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Best Practices for Attending a Virtual Event

By Erin Lyons 3 min read

 

In the past six months, life, as we know it, has drastically changed for people in all industries and all areas of the world as a result of the global pandemic, and everyone is still getting used to the “new normal.” With this change comes a shift of opportunities, especially when looking at professional development. With the increased rise in virtual experiences and events, there are many more opportunities to cast our net wider and take advantage of this time to invest in learning more. Pre-COVID, our national sales team would be gearing up for our annual in-person company-wide conference during this time. Rather than letting that opportunity dissolve, we have decided to shift our event to a virtual setting, which will still enable us to produce high-quality training while inspiring and motivating our sales professionals in a safe environment. To help maximize this experience and prepare our teams for this brand new engagement, we’ve compiled five best practices to get the most out of any virtual event.

Get Familiar with the Technology

As with anything virtual, there are bound to be new technologies and functions to learn. Most virtual events and conferences are providing access to a platform that will stream or house the event so that anyone attending can get familiar with it and really understand how to navigate it in advance. No one wants to be running behind the morning of an event trying to get technology figured out, so it is vital to take advantage of any resources available to you prior to the kick-off.  Jump in early and play around with the features so that you feel comfortable and confident when it comes time for the event to begin.

Plan Your Schedule Accordingly

Set yourself up for success through time blocking and scheduling! Just as you would at an in-person event, it is important to review the agenda and timeline for the day’s training to make sure that you are solely dedicated to the experience. Plug in the agenda times into your calendar to solidify that you will be busy during that portion of the day. Put a halt to checking your emails and answering any non-emergency texts or calls so you can give your full attention to the event.

Fuel Your Body and Mind

Burnout and fatigue can be an obstacle at any type of event. Be sure to take advantage of any breaks that are offered within the event agenda. Use this time to get up and stretch, get some fresh air, or grab a snack. You’ll want to make sure that both your body and mind are properly fueled so that you can really take advantage of all that the event offers!

Actively Engage

So much goes into planning and executing an event — even a virtual one. From the speakers to the planners and everyone in between, there is always a great deal of effort that goes into designing a meaningful experience for attendees. To stay actively engaged throughout a virtual event, try to have your cameras on, distractions minimized, and your favorite notebook and pen at your side. If discussion time or networking opportunities are present, take advantage of them! If this is the “new normal,” we must get comfortable interacting and learning through a new medium.

Reflect

Events and conferences are jam-packed with content, which means a lot of new information all at once. After the event concludes, be sure to set aside some time to digest everything that was presented to you during your training. Capture what content stood out to you, and really identify how you will use that information in the future.

Although nothing truly compares to the experience an in-person event can offer, the technology and innovation on the market within virtual events is increasing, and for us, we want to take full advantage of this opportunity with our sales rockstars. With these best practices in place, we anticipate a successful event and hope to arm anyone else preparing for their next virtual experience.

Originally published Oct 19, 2020 under Explore the latest topics, updated February 1, 2024

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