How To Network At Virtual Conferences

Virtual events and conferences have exploded since the emergence of Covid-19, becoming a necessity for many businesses and organisations. As we mentioned previously in our last blog post, virtual conferences bring numerous benefits for both attendees and for the those who are hosting. In short, you still get to hear the latest developments and insights from keynote speakers and authors from the comfort of your own home, with no added costs for travel and accommodation.

Adjusting to virtual

It is important to point out that the change to online conferences can certainly pose challenges to some aspects for attendees. For instance, some argue that hosting virtual conferences can effect the networking element due to the lack of face-to-face contact. But like anything, virtual conferences require some adjustments. Once you’re familiar with the tips and tricks of how to network virtually, you can reap the rewards of having access to an even broader range of like-minded people who are attending the conference from multiple locations across the globe.

“If I had to pick one thing you gain from attending a virtual conference over an in-person event, it’s the instant ability to connect and learn from people around the world in real-time. Face-to-face you listen to speakers and meet interesting people in the coffee line but online you can actually interact in really deep ways with one another.”
David McLeod
Thoughtexchange

As we mentioned previously, Cyber Science 2020 has moved to a virtual conference. So in order to ensure you get the most out of your conference experience, we’ve gathered tips on how to network at virtual conferences. This way, you can take advantage of the fact that Cyber Science has been made even more accessible to a global community of academics and industry professionals within the cyber security industry. 

1. Be fully present

Whilst attending online events, there is certainly a greater risk of becoming distracted. In order to avoid this make sure you block your calendar and minimise any potential distractions  such as email or social media notifications. This can help you to be fully engaged and present at every element of the conference and avoid missing out on any networking opportunities.

2. Engage with the conference hashtag

Be sure to search for the conference hashtag (#CyberScience2020) on Twitter and LinkedIn to look for other attendees and authors who are at the conference and connect with them. You can also use the hashtag so that others can find you as well.

3. Plan your week

Cyber Science is spread across 5 days in total. As we’ve already mentioned, the risks of becoming distracted are much higher at virtual conferences than in person. With multiple parallel presentations and keynote talks a day, it’s vital that you plan ahead and make note of the talks you definitely do not want to miss out on. It’s likely that the best networking opportunities for you will be amongst those who are attending the presentations that you’re most interested in.

4. Engage in Q&A

Make sure that you get involved in the Q&A sessions on Zoom. Asking an engaging question may open up a dialogue between you and the speaker or author which you may want to continue after the conference session has concluded. 

5. Do your research

A full list of authors who will be presenting alongside their research topics will be available on the conference schedule. Make note of which authors you may want to connect and network with in advance of the conference. You can even connect with them on social media such as LinkedIn beforehand. Download the conference schedule here. 

6. Attend our LinkedIn event

Be sure to attend our Cyber Science 2020 LinkedIn event so you can connect with other attendees. You can head over to the event and attend it here.

7. Take advantage of breaks

There are multiple breaks scheduled across the week between sessions, providing you with the perfect opportunity to get networking with other attendees. Connect with other attendees by organising some virtual coffee breaks!

Despite what some may believe, virtual events certainly do not lessen the amount of networking opportunities for those who attend. It’s simply up to you, the attendee, to put in as much effort as you would face-to-face. Be sure to use these tips on how to network virtually in order to make the most out of any virtual conference experience you may encounter. Don’t forget to attend our LinkedIn event to make yourself visible to other attendees, and if you haven’t already register for your place at Cyber Science 2020 today!

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