Planning your 2021 conference schedule: five tips to conquer Zoom fatigue

Video conferencing is how we do business - for now at least. Here’s how to stay sane without stopping your business growth in this new online order

Planning your 2021 conference schedule: five tips to conquer Zoom fatigue

If your new normal means hours staring at the bright white light of webcam meetings, we understand why the idea of a whole conference playing out on your PC monitor might feel like a drag. Of course there are worse problems to have right now, but there are plenty of advantages to taking part in an event like Pocket Gamer Connects Digital, whether that's from the comfort of your home office, office-office - or even the beach!

It might sound like living the dream, but who’d have thought that being sat inside all day could be so tiring? Your Pocket Gamer team is becoming experts at this now, having run a bunch of digital conferences, RoundTables, MasterClasses and podcasts via the internet since the first lockdown last year. So here are our top tips for beating Zoom fatigue:

1) Make meetings shorter
One of the smartest things you can do to ensure your online experience is productive is to keep working blocks short and to the point. That goes for one-to-one meetings, group calls, webinars and conference sessions. We already knew that nothing drags like a two-hour briefing, but your mind will definitely wander now the work environment lives within the confines of your monitor.

Pocket Gamer Connects conferences have always specialised in snappy seminars that get straight to the point and we've found that's more important than ever now we’re digital. Talks are typically no more than 20 minutes - or 40 minutes for the bigger panels - so you can easily fit them around your schedule, absorb the information and move on.

Give a potential client your full attention over Zoom, but don't forget you can afford to let a conference run in the background

2) Mix it up
Have you found yourself losing track of time during the pandemic restrictions? We hear you. The reason your days are bleeding into one another is that the human brain craves variety and it's missing that right now. The best way to keep your attention firing and your imagination revving is to plan lots of distinct activities.

3) Plan your time
Zoom fatigue sets in when there’s no end in sight. We don’t know about you, but nothing drains us like an afternoon of meetings with no agenda. One of the best things you can do for yourself while working from home is plan your calendar (ideally with varied activities – see above) and stick to it. You’ll be more effective when you know exactly why you’ve tuned into a Zoom session, and when it will be over so you can follow up with online meetings, emails and Google Docs.

Events like Pocket Gamer Connects Digital enable you to schedule the talks and panels you want so see, as well as individual meetings, so make sure you take advantage of that.

4) Stay connected in the background
One of the biggest distractions is Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO). To avoid that additional stress, keep half an ear on a conference track of interest - you never know when an expert speaker will bring up your hot topic! Of course you'll want to give a potential client your full attention one-to-one over Zoom, but don't forget that at events, talks and panels run all day, all week. One of the advantages an online conference has over a live event is that you can afford to let it run in the background and dive in when something grabs you.

5) Take regular breaks
The usual rules of the workplace apply just as much – if not more – at home. While you’re logging into a conference, remember to get up and stretch from time to time. Take lunch. Get some air. Look out of the window. And grab a beer at the end of the day to mark the grand finale.

And speaking of endings, that's the last of our tips to survive the Zoomageddon! If you're planning to attend Pocket Gamer Connects Digital with us in a couple of weeks, this should all help. Behind the scenes, the team has worked hard to ensure that your time with us is both as productive and as enjoyable as possible. We’ve planned all our sessions to provide short, sharp insight with time for relaxed Q&A between talks, as well as extended breaks. In terms of variety, you’ll find 14 conference topic tracks at PGC Digital #5 this Feb, plus a ton of fringe events to make it memorable.

We look forward to meeting you all in person again in London this July, but we hope you'll find our online conferences no less essential in growing your business. Armed with these few tricks for overcoming Zoom fatigue as you continue to connect with the global games industry, we'd love to welcome you next month at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5. Tickets are available now with savings of up to $210 until midnight this Thursday Jan 28th. There are still some free indie developer tickets available too, so apply now if you're a small studio.