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    Maximizing Your Virtual Conference Experience: Tips for Success

    Photo of Laura Sue Johnson

    by Laura Sue Johnson

    Blog virtual events

    Virtual conferences have become increasingly popular as a means to connect, learn, and network from the comfort of our homes. While attending a virtual conference offers many benefits, it also presents unique challenges in terms of engagement and participation.

    Let’s explore some actionable tips to help you make the most of your virtual conference experience and ensure a fulfilling experience. (Snacks are always an option!)

    1. Plan Ahead & Limit Distractions

    Before the conference begins, take some time to review the agenda and identify sessions or workshops that align with your interests and goals. Create a schedule that allows you to attend key sessions while also providing breaks for rest and refreshment. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the conference platform and any interactive features it offers to optimize your experience. Finally, set yourself up for success by limiting distractions! This might mean turning notifications off on your phone or limiting the number of browsers you have open during the conference. Maybe you have roommates or family in your living space and you need to create a quiet spot for yourself and let those nearby know that you’ll need some time to stay focused. When you consider both your digital and physical environments, you are doing future you a huge favor!

    2. Stay Present & Actively Participate

    Engage with speakers and fellow attendees by actively participating in sessions, workshops, and networking opportunities. Ask questions, share insights, and contribute to discussions to make meaningful connections and exchange knowledge. Take advantage of interactive features such as chat rooms, Q&A sessions, and virtual networking lounges to connect with like-minded individuals and expand your professional network. Avoid checking your inbox - we know it’s tempting! Take notes so that you can reflect on that information again later. Speakers will often have handouts and other downloadable content, so be sure to take advantage of those resources for future reflection as well.

    3. Take Breaks & Practice Self-Care

    While it's essential to fully immerse yourself in the conference experience, it's equally important to prioritize your well-being and practice self-care. Take regular breaks to stretch, hydrate, and recharge, especially if you're spending long hours in front of a screen. Use breaks as an opportunity to reflect on what you've learned, connect with colleagues, or simply relax and unwind before returning to the conference refreshed and energized. Keep water nearby during sessions, and instead of checking your phone or inbox during breaks, get up and walk around.

    4. Take Advantage of On-Demand Content

    Many virtual conferences offer on-demand access to recorded sessions and workshops, allowing you to revisit content at your own pace and convenience. Take advantage of this feature to catch up on sessions you may have missed or revisit key insights and takeaways. On-demand content provides flexibility and ensures that you can fully absorb and integrate the knowledge gained from the conference into your professional practice.

    5. Follow Up and Stay Connected

    After the conference concludes, take proactive steps to follow up with speakers, presenters, and fellow attendees to continue the conversation and nurture relationships. Connect with new contacts on professional networking platforms such as LinkedIn, and send personalized messages expressing appreciation for their insights and contributions. Stay engaged with the conference community by participating in post-conference discussions, sharing resources, and contributing to ongoing learning and collaboration opportunities.

    6. Go Beyond Consuming Content and Take Action

    Have you ever gone to a conference, had an amazing time and learned a lot, and then gone back to business–as–usual afterwards? Most of us are guilty of this at some point. Let’s be more intentional going forward! Remember, learning involves ACTION. Post-conference, take the time to thoughtfully review your notes. While you likely have a list of 5-10 things you could put into action, let’s zero that in and narrow it down to 2-3 at the most. Then, who is one person (or three, depending on your goals) who can hold you accountable for that action and progress? Put it on your calendar! Reach out to that person and ask them for accountability and encouragement.

    Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.

    James Cash Penney

    Want more on this topic? Check out our discussion below! Bonus content: Want to know when it’s worth buying the book(s) of the speaker(s) you just heard? Take a listen!

    Opening photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

    Photo of Laura Sue Johnson

    Written by Laura Sue Johnson