With the current situation with social distancing; online webinars, events, and conferences looked to have become the obvious solution for many businesses. As candidates are also to adapt to the current situation, transitioning from the physical in-person events to online webinars and events may be tricky at times.
The ability to learn and network with others is still very much a possibility. You can still make connections with other attendees as well as have your questions answered by panellists and speakers. With the shift to online currently surging; the options to complete online courses, stream webinars and events are endless.
Candidates may be going through a tricky time at the moment, but they can still make the most out of a webinar or online event. Online webinars are becoming more engaging, and we share a few tips on how you can make the most out of it.
Just like there would be for a normal conference or event, a date and time and duration are set. It’s important that you set out time for your webinar so there are no clashes or last-minute changes. If you use an email calendar or phone alerts, it’s a good idea to set it in place. If you’re likely to stream a webinar in the office, make sure colleagues are notified as to your “absence” for those few hours so you’re able to fully focus and digest the webinar; and set a colleague as a new point of contact for that period If an emergency does come up where you’re not able to watch the live stream, it will be a good idea to record the webinar and go back to it when you have some time.
If you’ve never experienced an online conference or webinar; you may find it useful to do some research and learn about what they have to offer. With the internet being littered with many webinars and virtual events, you can attend a previously recorded webinar to ‘get a taste’ of things to come. Most of these opportunities will come with the chance to have a Q&A with attendees, show presentations, have panel conversations, or conduct tutorials.
As mentioned before, there are live conferences and webinars as well as recorded events, so identify which ones you’d like to attend and engage live with the presenter or simply watch later at a preferred time. With some presentations you may find that you can download the material to view at any time after the session. Learn all you can about online webinars so you’re fully prepared ahead of time.
Just like lectures; it can be difficult to sit through a certain period of time watching someone indirectly speak to you through a screen and maintain focus. The great thing about webinars and online events is the ability to engage with the speakers or the material being presented. To get the best out of engaging, it’s a good idea to turn off any pop-up notifications that may direct you away from your screen.
Take notes and participate in the webinar. With events and webinars that have Q&A sessions, ask questions, or engage with a group chat. You could also ask one or two colleagues if they’d like to join you for a 15-minute summary after the presentation to discuss key points and takeaways.
Networking with other attendees is as easy to do as you would in a physical event. Of course, you can’t make comments to the person sitting next to you at a keynotes presentation, but you can still exchange messages in a group chat (if set up by the host) or send messages individually to another attendee who may have asked a particularly interesting question.
If the conference or webinar platform doesn’t provide built-in networking capabilities, take note of a potential contact’s name and follow up with them on LinkedIn. You now have something in common with people attending the online event, so it should be easy to make a connection. You can also post and share what you have learned with your LinkedIn Network.
After you attend a virtual webinar or conference, always reflect on what you took away from it. Did you learn something new? Did it help you make a business decision or did it steer you into a specific career position? It may be a case of since it as a completely new experience, you’re pondering whether to attend another or looking for similar conferences. There are certainly networking benefits to be attained by participating in virtual conferences.
Events and conferences are taking a different approach due to Covid-19, however, hosts and participants are doing all they can to ensure that their sessions remain as engaging as ever. As part of the audience, we also have a key part to play.