With the Plant Biology 2020 Worldwide Summit off to a great start, the Women in Plant Biology Committee was excited to host our first ever virtual networking session on Monday, July 27! 

Our networking kicked off with a short introduction by Katie Murphy, our Early Career Representative, to introduce the committee and what we do. From there, we split into 15-minute zoom rooms, randomly assigned with about four members, to give participants an opportunity to informally network and meet new colleagues. Without the hallways and poster sessions of a physical meeting, making space to meet new people is important the our conferences. 

While we miss seeing everyone in person, virtual networking has its benefits, too. Without leaving home, virtual networking reduces travel costs and makes content and connection feasible for researchers across the globe. This particularly makes conferences possible for early career researchers, who often do not have the funding support to attend. Random assignments to a zoom room helps us all to meet people we might not otherwise go up and talk to, and eases the burden on those new to networking to take the leap and introduce themselves to a new group. 

Did you attend the networking session? What did you like, and would could we improve for next time? Would you like to see these at other times of the year? Leave your comments below! 

We hope you saw old friends and colleagues and met new ones as well. Check out this FAQ for some follow up questions.  

I missed the networking session, was it recorded? No, this was an informal session and not recorded, but check out some of the other PlantBio20 networking events on the schedule! 

I didn't get someone's contact information, how can I get that? Check out the "attendees" tab on the conference website to search and contact those you met on Zoom! 

I want to connect with a particular group of people, not a random one, how can I do that? Please message the help desk through the conference website, they can setup a Zoom room for you to meet up with your specific friends and colleagues! Limited to 20 people per Zoom. 

Where can I learn more about the WiPB Committee? How can I get involved? Check out this Plantae page for our previous recorded webinars and other activities, as well as ways you can get involved! Follow us on Twitter @ASPB_WiPB for more updates.