It seemed that all business, education, and whole life stopped with the introduction of quarantine around the world. Thousands of canceled meetings, international forums, conferences, exhibitions. How to renew an active social life, communicate with partners, organize and participate in international events, build a network? However, both education and the entire business, which can work remotely, could quickly adapt and switch to online work. Our team quickly found a way out of the situation. We selected the events which we want to participate in and in May we took part in a large conference on education at EdTechX Global. The main trends from the event we described here. And now I really want to share my experience of participating in online events. How it was.
- Accurately prepare and work out a list of events in which you plan to participate. Choose those conferences that have an application – a matching platform with a list of participants. An important function is the ability to make an appointment through the platform, so you can quickly get the necessary information to whom you plan to meet and schedule. Without this application, I would not recommend you to participate.
- Correctly fill out your and company’s profile – fill in the information in the most complete, focused, and structured way. It should be clear from the first lines what exactly your company is doing and who exactly you are looking for. This is important not only for your future contacts to respond correctly to the invitation but also for an algorithm that selects relevant contacts for you and recommends you to other participants.
- One more useful feature is speed dating. Some organizers arrange hourly sessions for participants. Every 5 minutes a new person is thrown into the call room. You can usually choose whom you are especially interested in, and with whom you definitely would not like to match. This is much more effective than at an offline conference, where you don’t know who you meet and very often lose time and energy on irrelevant contact.
- Prepare a company presentation definitely for a specific event. Think over and write down your pitch, meeting goals, and understand why you are inviting a specific person to call. Calls are limited, often allocate 15-20 minutes to a meeting, and you should be fully equipped. Well, the establishment of rapport has not been canceled.
- Online you can hold more meetings. We got twice more effective contacts. And besides, the online events had the opportunity to attract new participants who could not reach the venue of the offline conference before. No problems with the location of partners and speakers.
- What do you need to check before starting the conference so that everything goes according to plan:
– an internet speed, connection, and sound quality. Modern laptops have a good-quality built-in microphone but it will not be superfluous to check. Bad communication will reduce all the enclosed effort to zero.
– visual aesthetics. Turn the camera directly at your face. It should not be directed to the face from below, because it creates a feeling of the arrogance of the speaker. Find a neutral background and make sure that everyday objects do not fall into the frame. Create a sense of three-dimensional space. To do this, put a flower closer to the video borders or let, for example, a shelf fall into the frame. The view on the background of the wall will make your performance boring.
- How to establish non-verbal contact online? Try to focus on the presentation or partner. Sometimes you should look directly at the camera, this creates such an effect that you look directly into the eyes. Just don’t overdo it.
- The online event turned out to be more effective in terms of assimilation of content. The conference can be held both in audio and in video mode. And this, in turn, helps to better absorb the material. New types of interactions with business partners can be used. This can be a screen demonstration, presentation of videos, and various files. During online presentations and meetings, it’s convenient and much easier to capture important points and make notes.
- Most online conferences can be saved and accessed later. So, if the time of the conference coincides with the time of another no less interesting event, then you can get one and another. You cannot cancel the important meeting and see the recording event a little later.
- Save time. In circumstances when “time” is the main advantage, online conferences allow you to receive the latest and most important information at a convenient “time” and in a comfortable place. The result is a ton of saved time that can be spent more productively. In the case of virtual conferences, participants and conference visitors can “come” in just a minute. Moreover, you may not even be present in those parts of the event that are not interesting or not needed. If you have a prepared event schedule, you can highlight the important parts, and spend time more productively on those parts that are not of interest.
- Fewer costs. Some conferences and events are absolutely free, although there are also those where you will have to pay for your “presence”. But such expenses cannot be compared with the costs of attending a conference in a physical place (especially if it is held in another country): expenses for travel/trains, hotels, meals, and other expenses.
- Some tips that are important to transfer from offline:
– write down everything you’ve agreed on right after the conversation, otherwise, in a few hours, you’ll forget important details.
– do not waste time with follow-ups, send what you promised as quickly as possible.
– remember about different cultures, for someone, it is important to show emotions, actively gesticulate, and when communicating with others it is better to be most restrained. In general, this is a separate big topic of intercultural communication and it does not go anywhere in the online and of course offline format.
An online event is becoming a new opportunity in working with clients and partners. Now is the best time to learn new formats, the audience is more receptive than ever. Of course, online events do not have enough morning coffee or a glass of wine at evening meetings, but we don’t fly anyplace and we can also learn how to drink coffee online and communicate with a partner!