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Like so many conferences this year, CAHSPR will be hosting the 2022 annual conference virtually on May 31st to June 2. If you have not already done so, please be sure to click the link below to check out the speakers we have lined up for this year and secure your spot for the event. You won’t want to miss it!

While the last two years forced events to be virtual, the trend of digital events likely will be here for the foreseeable future. Some of the benefits from attending an in-person conference is the travel away from your work, your home, and your responsibilities. A virtual conference offers none of that, but you can manufacture an environment in which replicating the conference experience happens on a virtual level.

With virtual conferences continuing to be on the rise, there are more opportunities to attend conferences you may never have been able to before, and network and learn from a wider range of people. But, virtual conferences, as you know well by now, require a different kind of focus. Sitting and watching a screen at a virtual event is not as stimulating as being surrounded by fellow attendees in hotel ballrooms or large meeting facilities.

Disconnect from other responsibilities: Try your best to block off your calendar, set your email to “out of office” mode, and dive into the virtual event as much as possible.

Change environments: if the opportunity is available to you, try to get out of your house or office when attending a conference. The change of scenery can help get your mind in the right space for learning. All you need is your laptop, headphones and some strong wifi!

Make your comments and questions count: When asking questions or participating in an interactive component of the conference, do your best to be clear and concise.

Simultaneous sessions: Take advantage of the wealth of sessions you can attend during and after the event. You no longer have to feel awkward walking out of a session that doesn’t work for you. Now you can just leave the virtual room and go into another one within seconds.

Interact: With virtual conferences you have the ability to chat in real-time with other attendees using the chat/Q&A features to share insights and ah-ha moments, and in many cases interact with the speakers to get more value. This synchronous interactivity isn’t easily possible in face-to-face events with the entire audience as it is with a virtual audience.

Participating live: Some virtual sessions allow you to participate live where your camera is on and questions can be asked directly. Presenters love being able to see the faces of the audience members to see reactions and social cues. Be aware of your microphone and ensure you remain muted until called upon to participate for live Q&A.

Breaks: Stand up and stretch. Go outside for a 15-minute walk. Refresh your cup of coffee. Sometimes just that small amount of movement will improve your ability to participate in sessions throughout the day.

Live and On-Demand: Virtual conferences come with a variety of content – some that have to be viewed in real-time and some that can be watched at your convenience. Consider adding ‘live’ or ‘on-demand’ when blocking out your calendar.

Technology Reminder: Make sure to run updates on your browsers and to any platform apps you will be using (ie. Zoom) to make sure that your system is set up to its full compatibility for the event. Doing this several days in advance of an event also ensures that you are familiar with any of the new features that updates may bring to your system.

For more information about Virtually CAHSPR 2022, we invite you to click the link below. We hope to see you at this year’s virtual conference!

Sally Clelford

CAHSPR Association Manager