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How to make the most of Culture First, a global virtual event series
Contributor - Kelly Luc

Kelly Luc

Senior Content Marketing Manager, Culture Amp

Culture First EMEA, a virtual experience, is fast approaching! On March 22, 2023 we’re connecting as a community to explore how culture, science, and innovation can guide us through the challenges of reworking work for everybody.

We’ve compiled a list of tips to help you prepare for this full-day event and get as much as possible out of it.

Illustration of four different hands, all making a different hand gesture.

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Before the event

  • Block off the time on your calendar. One of the most challenging parts of attending a virtual conference is that you’re vulnerable to outside distractions. It can be difficult to focus on the sessions when your personal life is all around you, and your work is just one window (or tab) away.

    To counteract this, clear your calendar, set yourself as “out-of-office,” and turn your notifications off. Research has shown that multitasking doesn’t work, and trying to do so can negatively impact both the quality of your work and your experience at Culture First.
  • Let others know you’re busy. Create the right environment by letting the people around you know that you’re attending a live virtual event. Create expectations around when you’ll be free to talk and when you would appreciate focused quiet time.
  • Review the agenda and make a plan. Set aside 10 minutes before the big day to look over the agenda and identify the speakers you’re most interested in. Decide which breakout sessions you want to attend, and set calendar reminders. Although most of the sessions will be available on-demand after the event, it’s more exciting to participate live – and you don’t want to risk missing the start of a session because you tuned in at the wrong time.
  • Attend with others. Just because Culture First is held online doesn’t mean you have to attend alone! Invite your colleagues to join you, and consider organizing a viewing party with your teammates or ERG members. You can also meet and connect with others in your local community by joining a Culture First Chapter.

    Make it an occasion, and encourage the group to register so you can attend together, whether you connect virtually or get together in the office. After the event, share and discuss your thoughts and learnings!
  • Pick out your “Belonging Badges.” Every Culture Amp event aims to create an environment of inclusion, belonging, and intimate connection. One way we do this is through “Belonging Badges.” At in-person events, these are pins that people wear to share aspects of their identity that aren’t apparent through physical appearance.

    At Culture First, you’ll be able to choose and display your Belonging Badges on your profile. Examples of badges you will be able to choose from include: Adopted, Charged with a crime, Introvert, LGBTQ+, Single Parent, Thrill Seeker, and Veteran.

    Once you log into the platform, you’ll be asked to fill in your profile. At that time, take a look at all the Belonging Badges available and choose the ones that resonate the most with you. It may be a little scary to share your identities with others, but this is one way we can build trust and open up the door for more meaningful connections.
“I thought the belonging badges were a great touch that I had never seen before but will look to utilize in the future. Having the speakers share their badges upfront helped me connect with them as humans and not just professionals leading an event.”

Attendee from Culture First 2021

During the event

  • Join the opening session to kick-start the day. Culture First Americas will begin bright and early in the morning. Meet fellow attendees, network, and learn how to navigate the platform.
  • Visit our Welcome Booth. If you have questions or require any resources, pop by our fully-staffed Welcome Booth! The Culture Amp team will be happy to help you navigate the platform and share information about the event, our speakers, how you can join our community, and more!
  • Interact and connect. Culture First is an opportunity for the community to connect on the most pressing issues in today’s world of work. Most of the sessions will be streamed live, so you’ll be able to participate in polls, ask questions to speakers, and start conversations with other attendees. Using the platform, you can even have a private video call with someone you really connected with during the session, or schedule time to chat in the future.
Screenshot of a 2021 Culture First session
  • Network with others. This is where the Belonging Badges come in handy. Visit the People tab in the event platform for personalized recommendations on who to connect with based on your stated interests and identities. There will also be networking breaks and connection hours throughout the event for you to meet others organically.
  • Take a break. Everyone needs time to relax, so be sure to stand and stretch regularly. You may not be sprinting across a large conference hall, but it’s still quite exhausting to attend a full-day conference. That’s why we partnered with Unmind to provide periodic 30-60 second wellness breaks to help cultivate mindfulness and self-care.

    In between sessions, you can also relax by visiting the Expo tab. Jam out to our DJ or unwind by watching some cute, live-streamed koalas in our Koala Cam Room.
Culture First 2021 Photobooth
  • Snap a picture at the photo booth. Pop into our photo booth between sessions to take a picture (or ten).
  • Share your experiences. Post pictures and takeaways on LinkedIn or Instagram with the hashtag #CultureFirstGlobal.
  • Take notes. Have a way to capture your favorite thoughts and tips. Although taking notes digitally has become increasingly popular, we personally recommend a good old-fashioned notebook and pen. Research shows that taking notes by hand is better for learning, but every person is different, so use the method that works best for you!
Overall the value from this conference was incredibly high, thank you so much for putting it on. My CEO has been reading my notes and was totally blown away.

Attendee from Culture First 2021

After the event

  • Reach out to your new connections. Stay connected with the people you met during the conference. Connect with them on LinkedIn, send a message, and find some time for a phone or video call.
  • Set up some time to review and re-watch. Was there a favorite session you want to revisit or a key point that you keep wondering about? One of the best parts of attending a virtual event is being able to re-watch the sessions on-demand.
  • Find your people. Just because the Culture First event has ended doesn’t mean the Culture First experience is over. Link up with people just like you, living in your area – and discover what you can achieve together by joining a local Culture First chapter or our People Geek Slack.

Join us at Culture First, a global event series

Culture First EMEA is coming up soon, and we hope these tips will help you prepare and make the most of the experience. Together, we’ll dive into the data, learn how to overcome unexpected change, and gain the clarity we need to design impactful employee experiences for everybody.

What’s next

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