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  • Joyce Huang

How Duke Ideate Used Glimpse to Run a Successful Virtual Conference


Organizing a large, impactful, well-run event is already quite difficult. Organizing a large, impactful, well-run virtual event adds a whole new level of difficulty. For Michelle Zhang and Akshara Anand, directors of Ideate at Duke, organizing and running this annual design conference remotely was not an easy task.


To pivot the two-day “designathon” to a completely virtual format while still maintaining a strong sense of community amongst its participants, Zhang and Anand turned to Glimpse. Glimpse is a platform where people in a virtual room can engage in one-on-one, time-boxed conversations, complete with fun mini-games and icebreaker questions.


“We chose to use Glimpse because we liked how dynamic it was,” Zhang expressed. “It made the process of meeting new people virtually, which can often be nerve wracking and awkward, much more fun and lighthearted.”


For their event, Zhang and Anand used Glimpse for team formation at the beginning of Ideate and for a social event. Glimpse’s feature of matching with tags proved to be perfect for building teams. Participants were able to meet and get to know people with a shared interest in Education, Inequality, or Health, the 3 tracks for Ideate’s design challenges.


Glimpse’s customizable format also made it easy to hold a more casual social event to help build community between Ideate participants. The quick and fun round-robin conversations allowed participants to take a break from designing and meet other participants from all over the world.


“Glimpse made the event which had over 250 active participants feel much more tight and friendly,” said Zhang “Often we find that making new, real connections virtually can be almost impossible, especially in these times. Glimpse proved to be essential to our community building.”


If you are planning a virtual conference, here are our best tips and tricks for using Glimpse:

  • Check out our Hosting Guide for general advice on how to get started!

  • Decide on a match time length (the default is 2 minutes) that best suits your event

  • Customize the question prompts to personalize your event

  • End your welcome/kick-off event with a Glimpse room to help participants meet each other and get excited about the event