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When getting up close and personal with large groups of people becomes dangerous, meeting up in meatspace can be hazardous to your health. As convention centers around the world stay empty due to coronavirus concerns, more and more tech brands are hosting and participating in online conferences to fill the void.

We wanted to understand what you look for most in these events. There are many reasons to attend online conferences — from virtual sessions to online expo halls and chat interactions with your peers — but which factors are most important to you when evaluating whether or not to go to a virtual event?

I wanted to pose this question to everyone so the Community can better understand how everyone else is feeling. Give your two cents by voting in our anonymous poll to help us rank the top things IT pros look for in a digital conference. Then, feel free to elaborate on your selections in the comments!

What do you want to get out of online conferences? Anonymous
Choose up to 4 options:

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21 Replies

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NetTechMike
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Where is the SWAG option?

Just kidding, but seriously, swag?

19
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Marvinthedepressedrobot
Thai Pepper
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Swag... yes swag. No, if you want honesty I'm in a position now to move up in my career so I want to network and learn more tech. Those will be my main focus over the coming year to branch out a little more.

6
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Deathwish707
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Peter (Spiceworks) wrote:

When getting up close and personal with large groups of people becomes dangerous, ...

It's not like this is a new thing.  People are yucky and walking virus factories.  Doesn't concern me much.  I'd rather meet in person if economically feasible.  Otherwise, I'll join remotely.  Just my 2-cents.

5
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Peter (Spiceworks)
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Deathwish707 wrote:

Peter (Spiceworks) wrote:

When getting up close and personal with large groups of people becomes dangerous, ...

It's not like this is a new thing.  People are yucky and walking virus factories.  Doesn't concern me much.  I'd rather meet in person if economically feasible.  Otherwise, I'll join remotely.  Just my 2-cents.

Maybe I should have written: "Now that people are extra yucky, online conferences are all the rage!"

9
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Redmeat
Chipotle
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Connecting with peers is huge. You can just mention a product and get useful feedback from regular userfolk

4
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molan
Mace
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Now if only we could get rid of the distraction factor that comes with an online conference.  Like block all calls, walk in visitors, issues, streaming and internet so my focus and computer time are only spend on the online event.... You know like if I was actually there.

I find I can't focus with online events the way I can in person... always something to distract me.

9
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grsl
Cayenne
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Deathwish707 wrote:

Peter (Spiceworks) wrote:

When getting up close and personal with large groups of people becomes dangerous, ...

People are yucky and walking virus factories.

Say no to meatspace meetings. :)

1
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John5152
Datil
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Still no substitute for getting out of the office and having a night or two in a nice hotel (preferably with someone else picking up the bill!)

3
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Super_Pallet
Thai Pepper
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Super_Pallet

Once you filter out the sales pitch, it's all and always about Q&A, new tech, and best practices. 

1
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deanmoncaster
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i read this thread as "what do you do to get out of online conferences" and i thought. i just log in and forget about it and let it end naturally. then i realised i read it wrong and now i have no idea how to answer the question.

3
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alekseiharlasov
Serrano
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Free breakfast

4
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BiscuitKing
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molan wrote:

Now if only we could get rid of the distraction factor that comes with an online conference.  Like block all calls, walk in visitors, issues, streaming and internet so my focus and computer time are only spend on the online event.... You know like if I was actually there.

I find I can't focus with online events the way I can in person... always something to distract me.

That's why if it an important one I ask to be allowed to work from home that/those days.

0
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Super_Pallet
Thai Pepper
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Super_Pallet

alekseiharlasov wrote:

Free breakfast

Free breakfast on an online conference? That's new, but I want some :D 

3
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davidkenney
Serrano
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How-Tos and How-I-Do-Its.  I like the second one better because of the wide variety of environments out there no one is same.  Seeing how many people get the same job done helps me piece together better ways to get mine done, whether it is cost, time, or mental savings.

2
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Peter (Spiceworks)
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Super_Pallet wrote:

alekseiharlasov wrote:

Free breakfast

Free breakfast on an online conference? That's new, but I want some :D 

I guess they could mail you a box of Frosted Flakes.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

2
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jameswalker20
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Deathwish707 wrote:

Peter (Spiceworks) wrote:

When getting up close and personal with large groups of people becomes dangerous, ...

It's not like this is a new thing.  People are yucky and walking virus factories.  Doesn't concern me much.  I'd rather meet in person if economically feasible.  Otherwise, I'll join remotely.  Just my 2-cents.

"Ugly giant bags of mostly water!"

Star Trek Generations, "Home Soil"

0
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molan
Mace
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BiscuitKing wrote:

molan wrote:

Now if only we could get rid of the distraction factor that comes with an online conference.  Like block all calls, walk in visitors, issues, streaming and internet so my focus and computer time are only spend on the online event.... You know like if I was actually there.

I find I can't focus with online events the way I can in person... always something to distract me.

That's why if it an important one I ask to be allowed to work from home that/those days.

I work from home every day.... Still has the same problems :-) Fewer walk in distractions but those are still present

1
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mikestreufert
Poblano
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mikestreufert

molan wrote:

Now if only we could get rid of the distraction factor that comes with an online conference.  Like block all calls, walk in visitors, issues, streaming and internet so my focus and computer time are only spend on the online event.... You know like if I was actually there.

I find I can't focus with online events the way I can in person... always something to distract me.

I am the same, even if I put it on my calendar and let folks know, I still get constantly bombarded by work-mates.  I am still working on conference vids from April. 

*looks at tabs of KB4con videos* "Don't worry, I will get the last four of you someday"

1
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Glenn_P
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Peter (Spiceworks) wrote:

Super_Pallet wrote:

alekseiharlasov wrote:

Free breakfast

Free breakfast on an online conference? That's new, but I want some :D 

I guess they could mail you a box of Frosted Flakes.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Keep your flakes! I work with enough of them already.

Gimme bacon!

2
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Jeff5329
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Deathwish707 wrote:

Peter (Spiceworks) wrote:

When getting up close and personal with large groups of people becomes dangerous, ...

It's not like this is a new thing.  People are yucky and walking virus factories.  Doesn't concern me much.  I'd rather meet in person if economically feasible.  Otherwise, I'll join remotely.  Just my 2-cents.

Pretty much agree, I usually distance myself to the back right corner anyway but the Big C aint no joke and I'd like to wait as long as possible until I get it. (which will eventually happen) 

0
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Hardwareguy
Chipotle
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Hardwareguy

Swag! Is always an important option. But on an important note so the connecting with people and learning from others experience. The worst part about an online conference is can't turn off my computer to attend it. 

0
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