IOA 2021 Attendee Experience

What to Expect at Conference

Introduction from the Conference Committee

The IOA Conference Committee is working to ensure that this conference is as engaging as you might experience in person. To accomplish that mission one part of the conference committee has been focused on different activities that can guarantee we have lots of options for you to connect with new Ombuds, old friends, and all other connections in between. 

  Explore 2021 Experiences  
Make Connections
Get the Party Started
Learn Together
Mini Events

Network & Connect with Other Ombuds

While we will be unable to give hugs or share business cards this year, we won't be sacrificing our meaningful connections. We have planned several structured networking opportunities for #IOA2021. We will also be using a sophisticated online platform called Pathable to help connect attendees. 

Structured Networking

Our first structured networking session will be different Zoom rooms to help us Bridge the Distance. Each bridge will be around different topics, utilizing break-out rooms (depending on the size), that allows us to dive deep into the topic, how it impacts us and/or work, or you can pick a room that allows you to let your hair down and get to know some new folks. You’ll be free to come and go throughout the time. View the Schedule > 

Connect Online with Pathable

The platform we are utilizing is called Pathable. This virtual platform will act like our venue. It allows for public forums and discussion between attendees. It also provides a social wall where we can tag the conference. More information on this platform will be coming soon. Learn more about Pathable >

Get the Party Started

To kick-off the conference we will have a cocktail hour as we have in the past, to ensure that this is inclusive for those folks overseas we have that scheduled for Day One at 4:00 PM PST, 7:00 PM EST, 11:00 AM AEDT, 12:00 AM GMT. During the cocktail hour, there will be several different “rooms” for you to enter. we will have a special cocktail you can make and enjoy as well even if it is for breakfast!

Learning Circles

IOA Learning Circles are a new feature for #IOA2021. They have been created to provide attendees who are outside of the North & South American time zones with more time to connect and discuss sessions.

Learning Circles will be unscripted discussions about some of the various sessions presented at the Conference. Sessions will be recorded and made available for viewing at times that are more convenient for participants who cannot attend live. Recordings will need to be viewed independently and then group discussion will be held on Day Two and Day Three of the event. Session presenters may be available to contribute to the discussions for some Learning Circles. View the Schedule > 

Mini Events

20/21 Storytelling Event (formerly Pecha Kucha):
This event is an opportunity for attendees to share how their life experiences and perspectives have shaped your ombuds work. It will be held at on Day Three.

Experience On Display:
“Experience: on Display” will be a pop-up online art gallery created by you, IOA Conference participants. For this year’s exhibition, we welcome you to create a representation of what this past year of ombudsing and working has been like for you.

Sector Meetings:
Each year at the conference, IOA blocks off time in the program to allow attendees to connect with others from their industry or "sector." These opportunities usually center on a facilitated discussion. This is a great time to network and build new relationships.

Closing Ceremony:
Saying good bye is always the hardest part of a conference. However, it is also a great time to reflect on all of the fun you have had. We have some fun closing ceremony plans we look forward to sharing with you.