Attend the symposium online

The Tech Buddy Program pairs two event participants: one ”f2f “buddy” at the event, and one “online buddy”, at a distance. In a nutshell, f2f buddies bring their online buddy to small group sessions on their mobile device (smart phone, tablet, or laptop).

We are looking for f2f buddies! If you are coming to the event in person, please consider volunteering as a “f2f buddy” and help a colleague attend at a distance.

What you need to participate:

  • Skype account
  • Web cam
  • Reliable internet access
  • F2f buddies need a mobile device (laptop recommended)

Tech Buddies ProgramHow the Tech Buddy Program works:

Before the event…
Email by Nov. 7, 2014 with…

  • what kind of buddy you are: f2f (attending in person), or online (attending online), and
  • your Skype ID

We will confirm and connect buddies via email. If plans change and you are unable to attend, please let me and your buddy know.
At the event…

  • by 10:15, after opening plenary and break: connect via Skype (online buddies watch plenary sessions via livestream – no buddy connection needed)
  • 10:15 – 2:20, with breaks every hour: go to breakout sessions together (preferred seating will be available for f2f buddies)
  • 2:20 – say farewell: closing plenary will be live streamed (no buddy connection needed)
  • There will be a moderated “backchannel” (online chat) set up for all online buddies to connect if they wish
  • There will be a charging station for devices


I would like to be a f2f buddy, but I need to use my mobile device at the event – is there a way around that?
Consider how you might be able to use two devices, with one dedicated to hosting your online buddy. Past participants have successfully used a laptop for the online buddy (because they can position the laptop somewhere and leave it for awhile), while using a tablet to take notes, browse, tweet, etc. Unfortunately we are not able to provide devices for tech buddies.
If I am an online buddy, which breakout sessions will I go to?
To keep things simple, we suggest you “go along for the ride” and attend the session your f2f buddy chooses. If you aren’t interested in a particular session that your f2f buddy is attending, you could take a longer break and catch up with him or her for the next one.
Do we have to use Skype?
No. We recommend Skype because it’s so widely used and pretty reliable, but feel free to work with your buddy to use whatever tool(s) you both agree on.