Women Returners Conference 2022

FAQs for Attendees

Preparing for the Conference

What can I expect from the Conference?

An inspiring and informative day, action-packed with panels, speakers, support workshops and many opportunities to connect with employers and other returners! Get ready to actively participate to get the most out of the event. Find the full agenda in your Conference brochure.

What do I need to do to get the tech side ready?

We’re using Hopin, an online Event Venue, to run our Conference. Make sure that your laptop/PC is set up with Chrome or Firefox as the browser.  Avoid Brave, Safari, and Microsoft Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge as they may not work effectively. If your usual web browser is one that may not work effectively, control and right click on the link for the tech check. You can then either use “open with” and select Chrome or Firefox or “copy link” and paste into your Chrome or Firefox browser.

Hopin have created a handy tool to test your browser, connectivity, camera and audio – check your tech in advance here: Hopin Pre-Event Test 

Register for Hopin – Action before 11 October

You will need to register in advance for the Conference on Hopin – this only takes 2 minutes. Please register as soon as possible – don’t leave it until the morning of the event as we want you to be able to seamlessly enter the Conference for the 9-9:30 start. Here’s what to do:

  1. In your Joining Instructions email, there is a Women Returners Conference Hopin Link and a password (case-sensitive). Click on this link and enter the password.
  2. Click on the ‘Register’ button. This will take you to a Quick Registration page for Hopin.
  3. Input your name and email address. You will receive two emails (which can take 10-15 minutes to receive) which include a link to join the event in the ‘Thank you for registering’ email. Note: if your email address is already registered to Hopin from a previous event, then you can sign in using your previous details (or reset your password if you’ve forgotten them!) and proceed to register for the Conference.
  4. Before Tuesday 11 October at 9:00, when you try to enter the event it will take you to the Conference Landing Page, which will tell you when the event will ‘go live’.
  5. You will be given the opportunity to create a profile for the event with details such as a photo, your headline (eg Finance professional) and social media accounts. This is optional. You can also do this at any stage by going to the top right hand corner and selecting ‘Edit Profile’. The information will be sent to an employer if you click ‘Register Interest’ in their Expo booth (otherwise they just get your name and email address).

If you have any technical challenges with Hopin, you can refer to the Hopin Reference Guide.

If you haven’t received the Joining Instructions email by Monday 10 October, first check your Spam/Junk folders and then contact us at info@womenreturners.com.

Can I use an iPad or smartphone to access the Conference?

We recommend attending the event using a laptop or PC, as we’ll be sharing slides and it will easier for you to navigate through the platform. If you need to use an iPad or smartphone, we recommend that you download the Hopin App and refer herefor guidance.

Can I meet personally with employers at the Conference?

Absolutely! We have 7 fantastic returner employers sponsors ready to meet you – Amazon, Bank of England, FDM Group, J.P. Morgan, Lloyds Banking Group, Moody’s and Workday. From 13:45 14:45, each of these employers will have a room in the Sessions area for small-group video chats with returner attendees. There is no need to book, you can pop in and out of the employer rooms during the 1-hour slot. See ‘Attending the Conference’ for details of other ways to interact with employers during the event.  

Will I be on video?

You will not be on video or have your mic on during the Main Stage sessions or in the employer Expo booths. 

You will have your video on to talk to other returners 1-2-1 in the People area, including at set times in the schedule to say hello, practise your professional introduction and commit to your action plan. At 13:45-14:45, you can join small group video chat rooms in the Sessions area to meet with employers (see above). At 16:15-17:00, you can join small group video chat rooms in the Sessions area to meet with other returners in your sector. In both cases, we encourage you to be on video, but, if you prefer, you can just listen to the conversation and use the chat function to get involved.

What should I wear? 

It’s up to you. We recommend that you dress smart-casual if you want to chat to employers.

What should I do if I have any other questions before the Conference?

If you need further assistance please email info@womenreturners.com.

Attending the Conference - On the Day

What do I need to hand before I join the Conference?

We suggest you print a copy of the Conference Brochure (or have it available on a separate device) to check the agenda, read the speakers bio information and read about the participating employers. 

Have a pen and paper ready as we’ll be asking you to do some self-reflection during the workshops. You’ll be planning your professional introduction, and you’ll want to note down advice, tips and your action plan.

