How to get the most out of online conferences

It’s no surprise that virtual events have been on the rise this past year. It’s also no surprise that some folks are a little anxious about joining a digital conference for fear of not getting what they want out of the experience. So how do you maximize both? Read on for tips on how to get the most out of virtual conferences and bring your best self to the remote event day!

5 tips for getting the most out of online conferences

Establish a goal

Wayne Dyer said it best: Our intention creates our reality. When it comes to digital conferences, you’re going to get more out of your experience when your intentions are properly set going into the event.

Before registering for an online conference, ask yourself what goals you’d like to achieve using information gleaned from the experience. Here’s a list of our favorites to help get you started:

  • Learn more about which class management features are essential to your business
  • Gain a business growth opportunity
  • Find more flexibility connecting to customers via mobile
  • Feel more confident attracting new staff

Prepare your schedule

If a digital conference publishes its schedule ahead of time, take advantage of it. Schedules that include anything from breakout sessions, main stage appearances, networking events, and more can help you create a clear idea of how you’re going to spend your time.

Choose your sessions

Going into each virtual conference with a prepared schedule in mind will help you focus on the business building content that’s most important to the growth of your swim school, gymnastics gym, or dance studio, instead of wasting time each day popping in and out of sessions that don’t resonate with your goals.

Network with your peers

Know whether the virtual conference has designated times to network with other attendees or if you’ll need to build in time between sessions to connect with peers.

Give yourself a break

When preparing your virtual conference schedule, know when you and your team are going to need a break.

Maybe you need to teach a class.

Maybe you need to post monthly tuition.

Or maybe you just need a second to grab a cup of coffee and an afternoon snack.

If you try to take everything in at once, you’re likely going to end up overwhelmed. Listen to the needs of your team, your business, and your body. Take breaks, then take advantage of any on-demand content so you can stream the rest of the conference later.

Gather the essentials

A common misconception when it comes to attending a virtual conference is that you only need a computer and internet access. While that’s an important component, there are other essentials you should consider gathering before Day 1.

Grab your team

Unless you’re a team of one, there’s no need to spread yourself thin over the course of a virtual conference. Many virtual platforms offer sessions geared toward youth activity center owners, directors, admin and staff.

More is more when it comes to consuming great content. So grab your crew and buckle up for a day of learning.

Even Ron Burgundy needed his news team.


Get some refreshments

Coffee and water and snacks, oh my!

Perhaps one of the most essential essentials during a virtual conference is refreshments. At Jackrabbit we understand the importance of nurturing athletes’ bodies, so we expect nothing less from virtual conference attendees.

Take advantage of the additional resources

Why should you take advantage of the resources provided by the conference? Because they are there to help you grow!

Complimentary user training courses? Okay!

Free trial? Why thank you!

Dedicated time with conference exhibitors? Yes, please!

Keep an eye out for resources, opportunities and other tools that allow you and your team to get the most out of your virtual conference experience.

Ask for advice

Regardless of if you’re participating in a virtual or in-person conference, one of the most important things you can do is to ask other attendees for advice.

Sure, listening to innovative breakout sessions will play a key role in helping your youth activity center strategize for the upcoming season. But engaging with other attendees, presenters and vendors will help supplement strategies learned in session with the real-life experiences of your peers.

Roundtable discussions are all the craze at virtual conferences. Be prepared to participate in discussions surrounding your industry and other areas of expertise, such as marketing to new students, staff retention, community reputation, and more before you sign on.

Be yourself

Chances are you didn’t follow the crowd when you opened your swim school, gymnastics gym or dance studio. You took a chance, followed your heart and accomplished something that was completely and 100 percent true to you.

Much like when you opened your business, the most important thing to do when attending a virtual conference is be true to yourself. From there, everything else will fall into place.

Save the date for Jackrabbit’s 2021 BOOST Virtual Conference!

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About the Author:

A lifetime dancer turned marketing professional, Molly pulls from her experiences in the dance studio to connect with Jackrabbit clients. As part of Jackrabbit's Marketing team, Molly focuses on providing Jackrabbit clients with exciting class management tips and loves sharing the benefits of using Jackrabbit Class with anyone who will listen! In her spare time, you can find Molly in the backyard with her family or in Boone, NC cheering on the Mountaineers of App State!

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