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87: How to Attend a Virtual Event

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This transcript has been automatically generated.


Bonnie Christine [00:02:13]:

Welcome to the Professional Creative podcast. Excited to dive into what I think is a super relevant and practical topic today. How to squeeze every last drop of value from a virtual event. We've all been there, logged into our webinar or conference or workshop, only to find ourselves distracted, multitasking, or, you know, falling asleep or just not engaged. And so I wanna talk to you today about how to really fully prepare and immerse yourself in a virtual event and how to make it as enriching and beneficial as if you were there in person. So whether you're looking to network for her learn or simply have a good time learning something new. This episode will be your guide to making the most of your next virtual gathering. So, you know, I think really for many, many years, but especially since we had the pandemic.

Bonnie Christine [00:03:23]:

There has been this movement of moving so much online, and that's really incredible because so many people can have access now to learning incredible things from wherever they are in the world. But As I've mentioned before, our focus and attention is our rarest resource, and so we have to figure out how to hone that in so that we can actually get enough out of these, amazing events. So I'm gonna be covering 5 different kind of buckets for you to think about when you plan on joining something virtual in the future. So this could be a 1 hour workshop. It could be a live q and a, or it could be a 3 day online conference. And so I've done all of these many times over the last few years and have absolutely learned what really sets me up for success as opposed to kind of having 1 ear listening and and one, You know, you're kind of multitasking on the side or just not really being fully committed. So number 1 is all about pre event planning. There are a couple of things that I do and suggest that you do before you ever even get to the event.

Bonnie Christine [00:04:43]:

The first is to really set your intentions. So before the event, really understanding and figuring out what you want to get from it. You can establish some clear goals and questions that you'd really like to get answered. You know, I just got back from a mastermind. And at the very beginning, we were called to really just have about 5 minutes to think about our intentions and write 3 or 4 of them down. And I could not believe we kinda came back to it at the end of 2nd day, and almost everyone's intentions had been completed. And so there really is something to that. Set your intention so that you're sure you're getting out of the event what you really need most.

Bonnie Christine [00:05:28]:

The next is just a tech check. Just ensure that all of your technology is functioning. Like, your camera or your mic, your Internet connection is good. Just do a little tech check. Make sure it's all in working order so that you don't have any issues when it's time to really get going. And then pre event planning, the next thing is to block off the time. And so just make sure you've reserved this period exclusively for the event. Nothing feels worse than having something pull you away or something pop up on your calendar.

Bonnie Christine [00:06:04]:

So block it off as soon as you know it's coming up. Okay. So number 2 is physical and emotional preparation. So the first one is really about mindset. I want you to show up to your next virtual event as if you were physically present, really arriving in your mind to this is what you're doing today, and you're gonna get everything out of it as you possibly can. The next one is kind of around self support. So can you really treat yourself to this event? Can you almost use it as a form of self care. As much as it is business, it is also about your well-being.

Bonnie Christine [00:06:47]:

And so it's a creative opportunity, and you can ensure that the people around you kind of know your do not disturb status. So I love to tell my family or anyone else that may be coming in or needing me or interrupting that day that, listen. I'm attending this event. I'm gonna be all in. My focus is gonna be here, and I'll let you know, you know, the break schedule and things like that. But for the most part, my intention is on this event for this day or this hour or this weekend. And then the next 1 is really to set your stage. So prepare your space.

Bonnie Christine [00:07:25]:

Make sure that it's clean. I mean, some of you might not be the same as me, but I love just walking into a tidy room when I wanna get to work. Otherwise, it just kind of nags at me. And so I want it to be well organized. I want it to be clean. And so I have a conference coming up. The surface design immersion live is coming up later in October, and it's a two and a half day event. And so two and a half days is a long time to sit maybe at your desk per usual.

Bonnie Christine [00:07:58]:

And so I would love if you're attending that event to think about how you can be ultra comfortable. Do you want to maybe sit in a different place or just make sure that you're comfortable in what you're wearing and have your creature comforts around you just to really make sure that you're feeling inspired and also, you know, cozy, like, absolutely treat yourself. And on that note, number 3 is creating the ideal environment. And so I like to think about ambiance. So making the setting a little bit luxurious, and it can really help it feel like it's both a business investment and an investment in my personal well-being. We do a live virtual conference like nobody else. Sessions will allow for real time interaction, questions answered, and a sense of community that's honestly hard to match. Our event kicks off with open studio night on October 19th where you'll get to peek behind the curtain of some incredibly successful artists and designers.

Bonnie Christine [00:08:58]:

The next 2 days, you'll immerse yourself in keynote sessions and workshops where you'll learn, interact, and have all your questions answered. Come engage with like minded creatives, make meaningful connections, and open the doors to collaboration. And because we know you're busy, we're also courting every session so you can revisit and absorb this wealth of knowledge at your own pace. Head on over to bonnie christine.comforward/ 2023 Immersion Live to join us. So think about having a candle lit or Fresh flowers or something that's inspiring in sight and then having treats along the day. So maybe you have a warm cup of tea. Or if you're like me, it's your oat milk latte. And you're just really indulging in the entire experience and treating yourself to it.

