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Make the most out of attending a virtual conference

21st July 2021 | Author: Zoe Jackson

It’s hard to believe a whole year has passed since Microscopy & Analysis 2020. You would think a year of not leaving our homes would be akin to watching paint dry; painful and endless. Yet time has flown by.

M&M was, for many individuals, a first foray into virtual conferences, creating entirely new experiences for attendees, presenters, and exhibitors. My role at Oxford Instruments is heavily involved in organising both physical and online events (if you’re a regular attendee of our extensive webinar series, then you are likely familiar with the sound of my voice), and as such at the turn of 2020 I was involved in a lot of conversations as to how we, Oxford Instruments, could continue to show up for our customers and provide the same valuable experiences that we do in person.

Our first challenge was to figure out exactly why people attend events. Of course, the answer will vary from person to person, but general consensus was, first and foremost, networking; followed closely by keeping up to date with scientific advancements, and education.

M&M 2020

If you’ve physically been to an M&M show, you will know that we run a broad schedule of presentations, demonstrations, and other activities. The goal has always been to make sure that our technique experts can help you to get the most out of your equipment and research.

In that regard, very little changed last year. Products were launched, presentations from experts were given and on-on-one demonstrations were available.

The difference?

Much of the value of attending shows, both for us and you as an attendee, are those informal conversations on the booth. Maybe you didn’t want to book a whole meeting slot, your question could be answered in a few minutes; or perhaps you were new to electron microscopy and didn’t know enough about any of the techniques to understand how they could translate into your research.

We missed out on those engaging conversations, but there were positives as well. Being virtual means we can share our advances with a far wider number of people, all from the comfort of our own homes and offices. Schedules are far more manageable, especially as many sessions are available on demand. Finally, can anyone honestly say they missed the long distance travelling to get to the conference? The fussing of taxis, planes, and hotel rooms… Probably not.

So, what’s new?

M&M 2021 will be virtual again, and we’re delivering a jampacked schedule of presentations, spotlight sessions and vendor tutorials. We will be presenting our latest technological developments that further push data acquisition and analysis in the SEM. You can expect to learn about the enhanced AZtecLive chemical imaging functionality, helping you to get the right answers quickly, confidently, and consistently; new AZtecFeature offers the fastest, smartest and most accurate particle analysis; novel AZtecWave functions bring EMPA-like capability to the SEM; smart tool advancements in AZtecHKL and AZtecCrystal include new guided workflows and parent grain analysis viewing mode to allow a powerful correlative approach to EBSD.

If you like to stay up to date with Oxford Instruments and our technology, it’s likely you know that we’ve recently announced the acquisition of WITec – a world leader in their field of nanoanalytical microscope systems. Not only will we be presenting our newly launched products, but we’ve also organised a full week of demo availability for both NanoAnalysis and WITec products. Make the most of M&M week by requesting a demonstration today.

As I mentioned earlier, networking is one of the top-rated reasons for attending an event. Despite the discomfort many of us feel on-camera in a Zoom or Teams call, we’re all social creatures at heart, and a lot of that interaction is sorely missed during virtual events. To combat this, we’ve got several different ways of staying in touch during M&M that will meet your video-ready comfort levels. On booth, we have experts on hand via our video chat, for a less on the spot conversation you can send us a question via our text chat (also on booth). Alternatively, on our website right now, you should see a tab on the bottom right of your screen offering you a live chat with our experts. We’re on hand and ready to help you get the most from your analysis.

To view the full breakdown of our M&M offerings, visit our event page today. We hope to see you there.

Ask me a question Zoe Jackson

Zoe Jackson
Event and Content Marketing Executive

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