Women Returners Conference 2024

FAQs for Attendees

Preparing for the Conference

What can I expect from the Conference?

An inspiring and informative two days, 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 RingCentral (formerly 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, and the browser is up-to-dateAvoid Brave, Safari, and Microsoft Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge as they may not work effectively.

RingCentral have created a handy tool to test your browser, connectivity, camera and audio. We highly recommend you do this before the event to ensure you are set up and ready to go on the day.  Check your tech in advance here: RingCentral Pre-Event Test

If you need to change your browser, open Chrome or Firefox, and copy and paste the Pre-Event Test link into the browser.

Register for RingCentral – Action before 1 May

You will need to register in advance for the Conference on RingCentral – 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 RingCentral 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 RingCentral.
  3. Input your name and email address. You will receive an email from Career Returners which will include a link to join the event in the ‘Thank you for registering’ email. 
  4. Before Wednesday 1 May 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 haven’t received the Joining Instructions email by Tuesday 30 April, first check your Spam/Junk folders and then contact us at info@womenreturners.com

Can I use a tablet/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. Some features do not work in the App. If you need to use a tablet/iPad or smartphone, we recommend that you download the RingCentral App and refer herefor limitations and guidance.

Can I meet personally with employers at the Conference?

Absolutely! We have 6 fantastic returner employers sponsors ready to meet you – J.P. Morgan, EDF, FDM Group, Moody’s, St. James’s Place Financial Adviser Academy and Workday. From 13:30–14:30 on Day 2, 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 Networking area, including at set times in the schedule to say hello, practise your professional introduction and commit to your action plan. On Day 1, from 13:15-15:00, you can join small group video chat rooms in the Sessions area to meet with other returners in your sector. On Day 2, from 13:30-14:30, you can join small group video chat rooms in the Sessions area to meet with employers (see above).  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.

Do have a read through our Top Ten Tips for making the most of our Back to Your Future Conference 2024 here.

Lunch 

We have scheduled lunch breaks (12:40-13:15 on Day 1 and 12:15-12:45 on Day 2). During lunchtime the platform will be open to allow you to explore the employer booths and chat 1-2-1 with other returners, if you wish.

What time should I enter the Conference?

The Women Returners Conference Venue in RingCentral will be live at 9:00 each day. 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 at the Schedule and the Conference rooms before the 9:30 Welcome and Conference Introduction from Julianne, our CEO, and Hazel, our Deputy CEO.

How do I enter the Conference?

  1. Open the Career Returners confirmation email for the Conference Event (not the tech check Event) and click on Enter Event (blue box).
  2. 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 1 & 2 May?

  1. Check you are using Chrome or Firefox, not Brave, Safari, and Microsoft Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge (laptop/pc) or the RingCentral App (mobile/tablet).
  2. Restart your computer before joining the event and ensure all other tabs are closed.
  3. Run the RingCentral Pre-Event tech check
  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. From the end of Day 1, Julianne’s Welcome and Conference Introduction will be showing in the Career Returners Expo Booth. All sessions on the Stage will be recorded and available to Conference attendees from Wednesday 8 May 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.

For the Networking area click on ‘join now’ and in the Sessions Room click ‘share audio and video’. This will prompt RingCentral to request permission to access your camera and mic.

If you need to manually provide RingCentral access to your mic and camera, please follow the instructions here.

What should I do if I experience any technical difficulties during the event?

Please email info@womenreturners.com

Where can I meet other returners at the Conference?

There are two ways to meet other returners in RingCentral.

Throughout the conference, in the Networking 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.

On Day 1, from 13:15-15:00 in the Sessions area, 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 6 employer sponsor partners – J.P.Morgan, EDF, FDM Group, Moody’s, St. James’s Place Financial Adviser Academy 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 ‘Employers Live’ on Day 2 at 12:45-13:25 when they’ll be talking live in their booths. You can ask questions in the booth chat box but you will not be able to join them on camera in Expo. 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.

On Day 2, at 13:30-14:30, 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 and join them on camera to talk informally with their programme managers, recruitment team or hiring managers.

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

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 Career 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 the Welcome Address, 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 by Wednesday 8th May to access the recordings.

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

Come and visit us in the Career 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 RingCentral? (you can find a copy of this information in the RingCentral 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, Networking, 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, Networking 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 Returner and Employer panel conversations and the expert 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 right-hand chat is toggled to Stage.

Sessions This is where you can meet and chat in small groups to other returners with similar sector backgrounds (Day 1, 13:15-15:00), employers (Day 2, 13:30-14:30) and the Career Returners Coaches (Day 1, 13:30-14:30 and Day 2, 14:30-15:00) and the Career Returners Programme Team (Day 1, 14:00-15:00). 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 right-hand 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 12 people on screen at one time.

Networking 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 2 days 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 (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. On Day 2, between 12:45-13:25, the employers will host an ‘Employers Live’ session. During this time 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 Career Returners and City CV Expo booth. The Career Returners Coaches will be live in the Sessions area on Day 1 from 13:30-14:30 and on Day 2 from 14:30-15:00. The City CV team will be live in their Expo booth on Day 2 from 14:30-15:00. Feel free to pop into the session room or booth during this time to ask your questions.

After the Conference

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 professionals 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