The Best Virtual Conference Tools and How to Use Them

The Best Virtual Conference Tools and How to Use Them

If you ever hosted an online conference, you know that virtual conference tools come in handy. There are many moving parts to a virtual conference, so it’s important to be aware of the tools to help you along the way. Conference platforms use a variety of virtual conference tools to run your conference.  For example, one platform might use Zoom as their virtual meeting room software, while others might use GoToMeeting.

It’s helpful to know what tools are available and necessary. It’s also useful to know what each virtual conference tool does. In this article, we’ll discuss what virtual conference tools are. Then, we’ll explain a few tools every conference platform should have. Finally, we’ll go through the tools used in OpenWater’s virtual conference platform.

OpenWater vs. Virtual Conference Tools?

Think of OpenWater’s virtual conference platform as the venue, and OpenWater support at the staff the venue staff.

As your virtual conference venue our responsibilities are to setup the virtual rooms for your sessions by automating Zoom and then deliver attendees a seamless experience to attend each session and meet other attendees. In addition, as your conference venue our staff is here to support your team during the conference.

OpenWater is both a platform and a set of virtual conference management services. While your conference from the attendee perspective will revolve around our platform and Zoom during session there are also other virtual conference tools that we utilize.

OpenWater’s virtual conference platform has helped over 150+ organizations transfer to virtual. If you want to learn more about the OpenWater go here to schedule a demo.

Virtual Conference Platform vs. Virtual Conference Tools

Before we dive into examples of virtual conference tools, let’s discuss what they are.

A virtual conference tool is a software product from one company. For the sake of clarity, I use the word “tool” the same way some would use the term “software product.”

For example, Zoom provides a tool that allows people to interact with each other face to face. OpenWater uses Zoom to enable features like face-to-face interaction, presentations, and breakout rooms.

To further explain, OpenWater is a platform that automates Zoom and allows event planners to easily manager virtual conferences for large groups.

The term “platform” has evolved over the years, so it might be confusing for some. At OpenWater, we use the term platform to describe the bundle of software products that help put on a successful virtual conference.

The OpenWater virtual conference platform uses a variety of virtual meeting tools to ensure its success. Next, we’ll discuss the tools included in the OpenWater virtual conference platform.

Virtual Conference Tools used in the OpenWater Conference Platform


As previously mentioned, OpenWater uses Zoom’s software to enable attendee’s face-to-face interaction, presentations, and breakout rooms. Zoom is a great option for virtual conference platforms because it is scalable, accessible, and reliable. Zoom is a great virtual conference tool to learn how to use. That’s why OpenWater offers free on demand zoom training for virtual events.


Slack is a communication software that offers chat rooms organized by topics, private group chats, and direct messaging. It is a great tool for sending timely messages to make sure internal teams are in the loop.

We use Slack as a virtual conferencing tool for internal communications during your conference. Our renowned support team stays in constant contact with you and with each other to make sure the virtual conference runs smoothly.


Basecamp is a project management software that acts as a hub for team collaboration. It’s used to keep track of tasks, deadlines, files, discussions, or announcements.

We use basecamp to help with administrative tasks for the conference. OpenWater has helped many organizations go virtual, and one thing we learned is that organization is key to running a successful virtual conference.


Intercom is a customer intelligence software that offers a messaging platform. It allows organizations to communicate with prospective and existing customers through a variety of platforms.

OpenWater uses Intercom so conference planners can stay in contact with attendees. Attendees can use the messaging system for help or questions, and someone on the administration side will be there to help!


We use Hellobar to provide sponsors with options to notify attendees. Our sponsorship prospectus will describe exactly how we utilize HelloBar as a tool for a virtual conference.