10 months into the longest year on record, and you’ve probably learned a thing or two about Zoom calls. Mute yourself so your colleagues can’t hear the tantrum your sequestered child is throwing. Unmute yourself so your two minutes of pithy analysis don’t accidentally go straight to your cat.
But as much as you may have developed a healthy aversion to that 20-person meeting where either no one or everyone is speaking, there is no denying that virtual events come with a few built-in advantages - convenience, effortless mobility, emoticons, and the opportunity to interface with brilliant minds and ideas around the world at the click of a button.
But ITC 2020 has been hard at work to recreate and reinvent some of the best aspects of a real-world conference, while eliminating many of the headaches and inefficiencies along the way.
A few proactive steps could make this your most rewarding, frictionless conference yet, virtual or not.
As a gold-level sponsor (come say hi to us at Booth 435 at the Expo show!), Ushur believes that ITC 2020 may prove to be the best one yet!
Here are Ushur’s top 5 recommendations for proactively maximizing your ITC 2020 attendee experience.
It’s like voting - the sooner you do it, the less headache down the road. Registering early gives you the opportunity to explore the ITC 2020 portal and gain familiarity with various tools and channels. With dedicated resources for Agenda-creation, Meeting Rooms, Expo, and Networking, you have limitless opportunities to create strong connections, collect business intelligence, and communicate your professional and/or corporate USP. Become the expert on how various conference tools work so you can take complete advantage of them and support less-savvy colleagues. Early exploration will also help you in terms of building out your online profile, individual or exhibitor, as you glean best practices from other attendees.
Create an agenda beforehand.
Unlike a real-world conference, the process to identify the topics, sessions, and connections that matter to you is extremely streamlined. Leverage the ITC 2020 search engine to hone in on the right companies and partners. With filters that allow you to select for specific days, regions, industries, session formats, and communication channels, keep yourself organized with an intuitive, drag and drop agenda tool. You can update this agenda as you go, adding and subtracting sessions as the conference progresses.
Research your connections and competition.
It’s never been easier to see who else is attending a conference. Clearly published attendee and speaker bios on the ITC site allow you to read up about presenters and potential partners. Scan LinkedIn and other professional networking forums to gather insights into what competitors and partners are seeking to accomplish. Search insurance and ITC-specific hashtags to get the early-bird scoop.
Sort and set meetings aka network like crazy.
With an all-inclusive meetings-tool at your disposal, you can suggest meetings and chat with the attendees you’ve (p)researched with ease, without resorting to clunky and time-consuming email exchanges. Online meeting etiquette is more democratic, and you now have the opportunity to access attendees outside your region, to engage in global business. Building personal relationships is more important now than ever, so take advantage of ITC’s many scheduled Happy Hours and breakout sessions to foster them.
Treat it like a real-world conference.
With the advent of recorded sessions and zero travel-time, it’s tempting to overcommit. Don’t. Pace yourself because 3 days of a virtual conference will be just as exhausting, even if you’re wearing comfortable/no shoes. Professional presentation still matters, so whether it’s a tasteful virtual background or a ring-light for illumination, be sure to put your best pixels forward. And give yourself plenty of breathing room. It’s tempting to schedule out your day, but remember that the screen can be taxing on your eyes, and strategic buffers allow you to recharge and be on time.
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