How to Get as Much from an Online Conference As an In-Person Conference

Attending a conference can be excellent for you and your business.  You can make contacts and learn new information, but attending an out-of-town conference can also cost a significant amount of money.  You'll need to pay airfare, hotel, transportation to the conference. . .Not to mention finding someone to care for your children.

Another option that can be much easier and cost effective for the work at home mom is to attend an online conference.  Yet, is this type of conference as valuable as an in-person conference?

It can be, if you take the right steps.

1.  Devote your time to the conference. 

You've likely seen the women at conferences who attend sessions but are busy editing their blog and keeping up their social media pages while listening to the speaker.  I've always wondered how much those people truly get from attending the session.  When you're at home listening to a speaker, the temptation to multi-task is even greater.  Try to resist and focus your time on the conference.

2.  Make contacts. 

One of the best things you can do at an in-person conference is connect with other attendees and speakers.  The same goes if you're listening at home.  If you hear a speaker that you particularly enjoyed, reach out to him or her to ask further questions or to offer a compliment on the presentation.  Just because you're at home listening to the conference doesn't mean you can't make connections.

3.  Virtually attend the live events. 

Most online conferences offer you the chance to "attend" the conference while it's happening or to listen to the conference afterward, in a recorded format.  Try to listen live, especially if you have the chance to add a comment or ask a question.

4.  Follow along on social media. 

Every conference has a hashtag you can follow on social media.  Make sure to do this.  Doing so will help you connect with other attendees and make valuable connections.

Choosing an online conference rather than an in-person conference can save you a significant amount of money.  Follow these suggestions, and you can still benefit from an online conference as much as you can an in-person conference.

What other suggestions would you add to make the most of an online conference?

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