Working Lunch 

We have scheduled a working lunch from 11:45 – 12:45 so do prepare lunch in advance if possible! During this hour, you can visit employers in their booths to hear about their programmes, learn about what it’s like to work in their organisations and ask your questions. Cameras and microphones will be turned off during these sessions.

What time should I enter the Conference?

The Women Returners Conference Venue in Hopin will be live at 9:00. You cannot enter before then. Please enter by 9:20 at the latest, in case of any problems and to give you time to look around the Conference rooms before the 9:30 Welcome and Introduction from Julianne our CEO and Hazel our Deputy CEO.

How do I enter the Conference?

  1. Click back on the Women Returners Conference Hopin link in your Joining Instructions email OR if you requested an email confirmation when you registered, open the email from Hopin (Thank you for registering ..) and click on Join Event (blue box)
  2. If you have a Hopin account sign in or you will only see the Conference Landing Page and will not be able to enter the event
  3. Access the event by clicking “Enter Event”
  4. This will take you into the Live Conference Reception. You’re in!

What should I do if I’m having difficulty accessing the Conference and it’s past 9:00 on 11 October?

  1. Check you are using Chrome or Firefox, not Brave, Safari, and Microsoft Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge (laptop/pc) or the Hopin App (mobile/ipad)
  2. Check you are signed in to Hopin, if you have an account
  3. Check you are using the Hopin link for the Conference
  4. If you need further assistance email info@womenreturners.com 

I’m late entering the Conference – what should I do?

Go straight to the Stage to see what’s on. In a break, you can visit the Women Returners booth in the Expo area where Julianne and Hazel’s Welcome and Conference Introduction will be showing through the day. All sessions on the Stage will be recorded and available to Conference attendees from Friday 14 October for 30 days (see below for more details).

Do I enable my microphone and camera?

Your microphone and camera will be disabled for the live sessions on the Main Stage and in the Employer Expo Booths. Please turn them both on to participate in 1-2-1 chats with other participants in the People area and if you want to join in the video chats in the Sessions rooms. 

Where can I meet other returners at the Conference?

There are two ways to meet other returners in Hopin. 

Throughout the day, in the People area, you’ll be able to enjoy 1-2-1 video chats. You’ll be randomly paired with another returner– just like meeting at an in-person venue in the coffee queue or talking to the person sitting next to you.

In the Sessions area from 16:15-17:00, you’ll find a range of video meet-up rooms by sector. You can join the room of your choice to chat with others, either by sharing your microphone and camera or by writing in the chat box. 

How do I interact with the Employers at the Conference?

Our 7 employer sponsor partners – Amazon, Bank of England, FDM Group, J.P. Morgan, Lloyds Banking Group, Moody’s and Workday – all have their own employer booths in the Expo area. You can drop in to learn more about them and their returner programmes and register your interest with them. Do join them for ‘Employer Live’ at 11:45-12:45 when they’ll be talking live in their booths. You can ask questions in the booth chat box. As the booth will be open to all who are visiting, please don’t ask employers for any specific feedback on any applications you may have already made or give them a link to your profile – this should happen off of the platform.

At 13:45-14:45, our employer sponsor partners will be in the Sessions Area ready to chat to you! You can pop in and out of their video chat rooms to talk informally with their programme managers, recruitment team or hiring managers.

Can I ask questions to the speakers during the Panels, Workshops and Keynote?

It depends on the structure of each session. Each Panellist or Workshop hosts will tell you at the start if they’re taking questions at the end of the session. Please do post any questions or comments in the Stage chat box during each live Panel or Workshop session on the Main Stage. One of the Women Returners team may be able to answer if the presenter doesn’t have time to do so and, if not, we’ll follow up with answers whenever we can after the event. 

If I miss a Panel, Workshop or Keynote, will I be able to watch it?

Recordings of the live sessions on the Stage will be available for 30 days after the Conference on a password protected area of our website. We will send you a link on Friday 14 October to access the recordings.

Where can I get information when I’m in Hopin?

Come and visit us in the Women Returners Booth in the Expo area and type your questions into the Booth chat. We’ll respond as soon as we can. 

