April 16

How to Attend a Virtual Conference

As I type, I can hear a conference call that my wife is putting on in our dining room her office as I work from my kitchen island personal workspace — while my daughter attends school in our basement her one-room schoolhouse. Needless to say, things are different these days. We’re now living in a virtual world.

The same can be said for life at Product Collective, too. Next week — we’ll be holding the Virtual edition of INDUSTRY: The Product Conference. But we realize that for the 1,200+ or so who are already planning to attend, this very well may be the first virtual conference they’ve ever been to. So we have a few tips for how to make the most of INDUSTRY Virtual — or any virtual conference:

    1. Block your calendar — just like in real life. To really make the most of a virtual conference, you have to get yourself in the headspace that you’re attending an actual conference. Just as you’d block your calendar if you were attending a conference in person, the same should be done for any virtual conference you’re attending. Sure, life will pop up and may force you to step away at times. But don’t try to just pop in in-between meetings.
    2. Get comfortable. You know that normal work spot you use for taking your endless Zoom calls? Step away from it. Instead, choose a place where you’re comfortable. Maybe that’s your super-comfy couch or that recliner you’ve worn in perfectly. Consider hooking your computer up to your television. Grab a coffee. Put yourself in your happy place. Relax. The best thing about a virtual conference is that you can take it in from the comfort of your home. So don’t forget to actually get comfortable.
    3. Remember that it’s not just about the talks. Sure, we all want to find inspiration from a great keynote talk. But it’s not just about the talks. If it was, well — you can just go onto YouTube and search for “Product Management Talks.” There are plenty there. In addition to the talks, take advantage of the virtual networking options — or smaller discussions — that virtual conferences offer. These give you a chance to not just learn, but actually make some new product friends.

We can’t wait for the days that we can gather everyone in person. But as we learned last Fall — virtual conferences can be engaging and inspiring (and also a lot of fun to put on!). 

(We hope to see you next week, too!)

Mike Belsito

About the author

Mike Belsito is a startup product and business developer who loves creating something from nothing. Mike is the Co-Founder of Product Collective which organizes INDUSTRY, one of the largest product management summits anywhere in the world. For his leadership at Product Collective, Mike was named one of the Top 40 influencers in the field of Product Management. Mike also serves as a Faculty member of Case Western Reserve University in the department of Design and Innovation, and is Co-Host of one of the top startup podcasts online, Rocketship.FM. Prior to Product Collective, Mike spent the past 12 years in startup companies as an early employee, Co-Founder, and Executive. Mike's businesses and products have been featured in national media outlets such as the New York Times, The Atlantic, CNN, NPR, and elsewhere. Mike is also the Author of Startup Seed Funding for the Rest of us, one of the top startup books on Amazon.


You may also like