appropriate order.

Appointments for networking meetings, chats and discussions are automatically adjusted to the schedule and time zones of virtual events. Focus on the best possible experience of digital and hybrid events. Divide the event into multiple sections that span a few days to offer them on a staggered basis.

Is the time zone also negligible for events?

Yes, if they meet the following points:

1. events of the same time zone

2. too high effort in the creation of the event as well as possibly with higher costs

3. confusion of the participants due to unnecessary complexity

4. increased event density

5. small number of participants

How do time zones help solve language barriers?

Advancing globalization and limited (technical) networking pose major challenges for companies. Modern software systems connect the data of customers, suppliers, event organizers and evaluate them in multiple languages .

The location-independence of virtual events excites many and most participants can easily integrate international work appointments into their daily routine.

Another challenge is to establish a good culture of conversation. Language barriers are a daily companion for those involved in intercontinental knowledge exchange.

Do not be discouraged by possible language barriers, expand your own language vocabulary and inform yourself about the language and communication culture of your conversation partners.

Organize chat rooms where participants can share work-related or personal topics and continue to connect across time zones.

Analysis and optimization

In the meantime, there are some providers on the market that automatically perform the time zone settings for you and make your work incredibly easier.

What speaks for an excellent tool are the following criteria:

  • Marking of local holidays and office hours,
  • a simple location search, intelligent sorting and listing
  • Explanations of cryptic time zone abbreviations.

Data should be easy to export as ics file or text. The selection of multiple locations should not be a problem. For this reason, it is always helpful to resort to a functional representation with countdown timer. Data should be easy and fast to enter, but also to change.


Use handy helpers provided by the Internet to determine the right event time.

There are many occasions when it is important to determine the time difference between countries.

The best way to plan is to use a tool where all worldwide public holidays are marked. Use time zone settings to organize meetings with people from all over the world and find the best time for your virtual event.

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