Australian Historical Association Events - Case Study

Executive Summary

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney hosted the Australian Historical Association Conference to discuss important historical events. With the help of Whova’s all-in-one event management platform, the organizers managed over 400 speakers and effectively shared critical information with attendees throughout the entire event. 

The Vice-Chancellor of UNSW, renowned professors and indigenous scholars across Australia joined in speaking on historical topics.

“[Whova] was intuitive and simple to use.”

Lisa Ford

Professor of History at UNSW and Organizer of Australian Historical Association Conference

Interview with the Organizers

About Australian Historical Association Conference

The Australian Historical Association has brought together historians and scholars worldwide since 1973 during their annual conference at UNSW, a public research university. The purpose of the event was to shed light on unfinished business in history and gather scholarly papers. With Whova’s support, the organizers supported almost 600 attendees and inspired networking through valuable discussion topics on the app. 




Sponsor impressions


Session views


  • Communicate with attendees

The organizers had almost 600 online attendees, so they needed an effective way to update them with event details or changes in the agenda. They wanted any announcements to be visible before, during, and after the conference.

  • Manage over 400 speakers

The virtual conference brought speakers from all over the world because they could circumvent travel restrictions. The organizers needed an online platform to help speakers manage and update their information.

  • Ensure Sponsor ROI

The organizers had important sponsors from Cambridge University, Harvard University Press, and more. They wanted to ensure attendees interacted with the sponsors through the virtual platform.

  • Encourage networking

The annual event is a significant opportunity for historians and scholars to connect and discuss critical papers in their field. The organizers wanted to ensure attendees had many chances to network.


  • Answer questions through Whova’s “Ask Organizers Anything”

The discussion topic “Ask Organizers Anything” on the Community Board helped organizers answer attendees’ questions in one space.

In the virtual chat board, attendees could ask organizers about session recordings, keynote speakers, and more. The organizers easily answered in the chat, where attendees could view all the questions and add to the conversations. 

Another great way the organizers communicated with attendees during the event was through the in-app announcements. They could select all or specific attendees to send announcements to before, during, and after the event. 

“The announcements were really good. Because they came in multiple formats, almost everybody read them. It was great to have them there [in the app] for reference too.”

Lisa Ford

Professor of History at UNSW and Organizer of Australian Historical Association Conference

2021 Australian Historical Association Conference - Ask Organizers

Attendees could ask the organizers questions on the Community Board

  • Empower speaker to upload information 

Whova’s speaker center made it easy for the organizers to manage over 400 speakers. The feature reduced the organizer’s workload and improved the accuracy of the speakers’ biographies and session details. 

Using one of Whova’s pre-made email templates, the organizers invited speakers to upload information onto the platform. The organizers or speakers could change the information at any point before the event, and it would automatically be updated on Whova’s platform. 

2021 Australian Historical Association Conference - Speakers

Organizers could add speakers and invite them to upload their information

  • Upload sponsor information on virtual booths

Whova’s virtual sponsor booths were a popular way to capture attendee interest during the event. The organizers could tier sponsors based on their level of participation and provide greater visibility for higher-paying sponsors.

Sponsors could upload contact information, videos, photos, handouts, and more  through personal links. The virtual booths chat bar made it easy for sponsors to connect with attendees or answer any questions. 

2021 Australian Historical Association Conference - Sponsors

Attendees could search for specific sponsors and chat with them in the app

  • Inspire attendees to socialize through Whova’s gamification

Whova’s gamification features motivated attendees to participate in online discussions and connect with speakers and sponsors. 

Attendees earned points in the leaderboard contest when they chatted in the Community Board or participated in surveys and polls. The participants with the highest points at the end of the conference earned a $50 gift card from the organizers.The organizers also encouraged attendees to participate in the photo and caption contests, where the most liked photos and captions earned a small prize from the organizers. 

  • Network through discussion and meetups on the Community Board

The Community Board, an online chat in the app, inspired attendees to connect and network during the event. The meetups were a popular way for attendees to meet fellow academics and schedule in-person coffee dates or virtual hangouts over Zoom.

Along with posting photos to share fun conference moments or industry topics, attendees shared their thoughts through discussion topics and introduced themselves through fun icebreakers. 

“Encouraging people to have interconnected but still geographically diverse get-together is important. Good to have the opportunity to talk to people in a more social setting.”

Lisa Ford

Professor of History at UNSW and Organizer of the Australian Historical Association Conference

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