Tips for attending virtual conferences


October 8, 2020



For 87 years, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) has gathered pest management professionals from across the globe for its annual PestWorld convention. This year’s convention will look a bit different because of restrictions on in-person gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual platforms make attending events easier, however, and PestWorld 2020 is no exception. The NPMA will host a virtual version of PestWorld Oct. 13-15.

As with an in-person event, you will get as much out of a virtual event as you put into it. These tips will help you make the most of your virtual experience.


  • Treat a virtual conference as seriously as you would an in-person conference.
  • Dress as you would for an in-person event, at least from the waist up.
  • Eliminate distractions at your computer.
  • Log in early to ensure your equipment works.
  • Have a backup plan in case your connection freezes.
  • Create a schedule, and stick to it.
  • Take advantage of the virtual platform’s interactive features.
  • Check out the event host’s social media platforms for real-time news and highlights.
  • Visit booths with confidence that company reps will follow up, thanks to virtual platforms’ tracking tools.
  • Chat with colleagues in real-time to discuss important takeaways about what you are learning.


  • Use social media posts to let your colleagues know you plan to attend.
  • Register your info and photo on the event’s mobile app or attendee guide.
  • Create a list of networking goals, such as the number of people you want to meet each day.
  • Create social media posts throughout the event, using the event’s hashtags.
  • Engage with other attendees by leaving on your video and chat functions.
  • Participate in question-and-answer sessions during educational sessions.
  • Join in the fun during the event’s happy hours, trivia contests and games.
  • Socialize at the event’s virtual hangouts.
  • Follow up with attendees you meet by emailing a thank-you or connecting on LinkedIn.


About the Author

Headshot: Diane Sofranec

Diane Sofranec is the senior editor for PMP magazine. She can be reached at or 216-706-3793.

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