Virtual Conferences: Not a Far Reach for Learning
Riding the escalator, balancing a skinny caramel macchiato while waving to colleagues, and being greeted by a huge poster at the top introducing the keynote speakers is how many healthcare professionals start out a medical conference. Or … they could roll out of bed, switch on the computer, and view the keynote presentation by live streaming video as the coffee brews on their kitchen counter.
Virtual conferences have become popular alternatives to brick and mortar professional conferences, mainly because they’re affordable and convenient for professionals whose departments have cut travel budgets due to the slow economic recovery. A report by Market Research Media states, “The virtual conference and trade show market has more than doubled in a year from 2009 to 2011, and we expect a compound annual growth rate of 56 percent through 2018.”
Virtual conference technology is expanding to allow event hosts and attendees to customize their online experience from participating in a single e-learning webinar to a multiday event that delivers live broadcast sessions and postpresentation chat sessions with speakers.
Some virtual attendees may miss the face-to-face networking opportunities that spontaneously happen in the hallways and lounges of a big city conference center. And even the most charismatic speakers might seem to lose their spark if you’re not in the live audience. Yet, virtual conferences offer several advantages that make them worth your consideration:
- Less travel. In addition to saving the costs of the plane ticket and hotel, you won’t have to juggle family and work obligations.
- No more stacks of conference materials. Most virtual conferences are fully archived with online access to presentation materials after the event.
- Connection to a global audience. International attendees have access to a wider range of events that they otherwise could not afford due to overseas travel expenses.
- Convenience: Listen in to a speaker presentation on your PC and easily find another one if it’s not as helpful as you expected. You don’t have to try to duck out the door without being noticed.
- Cheaper continuing education credits. Virtual conferences usually offer a less expensive option for earning CEs.
Make your next virtual conference experience a great one by attending an event hosted by ADVANCE. Find a list of opportunities to put on your calendar here.