This year, for our annual General Assembly, EGU and our conference provider Copernicus have been working hard to provide a much wider range of networking options than we were able to do in the very short time frame we had, in 2020. These networking options are collected into two types: the Conference Networker, with the ‘Handshake’ function; and the Pop-up Networking Scheduler.
If you log in to the vEGU21 platform today you will find that the Conference Networker, linked to your vEGU21 profile, is already functional – so today we are going to explain a bit about the Profile, how the Networker works and what you can expect from the Handshake during the fortnight of the General Assembly. We hope you will be able to use these tools to engage with, socialise with, and learn from one another in almost any way you wish. When the Pop-Up Networking Scheduler becomes live later in April, we will post a follow up blog to help walk you through that too.
The first thing you need to know about when it comes to networking at vEGU21 is your Profile. Your Profile page holds all the information you submit when you registered for vEGU21, but you get to choose how much of that is publicly visible. When you log in to your Profile for the first time you will get to choose what contact information is available, your affiliations, interests, Division choice, policy and outreach interests – you can even add stickers to help you represent your identity and roles in EGU – even your key values and interests, as well as options to add your pronouns. Once you have set up your profile, you are ready to network!
The Conference Networker is a peer-to-peer networking platform that will help you find, meet, and talk with other attendees at the conference. But it’s not just limited to the Assembly! After building your network at vEGU21 you will be able to keep in contact; maintaining lasting connections whilst forging new ones throughout the rest of the year. During the General Assembly you can find other members with similar interests on the Networker, share your profiles with people you meet at the conference, or start group text chats with other members in your network. The first step in building your network using the conference Networker is to use the email addresses of your contacts to search for them and request to add them to your profile. You must search for the email address the person used to register with Copernicus, and you cannot search just by name for GDPR reasons. Once someone receives an invitation to network with you, if they accept, you can invite them to a private chat – or even set up group chats for specific groups of people in your network. For more information on the conference Networker, make sure you check the EGU21 website.
From 19 April, the ‘Handshake’ tool will be one of the quickest ways to build your network during vEGU21. Handshake lets you quickly make contact with other attendees in your virtual conference room and share your Networker profile or start a text chat. When you visit one of the virtual rooms on the conference platform during the two weeks the meeting is live, keep an eye out for Handshake tool, as clicking on this tool will let you see who else is present in the virtual space without needing to know their email address to invite them to be in your network. This spontaneous, proximity based tool will allow you to discuss ongoing topics with new collaborators or have a serendipitous catch-up!
We hope you will take every opportunity to explore the networking options available to you – starting with the Networker in your Profile and the Handshake during the week of the meeting. Please be patient if you experience any technical hiccups, as much of this is being created brand new for us by our conference partners Copernicus. If you need any assistance with your profile or networking tools, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org. We are looking forward to gathering with you online from now all the way up to the end of the General Assembly – and beyond!