The ALA Virtual Symposium starts this Monday, and while it will have a lot in common with the annual ALA Conference that American Lighting Association (ALA) members have enjoyed for years, this is the year 2020 and everything has not been as expected so far due to the pandemic. As a result, in lieu of an in-person gathering, this conference will occur online.

The educational seminars and networking groups that ALA members have relied upon for business inspiration will be offered as usual, only this year they will be accessible through live Zoom sessions. Since attendees are not gathered in one location as an audience and will instead be viewing sessions while at their respective businesses where interruptions can occur, sessions will be recorded and available for registered attendees to access when convenient afterwards.

Seminar highlights include: a presentation by The Retail Doctor on the top five ways to boost sales; panel discussions on the future of connected products; working with designers to increase showroom business; and a breakdown by a renowned economist on the changes coming to the business and economic landscape in the midst of COVID-19 as well as the upcoming Presidential election.

For a full list of educational sessions and events, click http://bit.ly/Sysched

Notes Eric Jacobson, ALA President & CEO, “We are excited to be hosting the ALA Virtual Symposium. We have a great line-up of speakers who will be covering topics that are highly relevant to today’s world. The Monday afternoon Welcome Party presents a unique opportunity for members have face-to-face discussions with industry peers through custom avatars in The Echo virtual world — all while enjoying a live concert on the beach. We look forward to providing a venue for everyone to connect, learn and focus on improving their businesses during these unprecedented times. “

How the Welcome Party Will Work

For starters, laptop and desktop computers are the recommended way to participate in the event as tablet and mobile platforms will not be supported.

The Welcome Party event is included with the cost of symposium registration thanks to sponsorship from Intertek, Kichler, Lutron, and Savoy House; however, it requires separate registration and that users download an app on their desktop or laptop computers. Attendees are encouraged to sign up for this event and download the app as soon as possible to prepare ahead for the party.

In the virtual world, Welcome Party attendees will be able to control their avatars through their keyboards and a series of quick, clickable commands. To converse with others, attendees can use their computer microphones and speakers; however, it is recommended that a headset with a microphone be used for the best audio quality. Attendees can also hold private conversations in meeting rooms and other areas (i.e. a virtual sports field and a beach setting) as well as type messages to individuals or the whole group through a chat window.

According to the ALA, “The Welcome Party hosted in The Echo virtual world is about as close to an in-person large networking event as we can hope for during these times. Attendees will download the virtual world app, create a custom avatar, and be able to talk through their computer mics with one another, explore the ‘world’ and hear a live concert by Nashville artist Tony Lucca.”

To register for the ALA Virtual Symposium, click https://bit.ly/SympoReg