An Online Conference – Pros and Cons
Thanks to developments in technology and the need to accommodate busy schedules, there is now an alternative to the standard conference – online conferences. AMP recently attended The Online Conference for Small Staff Associations powered by the ASAE University. Overall, it was a great experience and we learned quite a bit. Without attending an online conference, it can be hard to know whether or not they are the right fit for you. Here are some thoughts from an attendee’s point of view. We hope these help if you are considering attending or hosting an online conference in the future!
• NO PACKING!
• The technology has come a long way, it was very simple to use and follow!
• The flexibility to be in two places at once was very convenient, especially when pressing matters came up.
• Networking was less intimidating online and attendees were really using the chat box feature to express themselves and ask questions!
• There were a lot more distractions than when you attend a conference in person. Tips: Make it a point to turn off the email pop-ups and silence your phone so you won’t be tempted. Also, have a co-worker answer phones and take messages for you.
• It’s multi-tasking on another level! It can be overwhelming to keep up with the great tips in the attendee chat room and, frequently checking the Q&A box, all while trying to focus on the presentation. With so much information coming at once, it’s hard to know where to focus.
• When you go away to a conference, you prepare to be gone – clear your calendar, have work covered and turn on out-of-office message. If you’re in the office, it’s easy to think you’ll be available. Don’t do that! You must plan as if you’re away at a conference or work will creep in.
• Force yourself to interact. For full day events you may find yourself losing focus at the end of the day and not participating as much. You get what you give in any learning environment. Stay energized and use the chat box to ask questions. You’ll be glad you did!
A big thank you to ASAE for a wonderful online conference experience!