What have virtual conferences taught us?

What have virtual conferences taught us?

What have virtual conferences taught us? 1920 1465 Karolina Gałek

The concept of conferences has changed somewhat over the past two years. These days, the word conference immediately brings to mind an image of a person sitting in front of a screen, tuning in to live sessions somewhere in the world.

However, if we roll back the clock our concept of this kind of event was in fact far more personal with minimal screens involved.

Is going online a step in the right direction?

That said, there’s no denying that the concept of a virtual conference has a multitude of advantages. For starters, it makes things far cheaper and more accessible. All attendees have to pay for is (virtual) entry to the event, there are no international flights or hotel reservations involved which is also hugely beneficial for our increasingly worrisome climate.

And the advantages don’t end there either. Virtual conferences also offer attendees the chance for you to change your plans at the last minute if you happen to head into a session that isn’t quite what you expected.

Online options are also more inclusive as they are open to everyone irrespective of their physical capabilities. What’s more, they enable industry colleagues with young children to play a part without having to leave the house and make alternative childcare arrangements.

But isn’t there something missing?

Nevertheless, virtual conferences can be tough crowds for speakers since it can be difficult to gauge audience interest and encourage participation. It goes without saying that a nodding head or a smiling face is far more encouraging than a friendly emoticon in the chat function.

There’s also the issue of networking (or lack of it!) in virtual conferences. Although many organizations attempt to organize breakout rooms to encourage networking, they don’t usually compare with those impromptu encounters in the line for coffee, and in most cases are less fruitful from a business perspective.

And last but not least, being online for endless hours at a time can be pretty exhausting, especially two years into a pandemic in which remote working has become the norm in many countries. Since we have to work harder to send and receive signals via online platforms due to a lack of non-verbal communication, online conferences can also prove extremely taxing.

How do we move forward?

It’s no secret that many conference organizers are opting for hybrid models for future conferences. In other words, attendees will be able to choose between attending in-person or connecting to sessions from the comfort of their homes via the net.

However, at XTRF we’ve truly missed interacting with people in person over the past few years, which is why we’ve decided to go for a 100% in-person format for this year’s Summit 2022.

The relationships we have with our clients are of utmost importance to us, and there’s no better way to nurture them than through face-to-face events. For us, the event is a chance to improve the way we work together and to better understand each other. It’s a give and get event.

By taking the necessary precautions we believe we can host a safe and successful conference packed with benefits for all attendees. We hope to see you there.

XTRF Summit 2022

Karolina Gałek

Karolina Gałek

Karolina has worked in XTRF’s marketing team for five years and is now responsible for managing communications and events. Her exceptional organizational skills were finely tuned during her former career as an events producer in the music industry. A black coffee addict, Karolina also enjoys dabbling in abstract art.

All stories by : Karolina Gałek