AORN Blog - The Periop Life

8 Tips to Navigate a Virtual Conference

Virtual Conference Image

September 9, 2020

COVID-19 has changed the way outpatient teams interact with each other and stay on top of important industry practice updates and skills. Getting the most out of a virtual conference will provide your entire surgical team with the latest trends and practical tools to bring back to your outpatient department or ASC.

We’ve put together these top eight tips to help you prepare for the Virtual OR Excellence conference experience – and any other virtual conferences and meetings you plan to attend this fall and beyond.

  1. Block Out Time on Your Calendar. Seems simple enough, but you should treat your attendance at a virtual conference as if you had traveled there in person and have committed to being at the educa­tional sessions, all the network­ing events, and the informative (and fun) trade show portion of the conference.
  2. Seek Management Support. Ask your supervisor to support online continuing education days for your team. Share the program and point out what you’ll specifically bring back to the organization. Offer to prepare and deliver a short in-service presentation to your coworkers to share what you learned. Remind your supervisor that it’s also an efficient way to earn contact hours.
  3. Minimize Distractions—or Don’t. Now is the time to close the door to your office and leave the kids and pets to fend for themselves. Find a quiet place where you can invest in your­self and start learning. On the other hand, you may prefer a different approach; you could invite your kids to join you in listening to inspiring keynotes and watching new product demos. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to share your perioperative passion with loved ones.
  4. Share an “Aha” Moment. With a live virtual event, you can chat in real-time with other attendees and share insights in the chat functions without losing a minute of the presentation. Don’t be shy — this is a great way to participate with new colleagues in your community.
  5. Interact with Speakers. This is a golden opportunity to interact with top experts in the field, perhaps more so than during a con­ventional in-person event. Use all the networking tech tools avail­able to “be present.”
  6. On Demand Means Just for You. It’s easy to forget the value of an hour-long presentation carefully prepared by someone who has not only encapsulated key learning strategies but also focused on top­ics that can be instantly translat­able to your own facility and pro­fessional life. These are the “nuggets” that propel your career. So, don’t neglect to view, replay, and relive the presentations that resonate for you.
  7. “Shop” Online. When attending a virtual trade show, make sure you visit the exhibit hall to experience product demos, get company reps contact information, and download handouts. Prior to the event, talk to your surgical team and representative on the value analysis committee about the products and services they would like to learn more about. 
  8. Hang-Out and Engage in Networking Events. You never know when you’ll meet that significant person who can help further your career. It might be online or at a large annual conference when travel opens again. Use all the opportunities to make new friends and professional connections.

Whether you’re planning for your first virtual conference experience or you’re a seasoned pro after seven months into the pandemic, apply these tips to get more out of these new educational opportunities to continue building your perioperative career.

This article originally appeared in Outpatient Surgery Magazine. This version has been edited specifically for The Periop Life.

ORX Event Image

Our annual outpatient conference, designed for leaders in hospital and ambulatory surgery settings, will be held online October 22 – November 20. The virtual trade show, live keynotes, workshops, and networking events will kick off the conference Oct 22-23 and resume every Friday.

This year’s conference is free for AORN members. Take advantage of this unique opportunity and pre-register early for guaranteed first-day access.