Cirrico gives advice on getting the best from Salesforce Nonprofit Summit | April 21st 2021
With the Salesforce Non-Profit Summit just around the corner on April 21st 2021 the team at Cirrico is super excited to be attending.
We are all missing in-person events, especially the amazing Salesforce events which are usually inspirational and high energy. Cirrico’s Technology Impact Evangelist, Laura Croudace asked global events director Rebecca Elcome how do we get the best from this amazing event, virtually.
Rebecca, we’d love to know what advice would you give to someone to get the best out of a virtual conference?
We have a habit of treating virtual events very differently to in-person activity – how many webinars have we signed up for and not attended? Some key tips for getting the best out of an online event are:
- Be prepared and make time to participate fully
I know that this is easier said than done! Set up your workspace to allow this – have your digital notepad (or traditional paper and pen!) on hand to capture notes, set up a shared document or Mural board for you and colleagues to add notes to, close down Slack, other apps and windows, and let colleagues know you’re attending an event, putting an out of office on to reduce distractions.
2) Make sure you’re comfortable – In-person/physical events can be exhausting and being at a screen all day can be even more so. So be sure to create the best learning environment for you to participate in the conference and factor in breaks where possible.
3) Take time to reflect on what you’ve seen and heard – Key learnings, interesting speakers, people to reach out to, follow-up actions that you can implement in your work. Don’t forget to compare and share these with your colleagues and networks or even write a blog to share more widely.
Shifting the way you look at technology from a functional cost to that of a strategic investment aligned with your charity’s mission doesn’t happen overnight. It relies on an outcome-focused approach and champions within the organisation to help make the business case and contribute to its success. Exploring the Art of the Possible arms you with the roadmap of information and understanding that you need to invest in the right technology for your organisation. It helps to unlock the value and ability to achieve what you may have never believed possible.
The energy at Salesforce events is contagious, what advice would you give about staying comfortable during a virtual event?
“When it comes to staying comfortable during an online conference always encourage you to move around a lot and again be prepared if there are sessions that you can join audio only then get connected make sure you’ve got the relevant apps on your phone so that you can even take a walk whilst listening to the conversation instead.
For some of us the best way to engage with a conference it’s to replicate the conference experience and to feel in work mode, perhaps in how or where we sit, or even by wearing more formal ‘work’ attire. For others, being comfortable in loungewear on your sofa watching the content on your lap, or even streaming it through your TV might be your preferred option!
A year on from the start of the pandemic, by now most of us have a sense of what works best for us individually. If you find that you get more out of conference when you can feed off other people, consider catching up with others who are attending during the lunch break or even watching some of the sessions online together via Zoom.”
The Salesforce Non-Profit Summit has so many amazing sessions, how would you go about picking the best sessions to go to?
“Don’t try to do everything! I’ve always aimed for a combination of high-profile and renowned names, those you have enjoyed hearing from before, and the sessions that challenge you to think differently or explore new areas. Take the time to plan in advance, looking at the biogs of the speakers to get a sense of who might have a relevant or inspiring story to share and ask other people if they have recommendations. Events like the Non-Profit Summit offer different tracks which allow you to focus on your particular areas of interest – liaise with your colleagues and others who are attending to make sure you cover all of the key sessions. And of course don’t miss Jane Goodall, Leslie Odon Jnr. or any of the keynotes! “
Rebecca, how would you recommend people at Non-Profit Summit network during and post-event?
“It can still be incredibly difficult to find valuable engaging networking opportunities at events hosted online. Make use of the 2.45pm -16.00pm slot which is the Demo Jam, and networking session, check out who is tweeting about the event on social media, and start a conversation with them.
Connect with speakers! There may be opportunities to do this during the event however you can also use the conference content and key highlights/takeaways to engage with other attendees and speakers post-event. Let them know what you took from their session via LinkedIn or other platforms and use the Summit to build your network. If you do manage to connect with interesting people during the event be sure to exchange names and organisations at a bare minimum in order to connect afterwards or get a digital business card! Virtual networking provides its challenges but for many it is a more comfortable approach within the security blanket of being in your own surroundings!”
Rebecca, you’ve curated some of the biggest nonprofit events, what advice would you give to teams to share ideas post-event, so they can create more impact from what they’ve learned?
“In an ideal world, we’d all have loads of time to meet and share our learnings but in reality, time is limited and it can be super hard to do this. If time allows, use your team meeting to feedback your learnings/takeaways, sharing the links to any on-demand content worth watching and any notes you’ve taken. Add a note in your calendar to regroup in a month’s time to see whether you have successfully managed to explore or implement any of the ideas gathered and what the impact of this has been. “
As leaders In supporting non-profits to accelerate their impact we’re super excited for Non-Profit Summit, and we hope to see you there! Register now, April 21st 2021 – it’s a free event to attend.
About Rebecca Elcome
Rebecca is driven by bringing people together to bring about social change. She has delivered events and engagement strategies for charities, foundations and non-profits in the UK and internationally for 15 years. Alongside delivering events portfolios for Ark and BAFTA, clients have included English National Ballet, Garfield Weston Foundation, Global Schools Forum, Grassroot Soccer UK, The Royal Foundation and Unicef UK.
Working with grant-making organisations led Rebecca to set up the if25 forum for philanthropists and foundation leaders who fund climate, education, health and humanitarian work around the world. Her voluntary roles include Vice Chair of Ignite Hubs education charity and Marketing Consultant for Peace Partners.
Rebecca is currently Director of Strategy at the Resource Alliance – a Salesforce.org charity partner. She recently co-founded FemMentored, a mentoring community for womxn in the social impact space.
Where to begin?
To learn more about The Art of the Possible and how Cirrico can help develop a technology strategy fit for your organisation, please get in touch.