I’m lost! How do I get around Hopin? (you can find a copy of this information in the Hopin Guide in your Joining Instructions email)

The left hand menu is your navigation bar and lists the 5 areas of the Conference: Reception, Stage, Sessions, People, Expo. To enter an area, you click on its icon. During the day, there will be a red “NOW” or “LIVE” tag on the left hand menu that tells you where the activities on the agenda are happening. For most of the day, that will be the Stage, with certain times in the Sessions, People and Expo areas.

Reception: This is the first area you will come to. You will find our welcome message, the agenda for the day (under Schedule), and logos for our Employer Sponsor Partners which link to their online information pages. You can think of the Reception area as a venue’s lobby, it’s the information hub. There is an ‘Event chat’ function on the right hand side which shows the global event chat – all attendees can post messages, which are visible to everyone throughout the platform. We recommend that you do not use the ‘Event chat’ function but instead use the chat function in each area, for example Stage, Sessions or Expo Booth.

Stage This is where you will spend much of the day – just like the Main Stage at an in-person venue. Here you can watch the Keynote Speaker, the Returner and Employer panel conversations and the support workshops. The timings for the different sessions on the stage can be found in the agenda on the Reception page (under Schedule) and also in the brochure sent to you. You can ask questions to the panels and workshop presenters by typing them in the Stage Chat function, and, time permitting, these will be answered during or at the end of each session – just ensure the righthand chat is toggled to Stage.

Sessions This is where you can meet and chat in small groups to employers (13:45-14:45), to other returners with similar sector backgrounds (16:15-17:00) and to Women Returners about our Government-funded support programmes (16:15-17:00). To join a video chat, click on ‘share video and audio’ and you will be asked for permission to share your camera and mic. You’ll then appear on screen beside other attendees in the session. If you are camera shy initially, you can join a session room to watch the conversation going on and post comments or questions in the Session chat box – just ensure the righthand chat is toggled to Sessions (rather than Event). However, to make the most of the experience do try out joining by video. Note that there can be a maximum of 14 people on screen at one time.

People This is where you will meet 1-2-1 with other returners, recreating the “tea and coffee break” conversations that are important at an in-person event. This is also where you can edit your profile to include a picture and relevant information about yourself. We have scheduled time during the day for you to say hello to other returners, practise your introduction and share action plans. You will speak on video to one returner at a time, for a period of 3-15 minutes (timings will vary during the day). To start the conversation, click on the ‘Ready’ button. You’ll be asked for permission to share your video and mic and once you accept, you’ll be matched with another returner. A timer in the upper right hand corner will let you know how long remains in each chat. When time is up, your meeting will automatically end. You can then click ‘Ready’ to be matched with a new participant. You can leave a call at any time. If you want to swap contact information with the other person, please do this before the time ends. 

Expo This is where you can learn more about our Employer Sponsor Partners and the Returner Programmes they run. Throughout the event, you will be able to watch their video content. Between 11:45-12:45, the employers will host an ‘Employers Live’ session. During this time most of the employers will be live on video in their booths chatting about their returner programmes and responding to questions posted in the chat. If you would like to ask a question of an employer, just type it in their Booth chat box – just ensure the righthand chat is toggled to Booth. You will not be able to share your video in the employer booths.

If you are interested in hearing more about their Returner Programme, please click “Register Your Interest”, and your name, email and any profile information will be sent to them. During the Conference, you are able to visit as many booths as you wish.

You will also find a Women Returners and City CV Expo booth. A live session will be taking place in the Women Returners booth at 16:15-17:00. Feel free to pop into the booth during this time to ask your questions via the chat function.

After the Conference

How do I keep in touch? How do I know what return to work opportunities are available?

Sign up to our free network and to our Facebook and LinkedIn Groups to keep in touch and to get the latest opportunities, advice and support. See the Returner opportunities page on our website here for the latest opportunities.

I’ve realised I need some coaching to help me with my return to work. Where can I find details about this?

Our team of qualified and experienced returner coaches have supported many women get back to work, helping them to overcome both the psychological and practical barriers that career returners often face. Email coach@womenreturners.com and click here for more info about our coaching programmes and our coaching team.

Any other questions, feedback or comments?

Email info@womenreturners.com