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Virtually no downsides – reasons to attend a virtual event

The last year and a half has seen the boom of online events.

You might already have been a veteran of the webinar, or you may have never joined an online event or conference in your life before March 2020.

Whatever the case, the chances are that most people will now have attended a virtual event. And, while not always perfect, there are certain upsides to accessing an event online as opposed to attending in person.

1 – Join from anywhere in the world

Provided you calculate the correct timezone, you can participate from wherever you are in the world: a different country, a train journey, your dining table. And speaking of home, let’s not forget that you can wear whatever you want. There’s no need to grab your suit or high heels, you can join from the comfort of your sweatpants if you choose.

2 – Fit it around your day

Convenience is key. People still have busy working schedules, some more so than ever in these times when business continuity is critical and you can’t take your foot off the pedal.

With an online event, you’re not confined to sitting through talks and workshops from 9-5. Once you’re signed up, you can dip in and out as you please all day – choosing the most relevant sessions to you and fitting them into your free time.

3 – Watch on repeat

Online events streams are often recorded, which means it’s not one “blink and you’ll miss it” live speaker session. Attendees can still access recorded versions of panels, workshops and keynotes after the event has taken place, meaning you can return to it repeatedly. This greatly increases the true educational value of these events, eliminating the need to take notes or try and remember what was said. Revisit and retain the knowledge as many times as you like.

4 – Cost efficient gatherings

This speaks for itself; the obvious elimination of costs to the individual or business are astronomical when travel, accommodation, per diem, etc, are removed from the equation. All that remains is the registration fee, which is often cheaper or entirely free at online events.

5 – Networking 2.0

While the social aspect will be something that many people miss from live, in-person events, it may surprise you that networking can be just as effective virtually.

There is less of a time crunch, trying to squeeze in as many face-to-face meetings as possible between sessions, as is often the case when attending live conferences. It can actually be easier and more timely to collect and exchange information with the people you meet online, and arrange follow-up chats for another time outside the event.

However, there are also some streaming platforms with private breakout or meeting rooms that allow you to partake in this on the day, like any other live event.

Overall, there are a great number of upsides to attending an event virtually. Sure, we’ll all miss the socialising, and catching up with that colleague you haven’t seen for years. But in this day and age, the world is so truly technologically connected, that we’ve shown we’re capable of doing most of these things online pretty successfully.

As an aside – another great benefit these days is the aspect of safety. While it feels like we are almost eased out of this strange period of the past 18 months, and while there are many who will be desperate to get back to the norm of meeting colleagues in person, it is worthwhile maintaining caution when it comes to gathering immense numbers of people.

ScotlandIS is holding our annual ScotSoft event online once more this year, as we wanted to bring our industry and the tech community together again in a safe space, to learn, share and reconnect after one of the most challenging times we’ve faced in recent years.

However, you’ll be delighted to hear that in conjunction with Scottish Government guidelines, the Young Software Engineer Awards dinner will be taking place in person at the EICC on Thursday 7th October. Numbers will be restricted to ensure that our guests feel as comfortable as possible – final table bookings are available now.

If you want to know more, to book your free place for ScotSoft 2021, or your YSE dinner ticket, you can do so here.

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