Trainers, Event Planners and Speakers have had to move online during the current pandemic, and whilst that brings its challenges, the positive is that many of us who may not have had the opportunity to attend some of their events, now get to take part online!
Over the past few months, I’ve been able to attend events hosted far and wide without moving from the house. But it can get a little tedious, especially if it’s a looooong day! So what can you do to make it easier on yourself and ensure that you stay focussed and don’t wander off to do something else?
Here’s my 5 simple steps for taking part in an online seminar
The event doesn’t start 5 minutes before you’re let into the Zoom meeting, it starts as soon as you buy your ticket.
- Find out if the event has a hashtag, and start following that from all your social media channels.
- Connect with other delegates and start conversations to get to know them before the event – the chances are that you have not met many of them before.
- Connect with the speakers and organisers of the event.
Make sure you book out time in the diary BEFORE the event.
- Block time in your diary for engagement in the weeks building up to the event itself (see 1. Engage). That includes checking the hashtags and engaging, as well as using whatever you preferred scheduler is to send out some posts about the event in the lead up to it.
- Make sure you have read the programme and any guidance notes, so you know if you need to book into sessions or just rock up – if you need to book, get on it quickly as they often fill up fast!
- Find out if they have an affiliate scheme as you may earn some passive income through your promotion of the event.
- Book out your diary for at least half an hour, ideally an hour, before the event to get into the mindset.
- If you have clients, make sure they know you won’t be contactable and pop your out of office on. Put the Do Not Disturb sign on the office door.
- Have to hand a copy of the programme and remind yourself what you’re there for! What do you want to get out of it? Why did you sign up?
- Make sure you have a good notebook to hand, whether that’s one you record all your training in, or one specific to the event.
- Have lots of pens and highlighters to hand.
- What drinks and snacks will you need? Are there breaks planned in to run to the loo?
- Is the internet connection good where you are, how can you ensure you don’t lose connection part way through?
Now this sounds obvious, but I know from experience how the mind can wander!! I find this is particularly the case when I try and take part in training from my office.
If you also find that you get distracted and start checking your emails, you might want to think about:
- Is there somewhere else you can go? Maybe a different room in the house?
- Think about what device you are using to watch the sessions, a mobile device can be hard work!
- Maybe if you have the facility, cast to your TV from your phone. I really find this is the way I work best and means I’m not looking at a PC screen all day long.
- If you can, can you get out of the house and maybe book somewhere entirely different for the day? A good excuse for a night away!
- Many events require you to take part in breakout rooms, make sure you are somewhere you can do that (don’t dissapear to a library and spend the day on mute!)
5. Post event
- It’s back to engagement again – reconnecting with those you connected with before and during the event.
- Go to social media again and share some of the things you learned, tag in people you met and the speakers/organisers.
- Write a blog about the event, again, what did you learn – why should someone join next year?
- Block time out to go through your notes and decide what you want to take from the event.
- Schedule in time to work through your actions. There’s no point attending things if you don’t then action the learning.
- Is there anyone you could buddy up with for accountability to make sure you do your actions?
- Put the date for next year’s event in your diary. Even if you decide not to attend, you’ve got that blog to share again to piggy back on any media attention!
- Have a lie down! These events can be tiring, so make sure the day following the event is not going to be too intense.
If you have any events to join, why not try some of these tips, if you have any more – do drop me a note in the comments.