We study the renormalized volume of asymptotically hyperbolic Einstein (AHE in short) manifolds $(M,g)$ when the conformal boundary $\unicode[STIX]{x2202}M$ has dimension $n$ even. Its definition depends on the choice of metric $h_{0}$ on $\unicode[STIX]{x2202}M$ in the conformal class at infinity determined by $g$, we denote it by $\text{Vol}_{R}(M,g;h_{0})$. We show that $\text{Vol}_{R}(M,g;\cdot )$ is a functional admitting a ‘Polyakov type’ formula in the conformal class $[h_{0}]$ and we describe the critical points as solutions of some non-linear equation $v_{n}(h_{0})=\text{constant}$, satisfied in particular by Einstein metrics. When $n=2$, choosing extremizers in the conformal class amounts to uniformizing the surface, while if $n=4$ this amounts to solving the $\unicode[STIX]{x1D70E}_{2}$-Yamabe problem. Next, we consider the variation of $\text{Vol}_{R}(M,\cdot ;\cdot )$ along a curve of AHE metrics $g^{t}$ with boundary metric $h_{0}^{t}$ and we use this to show that, provided conformal classes can be (locally) parametrized by metrics $h$ solving $v_{n}(h)=\text{constant}$ and $\text{Vol}(\unicode[STIX]{x2202}M,h)=1$, the set of ends of AHE manifolds (up to diffeomorphisms isotopic to the identity) can be viewed as a Lagrangian submanifold in the cotangent space to the space ${\mathcal{T}}(\unicode[STIX]{x2202}M)$ of conformal structures on $\unicode[STIX]{x2202}M$. We obtain, as a consequence, a higher-dimensional version of McMullen’s quasi-Fuchsian reciprocity. We finally show that conformal classes admitting negatively curved Einstein metrics are local minima for the renormalized volume for a warped product type filling.