Online conferences have quickly become the norm. Even as restrictions in some regions start to lift, many conferences are offering both online and in-person options. In some ways, online conferences may feel less connected than their in-person counterparts, but an online conference can actually be a great experience with opportunities to network and learn.

This year, KubeCon North America 2021 is offering both an in-person and virtual conference for attendees.

In order to help you make the most out of KubeCon and any future virtual/online conference, we put together a list of our favorite tips to keep in mind!

Mark your calendar

If you’re attending a conference from the comfort of your home or office, you may feel the temptation to carry on as business as usual. However, if you were attending in person, you’d be out of the office and probably away from your email and Slack for the most part. Even if you can’t focus 100% on your online conference, you should mark your calendar as busy so that your colleagues know you’ve got something going on. As much as possible, focus on the conference.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you need to book your calendar back to back. Take some time to breathe and relax in between sessions and don’t feel the need to be in a talk every moment that the conference is running because that can lead to burnout.

Participate

Sure, online conferences may have less opportunities for participation than in-person conferences, but that doesn’t mean you can’t participate at all! Many conferences have online networking opportunities, happy hours, and we’ve even seen online karaoke, show and tell, or talent shows taking place. Try to find something you can participate in, whether that’s something fun after the conference, or perhaps a round table discussion during the conference. Many online conferences have chat opportunities during talks so you can communicate with other attendees and ask the speakers questions.

One of the great things about virtual conferences is they allow for many different types of participation. No matter whether you’re more extroverted or introverted there’s an option for you. If you’re not comfortable jumping into a round table discussion on Zoom, can you try leaving comments on a presentation? Or ask a written question to the speakers during Q&A?

This year at KubeCon North America 2021, attendees will have networking opportunities on Slack as well as the ability to participate in Office Hours. Check out everything that’s included with either the virtual or in-person pass here.

Share what you learn

Take notes during the sessions just like you would for an in-person event and create a blog article sharing about what you learned. Or, you may want to find out the event hashtag and live tweet throughout the conference. Not only will you be getting the word out about the conference, but you might end up meeting fellow attendees and do some networking.

Connect offline

If you do end up connecting with attendees or speakers online, stay in touch. Whether through email, social media, Slack, or getting together in person, building your network is one of the top benefits of attending a conference in the first place, whether in person or virtually. Make a point to reach out to anyone you connected with and keep that conversation going!

Watch the replays

One of the benefits of virtual conferences is the opportunity that many provide to watch replays after the conference ends. If the conference you’re attending offers this, it can be a great bonus. When listening to a speaker, it’s hard to catch everything the first time around, even if you’re good at taking notes. Having the option to watch or listen later can help you retain what you learned, as well as learn some things that you might have missed.

Okteto at KubeCon North America 2021

This year team members from Okteto are presenting at KubeCon North America 2021 and we’re excited that this conference is currently scheduled to take place both in person in Los Angeles and online, so you can pick the option that works best for you. We’ll be presenting during DevX Day and you can learn more about our talks here.

Whether you attend in person or online, we look forward to seeing you there! Register for KubeCon