Due to the ongoing pandemic, many of the events that we have come to enjoy in the swine industry are changing. Now more professional conferences are moving online and becoming more sophisticated and engaging. Depending on the conference platform, you can log in to a portal (or a lobby), find online networking rooms, visit a virtual exhibit hall, and attend numerous professional development and informational sessions all from the comfort of your computer. This calendar includes all the information you need to prepare for the most anticipated events in the pork industry.
But before registering or attending an online conference, you’ll need to know how to approach the opportunity. Robert Half provides the following tips to make the most of these events. Below the list are key tips.
National Pork Industry Conference
Monday, August 17, 2020 – Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Allen D. Leman Swine Conference
Saturday, September 19, 2020 – Tuesday, September 22, 2020
BANFF Pork Seminar
Tuesday, January 5, 2021 – Thursday, January 7, 2021
South Dakota Pork Congress
Wednesday, January 13, 2021 – Thursday, January 14, 2021
Ramkota Exhibit Hall – Sioux Falls, South Dakota
3200 W Maple St, Sioux Falls, SD 57107
Minnesota Pork Congress
Tuesday, January 19, 2021 – Wednesday, Jan 20, 2021
Minneapolis Convention Center – Minneapolis, Minnesota
1301 2nd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Iowa Pork Congress
Wednesday, Jan 27, 2021 – Thursday, Jan 28, 2021
Iowa Events Center – Des Moines, Iowa
730 3rd St, Des Moines, IA 50309
Missouri Pork Expo
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 – Wednesday, February 3, 2021
Holiday Inn Executive Center – Columbia, Missouri
2200 Interstate 70 Dr SW, Columbia, MO 65203
American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) Annual Meeting
Saturday, February 27, 2021 – Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Marriott Marquis – San Francisco, California
780 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103
National Pork Industry Forum
Wednesday, March 3, 2021 – Friday, March 5, 2021
Omni Louisville – Louisville, Kentucky
400 S 2nd St, Louisville, KY 40202
World AgriTech Innovation Summit
Tuesday, March 9, 2021 – Wednesday, March 10, 2021
San Francisco, California
Alberta Pork Congress
Wednesday, June 9th, 2021 – Thursday, 10th, 2021
Westerner Park – Red Deer, Alberta
Red Deer, AB Canada
World Pork Expo
Wednesday, June 9, 2021 – Friday, June 11, 2021
Iowa State Fairgrounds – Des Moines, Iowa
3000 E Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50317
Ohio Pork Congress
The Pork Show
Pork Management Conference
Tips to make the most of virtual conferences
1. Block your time
Block off time before and after an event so you won’t need to rush from one appointment to the next, and you’ll have time to browse the event’s features and network with attendees. If the event or conference runs all day, block your calendar for the full time. It’s also a good idea to let your manager and team know that you’re treating this as an in-person conference and set up an out-of-office message, asking a colleague to be your backup contact.
2. Explore the opportunity
Before attending a virtual event or online conference, learn about all they have to offer. Many of these conferences will provide a variety of content opportunities, like keynote presentations, workshops, panel conversations or open Q&A forums for attendees. Distinguish between programs you’d like to attend live to engage with the presenter and attendees and those you can watch on-demand at a later time. Can you get continuing professional education (CPE) credits from any of these sessions? Are the slides or other materials available before or after the presentation? Find out as much as you can so you can prepare ahead of time.
3. Engage with the content
It can be difficult to pay attention to someone talking indirectly to you through a screen, while you’re sitting at your desk and messages are flying into your inbox. To help you connect with the content and practice good conference call etiquette, turn off email notifications and put your phone on silent to avoid distractions. Take notes and participate in the discussion by asking questions during the Q&A or sharing challenges or experiences in the larger group chat.
If the event has a virtual exhibit hall or trade show, dedicate some time to browse through it. Companies exhibiting at the virtual booths offer an array of content, including videos, surveys, documents, website links and sometimes even prizes and games. Depending on the platform, you can also chat one-on-one with a live representative, which is a great networking opportunity (and segues into our next tip).
4. Network with attendees
You may not believe it, but it can be just as easy to network at online events as it is at in-person events. You can’t make comments to the person sitting next to you at a keynote presentation, but you can directly message someone who asked a particularly interesting question during a webinar or Q&A forum or set up meetings with them in a virtual breakout room.
If the conference or webinar platform doesn’t provide these built-in networking capabilities, take note of a potential contact’s name and follow up with them on LinkedIn. You now have something in common with people attending the online event, so it should be easy to make a connection.
5. Determine your takeaways
After you attend an online or virtual event, think about how it can benefit your career or business. What leadership advice from the speaker can you incorporate into your management style? How can you apply new industry strategies to your current business challenges? If you think your team or colleagues would also benefit from anything you’ve learned, ask them if they’d like to receive an email with detailed notes.
Time set aside for professional development is always time well spent, whether in-person or virtual. Now you’ll know how to approach online conferences and take full advantage of the educational and networking opportunities there.
We hope you find this calendar of upcoming swine industry events useful. Enjoy each conference, seminar, or expo that you attend. Stay safe!
Check out our blog for more news on the pork industry.
Robert Half. (2020, March 26). How to Make the Most of Online Events and Conferences. Retrieved August 05, 2020, from https://www.roberthalf.com/blog/salaries-and-skills/how-to-make-the-most-of-online-events-and-conferences