Signs are indicating that we are slowly moving out of the pandemic. There is a huge pent-up demand to get back to a normal pre-pandemic life. During the past two years, we have learned to conduct our work through other means. For the first few months of the lockdown, I remember getting multiple invitations to webinars and virtual conferences every day. This trend seems to be slowing down as conferences are resuming in-person events, and people engage in revenge travel. Before we start booking trips to events, let’s consider how useful Virtual Events (VE) can be. VE’s are very cost-effective in that there are no travel or lodging costs associated with the meeting. It is likely VE’s will continue to be an important avenues of communication.
So what can we do to ensure our virtual events are productive as possible? First, block out the meeting time and try not to let your day-to-day business interfere. This goes for in-person meetings as well. How many conferences have we attended where the audience is focused on their phone or laptop while the speaker is presenting? All of them, I dare say. Second, listen to the presenters. Take notes and prepare to ask questions. Don’t take this time to check on your Amazon delivery. (I am guilty of this as well.) Finally, interact with the speakers and other attendees. You can do this through the Q&A session or in the chatbox if it is provided. Think of this as talking to the person sitting next to you in the conference room.
While everyone prefers face-to-face meetings, we have grown used to conducting business via a computer monitor. Virtual events, more than likely, will be part of how we conduct business going forward. ANB Systems’ upcoming User Forum is an opportunity to practice these VE meeting techniques. So while you are contemplating that next conference trip, be sure and register for the Users Forum. The Forum will be an excellent opportunity to learn more about eTRACK+ functionality.
Written by – Michael Stockard
Michael Stockard is an independent consultant at Stockard Energy Advising and is a member of the Advisory Panel at ANB Systems. Michael has over 40 years of experience in the design and implementation of demand-side management programs.