Will you be attending our Parking Network Virtual Conference next week? With such a packed agenda and so many industry experts taking to the stage, it’s important to have a game plan to maximize the opportunities available. Here are our top tips on how to make the most of our conference, both on the day and in the weeks that follow.
1. Adjust Your Attitude
It’s true - most of us are itching to attend real events, conduct face-to-face meetings, and actually see our parking peers. But virtual doesn’t have to mean second best. Substantial research shows that virtual learning is as effective, if not more effective than traditional classroom-based learning. And, online meeting tools have plenty of benefits that we are all beginning to embrace.
Bring a positive attitude, and you can overcome any perceived hurdles, to really make the most out of virtual learning and networking.
2. Treat It Like a Regular Conference
Do you schedule work meetings during conferences? Probably you block the time off in your calendar so that you can absolutely maximize your time and investment. So, make sure you do the same for the Parking Network Virtual Conference.
Hosting an online event gives us the opportunity to bring you a packed agenda – it’s not as though you need time to walk from one workshop room to another! So be comfortable to say no to meetings so that you don’t miss any sessions that interest you.
3. Organize Your Time
Like we said, our event has a packed schedule! Get a drink and some snacks at the ready before you settle down at your computer.
As with any conference, it’s important to take breaks. Remember to keep stretching at your computer and stand up once in a while. Most of our sessions are just 15 minutes long, so we don’t have any breaks planned. Decide ahead of time which sessions you want to attend so that you don’t miss anything important whilst you’re away from the computer.
4. Remove Distractions
Working from home: we all know how it is. Some of us are lucky to have the perfect home office set up, whilst others have had to hastily construct work stations from ironing boards and cardboard boxes. And those with children and pets can appreciate the myriad distractions and interruptions of a typical working day.
Get your head in the game by finding somewhere quiet to set up to minimize outside distractions. And, you may think it is easy to multitask, but in reality, it is very difficult to carefully word that email or crunch numbers in an excel sheet whilst truly absorbing information from a presentation. So, close down those windows on your computer, turn off email and social media notifications, grab a notebook and pen, so that you don’t even need to touch the computer and fall to temptation!
5. Actively Engage
By removing distractions it becomes easier to fully engage. Aside from watching the slides and taking notes, actively participate to make the most of the event. Would you turn up to a tradeshow or conference and stay silent in the corner? Each session has a live Q&A and our discussions have polls so that you can lead the direction of the discussion.
Ask your questions using the chat function and we will do our best to ask them to the presenter during their session. Remember to include the name of the presenter you are asking the question to so that if time runs out we can direct your question to the speaker to follow-up with you directly.
During presentations jot down speaker details so you can request slides and follow-up on questions later. Think about all the business cards you collect at a typical tradeshow and create a separate document for these.
Remember, recordings of the whole event will be available on-demand, so schedule some time afterwards to re-watch sessions that really interested you. It’s easy to forget or feel like you don’t have time, but there could be something valuable in there that you missed the first time around.
7. Make it Sociable
Working from home can give us all the opportunity to really knuckle down and get work done, but it can be a lonely experience. Why not join our event with your colleagues and plan a meeting to discuss afterwards? It can bring an element of accountability which will boost your motivation and increase your attention. But more importantly, it will also bring a more sociable aspect to the event.
Speaking of which, share on social media that you are attending, and let people know what sessions interested you. This way you can connect with other attendees, and not just the presenters.
8. Last But Not Least!
Register now so you are ready to go on Tuesday and Wednesday! And, make sure your computer is set up – do you need headphones? Have you got snacks to hand? Sounds like you're all set, so we look forward to welcoming you on Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th May.