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FIGT2021: What to Expect in Our Virtual Conference

15 Feb 2021 8:40 AM | Anonymous

FIGT2021 is our first virtual conference! So what can you expect from it? Logistics Director Tanya Crossman and Programs Director Stephen answer some questions. 

what to expect at figt2021 virtual conference

We are excited to host the annual FIGT conference virtually for the first time (12-14 March 2021) — but we are sure you have many questions about what to expect. We asked Logistics Director Tanya Crossman and Program Director Stephen Toole how the conference is being set up to make sure your experience is the best possible. 

Who can participate in FIGT2021? 

The conference is designed for anyone who is globally mobile or works to support those who are. It’s open to everyone, both FIGT members and non-members.


Can I simply show up or is registration required?

You will need to register for the conference in advance to attend. Closer to the conference date, you will receive the details to access the conference site.

The closing date for registration is March 10.

Once you are registered for the conference, you do not have to pre-register for specific sessions; you can just show up. 


So how will the FIGT virtual conference work? 

Over 12-14 March 2021, there will be three live conference sessions (“days”), each four hours long, with concurrent presentations. We’ve staggered the times of the three sessions so that at least two should fall in your time zone.

Each four-hour session will have a variety of events, many of which will include a live Q&A text chat you can participate in. There will be ways to connect with other attendees outside the sessions and engage in text and video chats. More on that below!

In the lead-up to the conference weekend, we will have two welcome sessions on Sunday, March 7, and from Monday, March 8, to Thursday, March 11, two Forum sessions a day (again, more on that below).

You can check the full conference schedule for specific times.

After the sessions take place, the recordings will be available on-demand for six months afterwards, so you can go back and explore at your leisure.


Do I have to download an app?

No, you don’t need to download an app. You can access the content via a web browser (Chrome is recommended). This means it will work better from a desktop or laptop computer, rather than from your phone.

Some sessions may use Zoom; you will be redirected from the conference platform if that’s the case.


What kind of events can I expect at a virtual conference? Will FIGTs signature Kitchen Table Discussions be available virtually?

We have tried to honor the FIGT conference format while at the same time creating something new.

▶ Lead-up to the Conference: Forums

As mentioned above, we will kick off the lead-up to the conference with two welcome sessions on Sunday, March 7.

And from Monday, March 8, to Thursday, March 11, we’ll have two Forums a day. Targeting specific audiences within the FIGT community, Forums will be 60-minute sessions with multiple presenters and plenty of discussion time.

▶ During the Conference

The conference will offer many kinds of presentation and discussion formats. Most will be followed by a moderated live Q&A that you can take part in. 

  • Daily Keynote Presentations. Be inspired by speakers Ezinne Okoro, Ragil Ratnam, and Danau Tanu!

  • Power Panels: 40 minutes of presentation by panelists followed by 10 minutes of moderated Q&A. This year, there are two Power Panels.

  • Power Presentations: 30-minute presentations on a single topic with one or more presenters, followed by a 10-minute moderated Q&A. There will be six sets of Power Presentations (two on each of the three conference “days”).

  • Lightning Presentations: Fun and inspiring talks based on a powerful question or idea. The speakers are accompanied by 20 image-based slides, advancing automatically every 18 seconds. The Lightning Sessions will be held on the third “day” of FIGT2021.

  • Guided Discussions: 15 minutes of presented content (no PowerPoints), followed by a 25-minute discussion on the topic, guided and moderated by the presenter(s). These are the virtual take on FIGT’s popular Kitchen Table Discussions, inspired by the original discussions around Ruth Van Reken’s kitchen table that led to the start of FIGT. There will be three sets of Guided Discussions over the three conference “days.”

  • Poster Presentations: 3.5 minutes of content to display ideas worth spreading. They will run at specific times on all 3 “days.”

Please explore the full schedule.


One of the wonderful aspects of an FIGT conference is the many opportunities to connect with like-minded people. How will networking work virtually?

At an in-person conference, we can connect with anyone through the conference app, and that same opportunity exists in the virtual conference. You can look up individuals you are interested in connecting with and send them messages through the conference platform.

  • There will be text chat functions in the public “virtual lobby” of the conference site as well as in every conference session. Every time you are watching a presentation, you will have the opportunity to contribute and interact via text chat. 

The trickier part is recreating the community feel that is such an integral part of the FIGT conference experience.

  • For this, there will be Coffee & Connect rooms that function as coffee lounges, where text and video chats mirror the experience of meeting up with old friends and new over food and drinks. These Coffee & Connect rooms will be hosted by specific entities working with FIGT.

    These community rooms will open at specific times, both before and after the weekend sessions, to make sure that no matter what time zone you are in, there will be an opportunity for you to connect with others.

A lot of time, energy, thought and care has gone into crafting opportunities for community building and connection. We hope that you will agree they are more than mere corporate networking but feel like FIGT’s “reunion of strangers” experience, in a virtual context.

We will also be introducing the FIGT2021 Games, so look out for more information on another way to have fun and connect with others during the conference!

FIGT is excited to welcome you to our first virtual conference. We look forward to connecting with you!

Families in Global Transition
C/O Campbell Rappold & Yurasits LLP
1033 S Cedar Crest Blvd
Allentown, PA 18103, USA

Phone: +1 (703) 634-7400
Email: admin@figt.org

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