Bonnie Christine [00:09:49]:

And can you see how that's a little bit of a different way to show up? Like, you've really marked it off as if you were attending in person. Because if you were attending in person, think about it. You would have packed your bags. You likely would have flown on a plane. You would have gotten excited and thought about it ahead of time, And then you would have gotten up early and make sure that you are ready and wearing something that, you know, you were happy with, and then you would be, like, fully immerse present and focused when you got to the event. And so part of the luxury here is that you don't have to pack your bags and get on a plane and and get overly dressed up or anything. But it is important to think about arriving with that same excitement, focus, and intention for the day. The next part of creating your ideal environment is that I'd love for you to think about screen choice.

Bonnie Christine [00:10:44]:

You know, automatically, we think we're gonna be attending via a computer. But it's also really fun if you have, I think, probably just like a HDMI cord to hook your screen up to a larger screen like a TV or even a projector. And so you might think about broadcasting the event, the workshop, whatever it is, to a larger screen so that it feels almost more like entertainment and all consuming. Because if you're like me, if you're watching on the computer, the temptation to multitask is almost overwhelming. And so what if you put it on a TV and really set the stage in that way, and then it feels more like entertainment and an entire event. Finally, I mentioned this a little bit before, but I do think it's important to just put your household on notice. Let everyone know that you're gonna be immersed in this event, and it's gonna better set you up for success. And maybe someone in the house will come and, you know, refill your coffee or refill your tea or just help kinda create that space for yourself.

Bonnie Christine [00:11:55]:

Number 4 is all about maximizing focus and participation. And I know you know this, but what's as something that we all struggle with is just our ability to focus. And this focus is, like, the number one way to get the most out of the entire event. So first of all, eliminate distractions. You should clean up your space and also clean up any unfinished business. I love to just kind of close as many of those open loops as I can before I go into something big, like an event or a mastermind or a conference. I don't want anything kind of nagging at me in the back of my mind about something that I didn't get finished. And so I try to clean up any unfinished business and truly remove distractions.

Bonnie Christine [00:12:46]:

So I'm closing down all irrelevant tabs. I'm, you know, potentially moving unrelated tech like my phone to another room, and I'm fully immersed in the event. I want you to really commit to the attention, and one great way to do this is to commit to keeping your camera on. You know, as the event like speaker. So for instance, at my conference, I'll be speaking a lot. It's always really nice to be able to see who we're talking to. So I always encourage people to keep their camera on. But from your perspective.

Bonnie Christine [00:13:23]:

Committing to keeping your camera on will also help you commit to being focused and not multitasking. If your camera's off, be overwhelming temptation to multitask is it's just it's too much. Keep your camera on. It'll help keep you accountable to paying attention. And then there's also a little bit of digital etiquette. I personally love it when I'm attending something, and they just let me know what the etiquette is because sometimes I don't know. And so there are just some virtual do's and don'ts, if you will. So for instance, when you come into a virtual room.

Bonnie Christine [00:14:01]:

Make sure you're on mute. Right? So mute yourself, and don't unmute unless we've called on you or something like that. And then be punctual. So the event likely has a start time and lunch and coming back time and breaks and then an end time. And we, as event planners, typically love to stay on schedule as much as we can. So having people there ready to go and excited always feels just incredible as the host of the event. And then if you're in a Zoom room, oftentimes, we'll have people raise their hand. And so some people will do it, like, on the camera.

Bonnie Christine [00:14:38]:

But the best way to do it is to use the reactions tab at the bottom of the Zoom like screen, And there will be a virtual hand that you can push, and that kind of bumps you up to the top of the screen where the host can see you and then potentially call on you. I'd also just say be mindful of body language. Like, if you can imagine what it feels like to be on a stage speaking to people. Their body language matters. You know? If they're kind of falling asleep or they look like they're doing something different or they just look board out of their mind. It totally affects, like, how you show up. And so as an alternative to that, People looking at you and smiling and nodding their head or laughing, that makes you feel, like, Incredible. And so just be mindful of the fact that the host can see you, and it is absolutely gonna impact the energy of the entire event based on how everyone is reacting.

Bonnie Christine [00:15:40]:

And then, you know, don't do things like eat on camera or walk around the house, you know, cleaning with your laptop because we get, like, motion sick. So, you know, just be mindful of that. I would also say don't use any, like, distracting grounds. You know, if you need to use a Zoom background, something clean and nondistracting is fine, but some of them can be a little wild. And then I would just encourage you to really be mindful about engaging. You know, many online conferences have the opportunity for you to connect with other people. You can do this via the chat. You can do it via community, and sometimes they'll have breakout sessions.

Bonnie Christine [00:16:20]:

And As the host, you know, we if we ever announce a breakout session, I see the attendance drop by, I don't know, at least 25%. And I always think, listen. I get it. It's not super for comfortable to go into a Zoom room and meet and talk with people that you've never met before. But on the other hand, the connection is so incredible. And you never know who you're gonna meet. It could be your next big opportunity. It could be someone down the road that, you know, invite you to be on their podcast or you find someone who can partner with you or collaborate in some way.

