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Tips for attending virtual conferences

|  October 8, 2020
IMAGE: NPMA

IMAGE: NPMA

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.

ATTENDEE TIPS

  • 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.

NETWORKING TIPS

  • 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.

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Diane Sofranec

About the Author:

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

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