In light of the challenges posed by COVID-19, in-person conferences have been significantly impacted. This doesn’t mean, however, that there are no opportunities to network and meet potential new clients. Event organizers have now turned to the online conference format to bring industry thought leaders together with B2B representatives. And such virtual events are picking up steam and will play a major role your networking efforts for the future.
Undoubtedly, a virtual conference is not similar to an in-person event, but it does offer unquestionable value. Read on to learn the benefits of attending an online conference, and why you should make it a habit.
1. Easy to Fix in Your Schedule
According to a report by Goodman Lantern on why top-level executives attend conferences, 68.9% of respondents claimed it was due to the numerous networking opportunities. More importantly, a significant proportion of the 191 top-level panelists also indicated that such conferences are a form of self-investment and would love to attend more.
Running a company often comes with a busy schedule that limits your ability to attend conferences. Such events often last a few days up to a week and may require you to travel to another city or country. As such, executives are often forced to choose one out of many events to attend.
Unlike in-person conferences, virtual ones pose no such dilemmas and little scheduling challenges. This is because they often last for a few hours or at most a day. You can attend from your office or at home. The only time you need to sacrifice is equal to the duration of the session.
2. You Won’t Miss a Thing
Conferences offer a wealth of information, but at times, you may miss crucial insight that may have a significant impact on your company. This may be because you arrive late or have to leave early to catch a flight. In some cases, especially long and continuous seminars, your brain may tire along the way.
Though it is possible to miss part of an online conference, you do not have to worry about missing out on crucial insight. Once you pay for a virtual conference ticket, you will be given access to a member’s area. This will allow you to watch and re-watch sessions even after the conference is over. This feature not only gives you access but allows you to learn at your own pace as you can pause to digest information and take notes.
Another challenge that comes with in-person seminars is that you cannot attend two sessions that are scheduled for the same time. With virtual conferences, you only need to go to the members’ area to access all the sessions that you missed.
3. Easier to Participate
Not many people have the charisma to engage and retain the attention of an audience of thousands or even hundreds. For some, even a brief moment to speak to such a large gathering is one to dread. This is why many conference attendees limit their participation to their mere presence.
Most speakers finish with a Q&A session to encourage participation and allow people to have personal concerns addressed. If you’re the kind of person who’s a bit shy, attending an online conference might be the opportunity you need to break out of your shell.
Since you will be behind your computer and in an environment you are comfortable in, it will be easier to contribute, and might even be more enjoyable and valuable, if you approach with the right mindset.
4. Good for the Environment
An unfortunate truth about conferences is that they contribute significantly to carbon emissions, given that most of the time the entire point of a conference is to bring together people from all over the country and even the world. Attendees generally have to travel many miles via plane to reach their destination. Attending an online conference reduces your carbon impact to essentially zero, and makes it substantially easier for everyone to attend as well. A win-win!
How to Get the Most Value from an Online Conference
Virtual conferences and in-person ones are similar in many ways, but they may present some unique challenges that will affect your experience. Being that they are virtual and do not require much planning to attend, it is easy to forget. Therefore, you should put it on your calendar once you sign up and set reminders.
During the session, turn off all distractions. Go to a quiet and private area if you are attending from home. Turn off all notifications on your phone and computer. For emails, set up an autoresponder so that you can comfortably ignore them. The easiest way to ensure you draw value from such events is making attendance a priority. Otherwise, something to distract you will always come up.
Attend the Right Online Conference Events
Undoubtedly, conferences are highly valuable for B2B leaders. However, you must attend the conferences that are in line with your personal and company needs.
Are you in the SaaS industry or a B2B leader looking for learning and networking opportunities? Ascent offers fully immersive online conferences for SaaS companies and B2B executives. Register for the next Ascent conference to interact and learn from leaders of the best performing SaaS and B2B companies.