How To Get The Most Out Of An Online Conference
1. Set Time Aside To Attend
When you plan to attend a face-to-face meeting, you block out the time to travel to the meeting and attend the meeting. Do the same for an online meeting. Book time out so that you can dedicate your full attention to the discussion without being distracted from the topic at hand. Let your colleagues know that you are participating in the conference post a message that says you are in an online conference and will be available later.
2. Make The Most Of Interactive Opportunities
During an online conference there are opportunities to meet in real-time with other conference participants or to participate in real-time presentations.
- Whenever possible attend live presentations,
- Review presentation information prior to the session, and
- Download and test any software prior to commencement of presentation, (generally 15 minutes) and
- Borrow or purchase a headset with microphone so you can participate in all interactive communicaton. Minimum requirement speakers to hear the presentation.
3. Active Participation is a GOOD Thing
Remember that we can only see you through posts, so do post messages. The nature of the virtual world is that we achieve a sense of belonging by posting and interacting with other participants. Here are some ideas:
- Compliment someone on their idea, challenge someone to take their idea further, help someone who askss a question,
- Informal chats within chat areas, virtual meeting areas, IMs,
- Virtual tours or each other's websites,
- Volunteer to help the moderator do something that needs to be done.
4. Positive Participation Activities
- Title your posts with logical/descriptive subject lines,
- Do not include long quotes or messages if referring to a website or another posting it may be an idea to include a link for further investigation instead,
- Review login process for web-based activities,
- Read posted netiquette for live chats (as appropriate),
- Be prepared with access to an additional computer just in case your computer breaks down,
- Convert to local timezone
5. Read all conference emails to stay up to date
You will receive many posts from the conference, it is wise to skim them and make certain that you are on top of important notices
6. Keep contact info for conference handy
- Who and how to contact in case of an emergency,
- Where to find help if necessary,