Online tech events have opened a whole new world of world-class content, speakers and communities. Unfortunately, screen time has also increased significantly for all of us. To make sure we get the most out of the extra screen time with our peers and heroes in tech, here are a few of the things that have helped me.
Set yourself up to win
Plan ahead: Look at the conference agenda and make sure to block off the time so you can actually attend the talks. It’s super easy to forget if something else gets slotted into your calendar. Make sure you are giving yourself the space to breathe and really enjoy the content.
Turn off the notifications
At an in-person event, you can’t be distracted by work if you are networking with other attendees or engaging with sponsor stalls. Being in front of the screen changes that. You become more accessible. Make sure to turn off all of your notifications. They distract you from the conference and pull you away from actually focusing on learning from the speakers.
Prepare and be comfortable
I often find it hard to consolidate my key takeaways from in-person live events. So much is happening at the same time: Talks, people moving around, a mumbling crowd, a panda mascot walking around… At a virtual event, you decide where you want to go. Make sure you are ready to jot down notes on your most valuable learnings. I challenge myself to always try and grab at least one golden nugget from each talk.
Oh, and make sure you are comfortable. Because it’s a virtual event, it’s okay to wear your pj’s or sit on the couch. Just make sure you are comfortable enough to really give all your attention to the conference.
Take the plunge
While for some, networking on an online platform is even more daunting than in real life, others thrive in online these spaces. If you think about it, it’s the same as networking in real life. You just don’t know what that person looks like. Just click the button and prepare to meet new people - the worst that can happen is that you keep the conversation short and move on to meet the next one!