We’ve noticed a rise in virtual events in the last year. It’s fantastic, in my opinion. Organizations are really picking up their game when it comes to the virtual conference experience, and virtual programmes offer some significant advantages.
A recent online discussion that I witnessed prompted me consider attending virtual conferences. People were expressing that they “couldn’t get into” the virtual component. Virtual events aren’t precisely the same as in-person events, but that doesn’t make them any less useful.
I just attended a few of virtual conferences and decided to write about my experience. This was a beneficial practise for my personal and professional growth. I hope you find my recommendations useful as well.
Virtual conferences aren’t the same as lengthy webinars. One of the reasons I enjoy virtual conferences is because they are not simply a series of extended webinars. There’s nothing wrong with webinars, but they’re not the same as in-person meetings. Virtual conferences are conferences, therefore I prepare for them the same way I would for an in-person gathering. It’s tempting to just go online and listen to a session, but I found that treating the event like a conference allowed me to get so much more out of it.
Determine what aspects of conferences you appreciate, both professionally and personally. Professionally, we attend conferences for the purpose of learning and networking. The exhibition hall and bookshop are on our list of places to visit. On a personal level, I enjoy attending conferences to test out new productivity tools, learn about new places, locate a good cheeseburger, and take pictures. It’s not difficult for me to concentrate on the education while I’m at a virtual conference. However, I will have to put in a bit more effort to network and attend the online expo. While I don’t get to go to new places, I do attempt to eat new cheeseburgers (locally, of course). Employee development software is also something you should be looking for.
Make a timetable for yourself. It’s simpler for me to unplug from my daily work when I’m at an in-person conference. Work might be glaring at you all the time during a virtual meeting. I’ve discovered that scheduling sessions in blocks helps me to relax and enjoy the event while keeping my inbox under control. One of the benefits of virtual events is that I don’t have to choose between two excellent sessions that are planned at the same time. I can watch one in real time while filming the other.
Don’t try to multitask! This section is quite difficult!! My objective while attending a virtual event is not to multitask. My attention is drawn to the speaker. This has proven to be a significant factor in my pleasure of the programme. I don’t get as much out of a session if I start multitasking. As a result, I dismiss all of my browser tabs and concentrate just on the application. Sure, I might tweet something, but that would be at a live event.
Make a mental note of everything. Getting a notebook is one of my favourite aspects of attending in-person conferences. I enjoy writing on paper and taking handwritten notes. It aids comprehension in my opinion. Even during a virtual meeting, I take notes in a notebook that I call my conference notebook. It’s ideal for a multi-day gathering. I’ll be able to take it up and put it down as needed. It also doesn’t make a mess on my desk.
Take part in the discussion. If you’re lacking human interaction, the chat room is a good place to start (or backchannel). One of my favourite aspects of the conversation is that it continues during the whole session. So, if a speaker mentions a book and you don’t know what it’s called, you may inquire in the discussion. Can’t seem to locate the slides? You can inquire in the chat room. In the discussion, participants are exchanging LinkedIn profiles. The conversation is really active. You have the freedom to engage as much or as little as you like.
Make a backup plan. Okay, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but virtual conferences necessitate the use of technology. Even the most advanced technologies may go haywire at times. If this occurs, simply schedule a later viewing of the remainder of the session. Have a Plan B of anything you’d want to accomplish since you’ve blocked out the time on your schedule. As though you were in a face-to-face meeting. Do you want to leave a session early? I’m not sure what I’ll do with an additional 20 minutes.
Again, I’m not implying that virtual conferences are identical to in-person meetings. That isn’t to say that virtual events aren’t beneficial. Creating a virtual conference strategy, in fact, may be beneficial to your professional development. It has the potential to motivate us to learn in new ways.
Individuals may want to attend more virtual events for a variety of reasons. The good news is that conference planners are putting forth a lot of effort to provide a high-quality virtual experience. However, it does imply that we must arrive with distinct expectations and a game plan in order to fully appreciate the event.