- Social Media
- Active Citizenship
- Good Giving
- Corporate Responsibility
- Be Fearless
We are officially T-minus 24 hours until launch of the first ever Millennial Donor Summit, or MDS11 as we fondly refer to it around here. For us, MDS11 is an experiment in virtual convenings - bringing together some of the brightest voices on the topic of millennial engagement, and encouraging dialogue around the best ways to involve this important demographic in the work of nonprofits and social causes of all shapes and sizes. Since this is the first time we’ve tried our hand at a virtual convening, we reached out to some of our friends who also happen to know a thing or two about making the most of online conferences.
I’m grateful to Beth Kanter, Holly Ross and Allyson Kapin who exchanged some emails with me last week and offered their best tips and tricks for a successful convening. Much of their advice was geared specifically to us as organizers, and we’ve tried to incorporate those pieces into the day accordingly – but they also had the following advice for you as participants. (What’s that, you’re not a participant yet? No worries – the conference is virtual which means there’s no travel, and still time for on-the-spot registration here.)
- Make sure you login and scope the place out - get comfortable with the navigation and site functionality before the summit begins. It will make for a more enjoyable experience if you’re already comfortable with your surroundings.
Speaking of surroundings, whether you’re tuning in from your desk or joining your colleagues in the conference room make sure you have what you need to stay caffeinated and fed. It’s a jam-packed program, and you don’t want to miss anything.
However, if you do miss something – don’t worry, everything is being recorded and will be available to you immediately following the sessions. You can always go back and revisit your favorite sessions or find new ones you may have missed.
Make sure to share your experience – you’ll be able to interact with panelists and ask questions via live chat functionality. So, don’t forget to follow and contribute to the sidebar conversations and ask questions of the panelists. You can also follow and contribute to conversations on Twitter by following the hashtag #MDS11.
Stand, don’t sit – at least that’s what Beth Kanter says – her final bit of advice was to find a standing desk – which looks something like this, I presume. We don’t care if you stand or sit, we’re just excited you’re joining us.
In addition to the tips above, our partners at Achieve provided a list of ten very practical ways to make the most of tomorrow’s virtual summit:
- Download and print the full program.
- Use the agenda to plan which breakout sessions you want to see live. Don't worry about missing any though, because you can download the recordings after.
- Read about the exhibitor booths and make plans to stop by to chat with representatives during the day, before and after speaker sessions.
- Don't forget to stop by the virtual lounges during breaks for interactive discussions in chat rooms with leaders from The Case Foundation, Chronicle on Philanthropy, AFP, NTEN, and The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.
- Follow our official blog team before, during and after for their perspective on the conference:
- Read the Chronicle of Philanthropy live Millennial chat transcript to start thinking about questions you want answered during MDS11.
- Join the conversation and make connections by following the #MDS11 hashtag.
- Check out our listing of speaker twitter handles in advance.
- Download the 2011 Millennial Donor Report.
- Read the FAQ’s to get any more questions answered.
If you’ve participated in a virtual summit and have tips and tricks, please include them below in the comments.