Conference 2020

FAQs for Attendees

Preparing for the Conference

What can I expect from the Conference?

Two action-packed days, with speakers, panels and group workshops in the morning and a more flexible tailored programme in the afternoon! Get ready to actively participate to get the most out of the event. Read the full programme 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’re not compatible with Hopin.

What you need to do in advance is to register 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 (sent on 8 October), there is a Women Returners Conference Hopin Link and password. Click on this link, enter the password and select ‘Attendee ticket’ then click on ‘Join the event’
  2. This will take you to a registration page for Hopin
  3. Input your name, email address and a password. Take a note of your password so that you can easily log back in on the mornings of the Conference. Note: if your email address is already registered to Hopin from a previous event, then you can just log in using your previous details (or reset your password if you’ve forgotten them!)
  4. Once you have registered with Hopin, it will take you to the Conference Landing Page, which will tell you when the event will be going live. 
  5. You will be given the option to create a profile for the event with details such as your headline, bio, social media, and a picture. When it comes to networking, if you agree to swap details with the person you’re chatting to, they will receive this info about you, together with your name and email address. It is also the information that will be sent to an employer if you click Register Interest in their Expo booth.

If you didn’t receive the Joining Instructions email on 8 October, first check your Spam/Junk folders and then contact us at

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

It’s possible, but the experience is much better on a laptop or PC

How many returners will be attending?

We are expecting over 230 women returners!

Can I arrange in advance to meet employers at the Conference?

Absolutely! We have 11 fantastic returner employers ready to meet you – Accenture Ireland, AWS, Bank of England, Bloomberg, Credit Suisse, Facebook, FDM Group, J.P. Morgan, Moody’s, O2 and St. James’s Place Academy. Before the event you’ll be able to pre-book a 1-2-1 chat with your employers of choice (slots are limited so this is subject to availability).  These chats will take place during the Tuesday afternoon. Details of how to book these chats are in your joining instructions. If there are still slots available, these can be booked during Day One of the event too. See ‘Attending the Conference’ for details of other ways to interact with employers during the event. 

Do I need to prepare for these 1-2-1 Employer Chats?

This is a great opportunity to connect individually with an employer representative, ask some key questions and leave a good impression! You only have 4-5 minutes, so make the most of it by doing your research in advance. You can read more about our sponsor employers in our Conference brochure or on the Sponsor webpage, plus take a look at their websites and social media accounts to gain more info about their organisations and their Returner Programmes. Use your time to ask some key questions that come out of your research.

Will I be on video?

You will not be on video or have your mic on during the main stage sessions. You will have your video on to talk to other returners 1-2-1 in the networking area to practice your professional introduction and commit to your action plan. You can also enter video chats with other returners in your location or sector. If you book 1-2-1 chats with employers, these will be with your camera on.

What should I wear? 

It’s up to you. However, if you have booked 1-2-1 chats with employers on the Tuesday afternoon, we recommend that you dress smart-casual. 

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

If you need further assistance please email

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 an iPad) to check the agenda and read the speakers bio information. 

Have 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 actions.

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.

How do I enter the Conference?

  1. Click back on the Women Returners Conference Hopin link in your Joining Instructions email from 8 October
  2. Sign in to your Hopin account 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 12 October?

  1. Check you are using Chrome or Firefox, not Brave, Safari, and Microsoft Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge.
  2. Check you are signed in to Hopin.
  3. Check you are using the Hopin link for the Conference, not the link sent to you for your coaching or small group workshop session
  4. If you need further assistance email 

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’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 16 October for 30 days (see below for details).

Do I enable my microphone and camera?

Your microphone and camera will be disabled for the live sessions on the Main Stage. Please turn them both on to participate in 1-2-1 random networking with other participants and if you want to join in the video chats in the Sessions rooms where you can meet other returners from your location and sector.

Where can I meet other Returners at the Conference?

There are two ways to meet other returners in Hopin. In the Sessions area, you’ll find a range of video meet-up rooms by location and 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. 

In the Networking area of Hopin, you’ll also be able to enjoy 1-2-1  networking. You’ll be randomly paired with another returner– just like meeting in the coffee queue. You can exchange contact info via Hopin in these networking sessions. Hopin will collect all the connections you’ve made for you to access after the Conference, under ‘Connections’ on your Hopin account.

 How do I interact with the Employers at the Conference?

The 11 returner employers – Accenture Ireland, AWS, Bank of England, Bloomberg, Credit Suisse, Facebook, FDM Group, J.P. Morgan, Moody’s, O2 and St. James’s Place Academy – 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 a live ‘Power Hour’ on both afternoons when 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.

When and where are the 1-2-1 Employer Chats I have pre-booked?

If you’ve booked any 1-2-1 chats these will take place between 14:30-16:30 on the Tuesday afternoon. They will take place outside of Hopin  in Microsoft Teams, Zoom or Google Meet. See your Calendly email for details of your specific time and the link to access the meeting.

Can I still book a 1-2-1 Employer Chat during the Conference?

If there are still slots available (see the link in your joining instructions), these can still be booked during Day One of the event.

I wanted to have a 1-2-1 Chat with a specific Employer but there are no more timeslots available. What should I do?

Go to the Expo area and visit the employer’s booth. Use the ‘Register Interest’ button to share your contact details with the employer. You can also visit their Booth during the Employer Power Hour from 13;30 to 14:30 each day to ask them your questions in the chat box.

What can I expect at the 1-2-1 Employer Chats?

This will be a great opportunity to connect individually with an employer representative, ask some key questions and leave a good impression! You only have 4-5 minutes, so be focused and use the time to ask some key questions that come out of your research.

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

You can ask questions to Panellists and Workshop hosts, but not to Keynote Speakers. You can post your questions in the Stage chat box during each live Panel or Workshop session on the Main Stage. There will be time at the end of each session for the presenter to answer questions.

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 16 October to access the recordings.

Where can I ask questions 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? (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, Networking, Expo. To enter an area, you click on its icon. During the day, there will be a red “LIVE” tag on the left hand menu that tells you where the activities on the agenda are happening. For most of the morning, 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 both days, and logos for our sponsor employers. 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 most of the morning – just like the Main Stage at an in-person venue. Here you can watch the Keynote Speakers, the Returner and Employer panel conversations and the main group workshops. The timings for the different sessions on the stage can be found in the agenda on the Reception page 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 to other returners from your local areas or with similar sector backgrounds. The area is divided into networking rooms for regional areas and sector backgrounds. 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. However, to make the most of the experience do try out joining by video. Note that there can be a maximum of 10 people on screen at one time.

Networking This is where you will meet one-on-one with other returners, recreating the “tea and coffee break” conversations that are important at an in-person event. We have scheduled time during the mornings for you to say hello to other Returners, practice your introduction and share action plans. You will speak on video to one Returner at a time, for a period of 3-6 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, both participants must click the ‘Connect’ button. If you connect, Hopin will share your email and any profile information with the other participant. You can find the contacts you’ve made on your Hopin profile, under the ‘Connections’ tab.

Expo This is where you can learn more about our Sponsor employers and the Returner Programmes they run. Throughout the event you will be able to watch their video content. On both days between 13.30- 14.30, the employers will host a live ‘Power Hour’. During the ‘Power Hour’ all the employers will be live in their booths responding to written questions in the Booth chat function. Some employers will be live on video in their booths chatting about their returner programmes and responding to questions posted. 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 and a live session will be taking place in both booths on Tuesday between 15.00-16.00. Feel free to pop into the booths 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 to keep in touch and be emailed 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 and click here for more info about our coaching programmes and our coaching team.

Any other questions, feedback or comments?