Bonnie Christine [00:16:59]:

And the other thing that I know is that we're a lonely bunch. Whether we really realize it or not, we're lacking, come like, community in our lives. We're lacking that deep connection. And so when you're at an event And you're you're in a room filled with people who are interested in the same thing. What a what a gift it is to just meet a few of them. And so I always encourage you to just meet those people, be up for a good time and communicate and connect as much as you can. Okay. We're on to number 5, and this is all about personal comfort and some post event actions that I recommend.

Bonnie Christine [00:17:41]:

You know, we mentioned this a little bit before, but just make sure you're comfortable. There's nothing like having to sit uncomfortable, and this This is one of the best things about attending virtually because I've been at in person events stuck in a chair all day that was uncomfortable. The last event I went to was freezing cold all day, and so you get to be home or at your office. So be comfy. Wear soft clothes, have blankets if you want. Like, just just really indulge. And then also permission to, you know, get up and stretch and move and go on a little walk and make sure that you've got all the food and refreshments that you need. You know, one thing that I love to suggest is planning for takeout for, meal delivery during a long conference.

Bonnie Christine [00:18:33]:

And this just feels like, you know, at the end of the day, you might not feel like going and cooking. You might not feel like going out either. And so having your family, take care of meals for you or planning in advance for some kind of delivery. It just feels like an extra bit of taking care of yourself. I would also highly encourage you to just take notes. Take as many notes as you can. Sometimes we think we'll go back and relisten, and sometimes we do, but oftentimes, we don't. And so taking notes in the moment of when you're learning and listening is incredible.

Bonnie Christine [00:19:12]:

And most importantly, what I love to do after a conference is block off at least an entire day to go back through my notes and really, like, dive into them. So I'll have written down things I wanna research. I'll have written down books that were mentioned or podcasts that were mentioned. And then I'll also just wanna figure out my next steps. And so this is an error that I see a lot of people make. They'll go to a conference and then they just dive right back into work as soon as it's over, and they never had time to really think about how they wanna implement it. So the way that I do this is that I typically take notes on paper in a notebook with a pen or a pencil. And then after the conference or the mastermind or the workshop, I'll sit and I'll type up my notes in a Google Doc.

Bonnie Christine [00:20:02]:

And so that way, I have them forever. I don't have to worry about figuring out what notebook they're in later. I can reorganize them. I can link some things, and then I've got this. I actually keep 1 Google Doc for all of the events I go to, so it's just this epic, like, note recap. And I know where to go when I wanna find something that, you know, I wrote down during an event. And then my last suggestion would be to be willing to give feedback. So many times, these events will send out a post event survey afterwards.

Bonnie Christine [00:20:36]:

I know we do. And it's always really impactful to get feedback from the attendees. And this is really because we want to make the event better and better and better and better. And so we wanna hear from you. How was the schedule? How were the speakers? Who would you like to hear from next? What suggestions do you have on us improving it. Did you like the swag? All of that kind of thing. And so if you attend event and they ask for feedback, do them a solid. Give them the feedback that you have both good and constructive so that the event gets better and better and better.

Bonnie Christine [00:21:13]:

So as a recap, we went over pre event planning, some physical and emotional preparation, how to create the ideal environment, how to maximize your focus and participation and then some post event actions. You know, the Effort and prep that you put in before a virtual event will truly pay off, like, tenfold during and after the event. So from setting the right ambiance to being mindful about how you engage. You know, every little detail really adds up and makes a difference. So if you found these helpful and you know of anybody who is planning to attend a virtual event soon, Send this over to them so that they can get every ounce out of it as well. My friends, create the beauty that you want to see come live in the world. And remember, there's room for you. Mark your calendars for this October 19th through 21st because our annual conference for creative immersion live is coming up.

Bonnie Christine [00:22:21]:

We've gathered a spectacular lineup of industry leaders, artists, and entrepreneurs like Amy Porterfield, Morgan Harper Nichols, glow atano and Nicholas Wilton, plus many, many more for an unmatched virtual conference experience. Immersion Live this year is all about the art of business for the professional creative. Over 3 days, you'll unlock strategies to guide your business effectively refine your designs and establish a flourishing creative career. And the best part is that you can experience it all from the comfort of your own home. We do a live virtual conference like nobody else. Sessions will allow for real time interaction, questions answered, and a sense of community that's honestly hard to match. Our event kicks off with open studio night on October 19th, where you'll get to peek behind the curtain of some incredibly successful artists and designers. The next 2 days, you'll immerse yourself in keynote sessions and workshops where you'll learn, interact, and have all your questions answered.

Bonnie Christine [00:23:25]:

Come engage with like minded creatives, make meaningful connections, and open the doors to collaboration. We're also recording every session, And so you can revisit and absorb this wealth of knowledge at your own pace. Head on over to bonnie christine.comforward/2023immersion

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I'm Bonnie Christine.


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