With the upcoming Bridge Conference (July 16) and many other fundraising/nonprofit events moving online, the team at Impact Communications has learned a few tricks to make the most of these events while attending from home.
- Minimize distractions. Yes, it’s true that you might check your email at an in-person conference, but the temptation is far greater with conferences you attend inside your computer. Close out of all other calendars, email accounts, and programs to really immerse yourself in the conference. Close the door, put your cell phone out of reach. If possible, try moving your work station to a different area than your usual work-from-home desk to get you out of your regular routines.
- Get the lay of the land. Just as you might walk through the space on the first day of an in-person conference, make sure — before the conference actually begins! – that you’re familiar and comfortable with the platform you’re using, any auxiliary software, and the schedule. It doesn’t hurt to check your WiFi, too.
- Network. At the risk of sounding obvious, networking at conferences is as much a reason for attending as the sessions themselves. See what resources the conference host provides to allow you to better get to know your colleagues — then use conference tools, Zoom chat, or social media to connect.
- Be an active participant. The difference between attending in real time and watching the recording on your own is the opportunity to engage with the people around you. Asking questions, facilitating dialogue in the chat/comments thread in tandem with the presentation.
- Take breaks when you need to. Conference Fatigue isn’t exclusive to in-person events, and we all know by now that staring at a screen continuously can get exhausting. Treat yourself to a walk, a coffee break, or your best approximation of stale conference danish if you’re feeling overloaded with information.