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COVID-19 has forced political parties to rethink the way they reach out to their supporters, namely when it comes to holding party conferences. The Conservative, Liberal Democrats and Labour parties all have annual gatherings for their members. While these would usually include several days of speeches from officials to crowds from a stage, this year they will have to reach out through their computer screens.

How do you watch the virtual Conservative Party Conference?

The Conservative Party annual conference will move online this year, as the coronavirus pandemic makes a comeback.

The event starts this weekend on Sunday, October 4, and will continue for three days until October 7.

Much like Labour and the Liberal Democrats before them, attendees will watch on from home during speaker addresses.

But Tory organisers have devised a second life experience to give the event a distinct physical feel.

People can interact via a platform made especially for the day, which they can sign up to on the Conservative website.

They have a variety of options to choose from, some of which come at a hefty price.

Party members have ready access to the conference with some exclusive content, while people opting for a “business day” pass will have to pay £850.

Non-member guests toying with the idea of becoming a Conservative party member can sign up and watch on from £100.

While there, people who join up can visit a virtual auditorium to watch speakers, and stalls dotted around an exhibition hall.

Each stall sells for between £6,000 and £25,000 for companies hoping to mingle with ministers and councillors.

Organisers have promised a unique experience ahead, thanks to party co-chair Amanda Milling.

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She proposed the idea of a video game style political conference, designed to give attendees a sense they are watching an event rather than participating in a Zoom call.

Speaking to PoliticsHome, Ms Milling said: “We’ve built a platform where it will look and feel like a conference but on a computer screen.

“You’ll go in and there’ll be the entrance area – the foyer – then you’ll be able to go into different parts.

“You’ll be able to go into the auditorium or you can go to fringe events. We’ve got a brilliant line up of fringe events.”

“Then there’s the exhibition area where you can go into a stand and chat to exhibitors there.

“It is the full conference experience but online. The team have done an absolutely brilliant job.”

She added: “It literally is, you’re going to go into different places!

“You will go into the auditorium, you have those watching on, you’ve got it all laid out and the speech area as well.”

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