The last year has been a rough one, but things are starting to look better, especially for event organizers. Some have been able to switch to online versions of their conferences, providing participants with interesting panels and relevant speakers, all via the web.

But since the experience is not quite the same, here are some tips and tricks to get the most out of your participation to any online conference:

Clear your schedule

A good way to make room in your calendar is to schedule the conference and try as much as possible to keep that time free of zoom meetings or tasks. If needed, talk with your colleagues and redirect urgent emails to them while the online conference is taking place. Basically, treat the online version of the conference the same as you would the in-person one. I’ve done this with the latest Biz Sustainability Awards 2021.

Choose important topics

If your time is limited, choose the topics and panels that interest you the most and prioritize them over other types of content. Some conferences offer recordings after each session, so keep that in mind when deciding which to view live.

Preparing your space

Working from home might be challenging, especially when you need to focus. Even more so when you are attending an online event. This is why I suggest prepping your space 15 minutes in advance. If you have multiple members of your family at home that day, talk to them and “reserve” a room just for you. Bring everything you need, like notebooks and pens, headphones and charging cables, and even some drinks or snacks (if you don’t plan to take breaks).

Consider networking

One of the biggest losses brought on by switching to online conferences has definitely been networking. It was way easier to ask panelist follow-up questions during the coffee break, or even catch up with fellow specialists from different companies. But hope is not lost if you are a bit tech savvy. Some online conferences use Facebook or YouTube live transmissions, with chat included. So you can ask questions and maybe even continue some discussion in private, after the conference is over, by sending direct messages to the parties involved. This can also help to grow your social media accounts.

Let me know if you have other tips and tricks to make the most out of online conferences.

Photo by J. Kelly Brito

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