Monday, July 11, 2022

Tips for Virtual Conference Attendees

I'm working behind the scenes at WriteOnCon, so am incredibly biased towards that conference, but here's some things I find help make virtual attendance go well. I do live alone, which does help.
Things to do before:
Charge all the things. Even if your are planning to move no more than 2 inches from the outlet, during conference just do it. Don't forget any and all earbuds or headsets that need charging.
Plan food. Your choices may well be, much delivery. But plan ahead. Anything that's going to require timing, like throwing something in the oven or hit yes please on delivery, plan when. Consult the schedule. Plan for snacks, and drinks. 
Consult the schedule. Do any necessary time zone math. Figure out breaks, food, bio, etc. If it's a packed schedule, try to pick one block you might skip. You don't have to.
Is everything live? Are the live things being recorded?
Set up any browser caption plugins if they aren't already.  Even if your hearing is great, the choice to read but not listen may be useful.  

Day(s) of: Dive in. If the schedule is jam packed, remind yourself to move, even if it's just wiggling your shoulders. Have drinks and snacks nearby. 
Listen with the ear gear of your choice. The ear gear will let you stand or stretch or move just a little bit over for some sessions.  
Pay attention to your body. 
Turn on things like captioning so that if your ears object, you can maybe just watch for a session. 
Eat a food. 
Do one session oriented differently. Even if you are on the floor of a tiny coat closet, just shift over a bit. Move the chair, move yourself a little. Staring at the same distance is tiring. Changing it up, or even closing your eyes and listening for a bit can help. 
Stretch. Often. 
Drink things.  Often.  
Remember that there is no prize for attending and reading and listening to all the things the fastest.  And sometimes, even if you don't take that break, just spending few minutes thinking about some of the stuff is great.  
Also, have fun!