I have an admission to make. I miss conferences. One of the things that I really miss about conferences is the backchannel.
A backchannel is an online conversation that’s running concurrently to the live program. It’s a way for conference participants to engage with each other even though they are spread out around the event. The backchannel might include comments about the session like “I’m enjoying this conversation about applicant tracking systems. What vendor do you use?”. It could also include fun banter such as “I’m hungry. Anyone up for a good burger after this session?” You get the point.
The other thing that I miss about conferences is the smart stage programming. Different conferences call this type of brief session different things. But they are quick, to the point presentations about relevant topics facing the profession. I always enjoyed hanging out in the smart stage area and just listening to whoever was presenting.
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) recently launched a new educational offering called Instant Insights. The program is approximately one-hour and it mashes together the two things that I miss about conferences – smart stage programming and a backchannel.
I attended the first Instant Insights program a few weeks ago and it featured speakers Jonathan Siegal, Esquire from Jackson Lewis, Dr. Milton Perkins, vice president at ActOne Government Solutions, and John Baldino, SHRM-SCP from Humareso. They talked about mastering effective communications during the pandemic, defining virtual work, and designing the workplace of the future.
The Instant Insights content was excellent and while the sessions were going on, all of the speakers were engaging with the audience via the event backchannel. I learned a lot and had fun just like I always did at in-person conferences. Oh, and if you’re SHRM certified, the event was worth 1 professional development credit (PDC).
SHRM is hosting their second Instant Insights on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. You can attend the event at 5p or 8p Eastern time. Details can be found on the SHRM website. The topics being covered include knowledge transfer, change management, and manager coaching. I know I’m going to be there. Hope you can join us!10