Making a connection at virtual events

Anthony Thorn, 04 June 2020

At the beginning of the year I came back to work in the housing sector after an absence of 17 years. I was very keen to reconnect with organisations old and new and to establish new contacts within the sector. A colleague sent me the details of the forthcoming HR and People Development in Housing Conference and I was quick to sign up for this.

I’ve enjoyed events that have been hosted by the NHF in the past but was interested to see what a virtual event would be like in terms of both learning and participation. Having been in lockdown for several weeks my colleagues and I had become used to conducting ‘meetings’ using a variety of social media platforms but I’d never ‘attended’ a virtual conference before. All of the topics being covered looked to be very relevant and of interest to me and I hoped would provide a good insight into latest developments in housing and HR. Before the conference started I chose to take part in a round table discussion, held ‘face-to-face’ via video call, on the challenges of recruiting for care and support in housing.

On the day of the event, I logged on easily and joined the first session about creating supportive workplaces in uncertain times. I was very pleased to see that the presenter and the platform itself allowed for and facilitated audience participation and it was easy to ask questions as the session progressed, which was very good. Other sessions followed in a similar format which made for a really interactive and informative day. I particularly enjoyed the round table discussion which was well facilitated. Everyone had the opportunity to take part and contribute and to gain an insight into what other HR professionals are currently doing in these ever changing and challenging times.

So to sum up I would say that the event was very well organised and hosted on the day, there were some very good speakers and it was great to see and speak with a number of HR colleagues. It’s also useful that the sessions have been recorded and are available to view for the next three months. Without doubt I would recommend NHF events to colleagues and would certainly be interested in attending future virtual events such as this.