Today's post comes from Lindsay Williams, one of the organisers of “Women in Language” which is an online language conference, that features some of the many amazing and talented female language learners and experts from around the world.
Take it away Lindsay!
Oh hey! Lindsay here from Lindsay Does Languages. Kris has let me take over his blog for this post to share with you some benefits of attending an online language event like Women in Language.
I’ve been working online since 2014 and in 2018, I co-hosted the first Women in Language. This is an online event to celebrate, champion and amplify female voices in language industries.
I thought it would be fun to showcase what females are doing with languages for International Women’s Day and when I brought my co-hosts Kerstin Cable and Shannon Kennedy on board, the event became a reality. On the 7th-10th March 2019, we’ll be live for the second ever Women in Language and can’t wait to do it all again!
But I get it.
It may seem at first that an online language event isn’t quite the same as a real-life language event.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing language events that take place in “real life” offline. However, in this post, I want to share some of the benefits of attending an online language event.
- You don’t need to get on a plane
There’s a whole range of amazing language events going on around the world every year, from the Polyglot Gathering to the Polyglot Conference, from LangFest to more specific events such as retreats and academic conferences.
It would be amazing to spend a whole year travelling the world and visiting as many of these events as possible but for most of us this just isn’t possible. Plus, jetlag? No, thanks.
With an online event, you don’t need to worry about driving to the airport at 4am and remembering to pack your toothbrush.
Very helpful if you’re not a fan of long haul travel. Even more helpful if you can’t jet off for a weekend away.
Women in Language lasts 4 days and has presentations at various times from 10am to 10pm GMT across the event. So you can join in from anywhere live for at least some presentations without pesky jetlag getting in the way.
- You can catch up on all talks right away
One thing that always amazes me about any language event is the choice of presentations. I’ve learnt so much about languages and topics I previously knew nothing about as a result of attending talks at language events.
But there’s always at least one time slot when there’s at least two presentations that both sound incredible at the same time. How do you choose?!
With an online event like Women in Language, you don’t have to choose.
We have one track of live presentations running and if you miss any due to other commitments or, you know, sleep because timezones, then you can catch up.
All attendees get recordings instantly of all presentations so even if you can’t join live, you can still watch later. It’s basically Netflix for language learners.
- You get to chat before, during and after the presentations
But we haven’t forgotten about one of the other great advantages of an offline event – the chance to meet people who speak a whole ton of languages from all over the place.
For Women in Language, we host a Facebook Group before, during and after the event to allow all attendees, hosts, and even some speakers to join the conversation. So if you do miss something live, you can still share your thoughts after your catch up with the recordings.
One thing I wasn’t expecting from Women in Language in 2018 was the community that quickly formed around the event. It was incredible to feel like people were making friends and lasting connections with people they otherwise wouldn’t have met.
This year, we’re even introducing a time slot for Lightning Talks, so all attendees have a chance to present at the event.
- It saves you some serious cash
As much as travel can be great, one of the clear downsides is the cost. There’s the flights to think about, accommodation, transport, food, insurance, sometimes visas and more. Phew.
Women in Language is open to all and we want to make it as easy for everyone to attend by offering tickets for the lowest price we can. Tickets for Women in Language (including access to all recordings) are just $29.
And if that’s not possible for you right now, this year for the first time we’re offering the chance to apply for a donated ticket.
When you get your ticket to Women in Language, you have the option to donate towards a ticket for someone else who would like to attend but can’t due to the cost. To learn more about this, check out our website.
- You can join in your pyjamas!
There’s nothing wrong with getting dressed. It’s probably a good thing we don’t wander around naked or head to the supermarket in our dressing gowns.
But there is something quite comforting about the fact that you could join an online language event in your pyjamas. No one has to know!
Only the speakers and hosts will be on camera so you get to show up wherever you are, however you want, no judgement.
Notebook and favourite drink recommended. Pyjamas optional.
Come Along to Women in Language!
If you’re feeling pretty excited to come to an online language event after reading this post, then you’re welcome at Women in Language. We’d love to have you join us!
By the way, the ‘women’ in Women in Language refers to the speakers only. Everyone is welcome to attend the event. We can all learn a lot from the line up of incredible speakers we’ve got for 2019.
To learn more and get your ticket for Women in Language 2019, click here to visit our website.
Looking forward to chatting with you at the event. Tell us that Kris sent you!
What are the benefits for you of attending an online language event? Share in the comments!
A big thanks to Lindsay for organising the event, and sharing it here with the Actual Fluency audience.