So many conferences, but not enough money to travel to them all? Don’t worry, there are still ways for you to get a lot out of the conferences. You won’t be able to do any face to face networking, but your presence doesn’t have to be missing all together. Here’s a few tips on what you can still do while sitting at your home.
E-mail the event coordinator and find out if any of the sessions, panels or keynotes will be streaming live. During the IZEAfest at SeaWorld during the first weekend of October, you were able to view all the sessions live on Ustream.TV. This is a great way to hear and see everything that the attendees are listening to while there. There are multiple different live streaming websites that can be used such as Justin.tv and Livestream.com. A quick e-mail to the coordinator will let you know exactly which site they will be using.
Find out what the official Twitter hash tag is going to be for this particular event and make sure you follow it. If you haven’t attended any conferences then I’ll provide a quick explanation of the hash tag. Attendees are all instructed to use a particular hash tag (#chrisstockerinc) at the end of all of their Tweets. This allows an easy wy to search keywords on search.Twitter.com. This also allows you the opportunity to interact with those at the conference by making comments about the keynote that is going on. You can even pose questions that might possibly make it to the speaker via Twitter.
You may also want to find out from the coordinator if they have an official live blogger or daily recap blogger. Some conferences will have a designated person do this, but then there will be other bloggers who just decide to do a recap on their own. If there isn’t a designated blogger doing this, simply use Twitter to pose the question of if somebody is doing a daily recap or live blogging.
Some speakers presentations may be available online after the conferences. Sometimes these may be for conference attendees only, but in other circumstances they may be uploaded for free to sites such as, SlideShare.net. This site can become your best friend if you are unable to view presentations at conferences. Before the conference begins, once again, find out if any presentation decks will be made available online. Usually the actual videos of the sessions will not be available to those that didn’t pay for the conference, but decks may be.
With so many conferences and the cost of them being high in a lot of cases, plus the travel and lodging, it could just be to overwhelming to attend. If you are only able to attend 1 or 2 shows a year, figure out which is going to give you the most return. Then for all of the others, follow these few tips and you will be listening and viewing just about the same amount of stuff as the attendees from the comfort of your own home.
photo credit: De Balie via photopin cc