Remember when we used to meet in person for our conference experiences? We would gather at conference centers and hotel complexes to attend great seminars, to have insightful conversation, to reconnect with old friends and to make new friends. Everything has changed this year as we all continue to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand that many of us are sad about what we may miss, but we are thankful for the technology available that allows us to still attend conferences virtually. We know great interactions, education and conversations can still occur even if it has to happen online!
Our latest blog offers tips on how you can make the most of your virtual conference experience. We hope these tips help you as you adapt to our “new normal”. We look forward to seeing and meeting with you during virtual events in the months ahead. Thank you for the trust you put into us with your drug development and drug metabolism projects!
Tips for attending a virtual conference
We are all used to packing our bags, traveling and preparing for our interactions when it comes to attending conferences. COVID-19, however; has changed all of that this year. As many conferences are turning into virtual events, we thought we’d highlight some ways you can get the most out of your virtual conference experience.
- Prepare mentally for attending the conference. You don't want to just "show up" online. Be prepared with any prep work you would have done prior to an in-person conference. This includes being aware of any potential distractions surrounding you, including your email and phone notifications. It’s tempting to try and multi-task in this circumstance, but do what you can to stay focused on the meeting, just like you would if you attended in person.
- Be bold. Just as you wouldn't attend an in-person conference and stay in your room the entire time, except for a session or two, you must also be bold in these virtual settings. That means being willing to ask the questions, make the introductions and network. Many virtual conference platforms are offering video chats. Don’t be afraid to ask someone for a face-to-face call.
- Be active on social media. Social media is a great tool for staying connected and asking questions before, during and after a virtual conference. If you aren't comfortable asking in a live event, use that hashtag to ask your questions on social media channels. Not sure you want your question in public spaces? Follow the social media channels of the conference host, speakers, panelists, sponsors, vendors and attendees, and use those direct message features or find the contact info for that direct email or phone call.
- Take time to stroll. At a conference, you may pick up a cup of coffee and stroll through the booth areas. Do the same with virtual booth access. Vendors are supporting the virtual meeting through funding and their presence at the meeting. Provide some support for them by visiting the virtual booth and learning about their services in between presentations and during the times dedicated to the virtual exhibit hall.
- Be patient! Just as you are learning to now navigate a virtual conference, so are all the other attendees, vendors and hosts. There will be times when technology doesn't work right, people forget to mute themselves or even random hiccups occur. Some of it may even feel awkward. Through it all, remember we are all working to adapt in the midst of all the changes COVID-19 has brought this year.
- Don’t leave early. That last session or final connection may just be the one that makes a difference for you and your company. Make sure to take full advantage of the entire schedule and resist the temptation to head to the couch early.
You can find our conference schedule on our website and our social media channels. Please remember we may not have a table set up around the corner of the conference hall, but we are here to answer any of your questions and welcome your conversation. Visit us at our virtual booth and chat with our team through the virtual conference links at our scheduled events. You are also always welcome to contact us at 610-296-3152 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to seeing you at that next virtual conference!