Now that the World Health Organization has officially declared Coronavirus or Covid 19, as a global pandemic, a growing number of companies are asking their workforces to work from home, and conferences around the world are being cancelled as a result. Similarly, several companies are embracing virtual conferences to ensure attendees around the world can participate in events from the comfort and safety of their homes.
As of this week, the virus has affected people in 116 countries. In an effort to mitigate further exposure, a number of upcoming events have been cancelled. Due to cancellations, our team at CloudApp will no longer be attending Atlassian or Adobe Summits. Here’s a graphic of our sponsor booth that we would have had at Atlassian:
If you normally attend in-person conferences or meetings at your office, you’re well aware that they offer enormous value for attendees, and can be resource-heavy. As more and more conferences are being cancelled or postponed, it’s easy to become discouraged. However, we’re finding that many of the events are transitioning to online-only events, which is great news for anyone that has been looking forward to a particular event.
As Covid 19 spreads, people across every industry are taking extra precautions to mitigate the risk of spreading sickness. If you have always attended in-person conferences, you might be a bit skeptical about so many transitioning to online-only, or just offering that portion of a conference. You might be wondering, what is a virtual conference? It’s precisely what it sounds like: a conference or meeting that you attend virtually by video, which means participants can log into the conference from anywhere.
In 1993, Alan Saperstein and Randy Selman introduced the first Virtual event by videotaping trade show exhibitors booths and attaching the video to HTML floor maps. Since then, these events have increased in popularity among marketers as they are cost-effective.
Hosting a virtual conference seems like a natural move for organizations that are seeking a cost-effective way to reach a larger audience, but more importantly, for those looking to avoid exposing attendees to potential sickness.
At a virtual conference, you still get to interact with influential leaders, listen and learn from the talks, and receive the same value and resources, but from anywhere. Unsurprisingly, various industries have begun to realize the benefits of virtual conference vs in-person conference as it offers attendees the same value, but without leaving your desk. Simply log into an “event” online, meet and interact with people through messaging platforms, and navigate different “rooms” (aka web pages) to watch various speakers present their knowledge through video. It offers all the same value you would receive at a conference, but at your convenience or the convenience of your attendees.
Make sure if you’re hosting or attending a virtual conference that the platform being utilized has a chat feature, as well as a Q&A portion of the talk, as this key for getting the conversation flowing. Thought-provoking, relevant, and provocative questions during sessions will encourage attendees to participate, which boosts the value of an online conference.
There’s tons of value in hosting or attending a virtual conference. Perhaps you’ve experienced the difficulty of scheduling a time when everyone is available at a certain location for a specific period of time. Perhaps you’ve missed out on an event that you thought would be transformative because you weren’t able to physically attend. The benefits of virtual conference vs in-person conference become far more clear when you consider how difficult it can be to arrange schedules and traveling time.
Covid 19 is rapidly changing the way conferences are being held in the near future, so be sure to stay up to date on conference cancellations and travel restrictions. In today’s world, we have the tools to transform the way you participate in, or host virtual conferences. Having access to so many platforms and tools that streamline the process of hosting or attending a successful virtual conference. Platforms such as CloudApp, Asana, and Slack, means we can still provide or gain the same value as an in-person conference while mitigating the risk of spreading Covid 19.
In addition to conferences being cancelled, many businesses are encouraging, or even requiring, their employees to work from home for at least a couple of weeks. This comes with its own set of challenges, especially if you don’t have a home office or have kids running around. We have put together some resources to help you stay productive despite what may be challenging circumstances.
Check out our Remote Work Guide which features resources such as remote work trends, a list of must-have remote work tools, a remote work team communication guide, and more. Working from home may not be your cup of tea, but hopefully these tips will make the experience better!