Merv Adrian recently wrote a blog posting about Kalido’s virtual event (note: this was powered by InXpo) and I noticed a comment about how can one effectively attend a Virtual Conference. Well, here are seven tips to maximize your next virtual conference:
Determine your objectives before attending: It’s a simple step, but one that few virtual event attendees do – write out on a piece of paper what you want to get out of attending. Use this list to then guide your actions and activities within the event.
Complete your profile: Take a few minutes to add some information to your profile, such as your role, who you’re seeking to meet and what your objectives. This information will help others know whether or not to connect with you. So instead of spending the first few minutes figuring this out, you’ve established everything upfront. Also mention how people can connect with you via your social networks, such as Twitter or LinkedIn.
Add the event to your email/calendaring system (e.g. Outlook): After all, you can’t get the most out of your next event if you forget to attend. Use the virtual event platform’s reminder system, if available. And, place reminders in your calendar for those sessions that you don’t want to miss
Use two monitors: Ideally, I would recommend using two monitors: one to do your day-to-day work such as email and writing and the second to monitor or participate in the virtual conference. If you don’t have two monitors, then consider having a separate browser opened up to the event. This way you can tab back and forth as needed.
Engage in the Group Chats: Besides the content, the best parts of a virtual conference are the group chat and one-on-one chats within the virtual environment. While the presentations can be viewed on archive after the live event ends, the conversations are not replicable. I recommend spending at least 1-2 hours chatting with others in the various group chats.
Speak with Exhibitors: Unlike a physical event which would mainly be staffed with sales staff, vendors can staff a virtual conference with more subject-matter experts. Take the opportunity to speak with these experts especially if you’re researching or even in the final stages of selecting a solution.
Prioritize the Presentations and Exhibitors: The great thing about a virtual conference is that the content and exhibitor information will be available typically 90 days after the live events. Instead of feeling compelled to watch all the presentations or visit every booth, prioritize those that you want to watch or visit. The rest can then be accessed during the archive period.
Are there any other tips you would recommend?