September 11, 2020
Updated: September 21, 2020

Five tips for getting the most out of a virtual conference

Traditional in-person conferences are a thing of the past — at least for the time being. But thanks to technology, it’s still very much possible to access learning and networking opportunities that’ll help you to be more effective and efficient in your professional role.

At Showpad, the safety of our employees, customers and partners is our top priority. That’s why TRANSFORM, the must-attend sales enablement event of the year, will be entirely virtual. And it’ll be here before we know it!

On October 1-2, 5,000 sales, marketing and enablement professionals will gather for an interactive, engaging experience that’ll leave them energized and inspired to elevate enablement at their organizations. TRANSFORM will offer a lively mix of keynotes, on-demand breakout sessions and interactive networking opportunities. And to sweeten the deal, this year’s event is completely free.

While we’re certainly disappointed we won’t be able to gather in person for TRANSFORM, there are a lot of great things about virtual events. For starters, you’ll have the opportunity to hear from an all-star lineup of speakers — wherever you are in the world, without traveling. Plus, you’re free to pick and choose the sessions that fit your interests and schedule.

How to get the most from TRANSFORM

Of course, attending a virtual conference from your home office or kitchen table is certainly different than being in a large conference hall surrounded by your peers. If you’re attending TRANSFORM (or any other virtual conference), here are five tips to help you get the most out of it.

1. Make a game plan

A few days before the event, spend some time perusing the final agenda to determine which speakers and sessions interest you. Once you decide which sessions you want to attend, add them to your calendar and mark that time as “busy.” That way, you won’t get requests to attend other meetings.

When putting together your schedule, take note of which sessions are only offered live and which will be available on demand. If you miss a live-only session, you’re out of luck. But on-demand sessions can be viewed at your convenience. 

2. Switch up your surroundings 

Being in a hotel ballroom or other conference venue feels different than being in the office. But when you’re attending a virtual event from home, it can just feel like just another day of work. 

Consider switching up your surroundings to help you get in the right mindset for learning. For example, if you typically work from a desk in your home office, set up shop at your kitchen table. Or if you usually work from your kitchen table, join the event from your couch.

3. Minimize distractions

When you’re attending a virtual conference, it’s tempting to multi-task. For example, you might have the event playing in the background while you check emails and do other work. 

But avoid the temptation! In order to get the most out of a virtual event, it’s important to really focus on the content. 

For starters, block off your calendar so no one schedules meetings while you’re attending the event. Also, shut down your email and messaging apps to minimize distractions while you attend sessions. Finally, consider watching the conference in full screen mode and taking notes with pen and paper. That way, you won’t have to toggle between different windows on your computer in order to type your notes — and you’ll be less likely to get distracted.

4. Move your body

At in-person events, the agenda typically includes plenty of chances to stand up, stretch and take a quick break from learning. But at virtual events, it’s easy to feel confined to your chair.

Sitting in front of your computer all day can zap your energy — and your focus. So be sure to move your body periodically to refocus your attention. Taking a moment to stand and stretch every 30 minutes or going for a quick walk around the block between sessions is a great way to wake you up and help you get refocused. You might also try standing during a couple of sessions to help you stay alert.

5. Connect with other attendees

A top reason people attend conferences is to connect with other industry professionals. These conversations allow you to share ideas with others and make lasting connections that can help you throughout your career.

It might seem impossible to network when you’re attending an event from your living room. But it’s definitely possible.

Look for opportunities to interact with other attendees. For example, attend any virtual networking events that are included in the event agenda. At TRANSFORM, there will be virtual round tables that’ll allow you to interact with fellow attendees. And use the chat functionality of the event platform to connect with other attendees. Also, there will likely be conversations happening about the event on social media. Join the conversation by using the event hashtag.

Finally, if you know someone else that’s attending the virtual conference, schedule some time after the event to discuss key learnings. Rehashing the event might remind you of something you forgot or spark an idea that’ll help you level up sales enablement at your organization.

Register for TRANSFORM 2020 today

Whether you’re in sales, marketing or sales enablement, there will be something for you at TRANSFORM 2020. We’ll be covering hot button topics including selling in a remote world, making technology more human, architecting a playbook for accelerating digital transformation and more.

This year’s event is virtual, and it’s completely free. So what are you waiting for? Save your spot for TRANSFORM 2020 today