On the 4th of August 2021, the Group for Persuasion and Evaluative Processes (GPEP) hosted our first virtual symposium, which saw many new and familiar faces. Like many other symposiums, we aimed to create an energizing virtual space for participants to network and connect. We had a series of interesting live talks and Q&A sessions from our graduate students which centered on topics ranging from attitudes, intergroup relations, and cross-cultural differences. Not only that, our members and guests had plenty of opportunities to interact with one another in the many break-out sessions which provided a more comfortable space for light-hearted conversations.
Despite being a fully virtual event, the experience was also enjoyable for me compared to a physical event. With this being the first time, I had to present to an online audience, I realized my worries were for naught because the participants were engaged and provided me with many interesting future directions that were worth pursuing. Moreover, having a virtual event allowed colleagues from overseas to join us, even with the travel restrictions in place due to the pandemic. Through this symposium, I felt recharged as I got to interact with other researchers and gained more insights into my field of research.
In reflecting on the symposium, many participants found the event to be valuable. One participant highlighted that the symposium was a much-needed respite from her daily routine. Another mentioned that the causal break-out sessions allowed the opportunity for understanding the future plans that the different researchers had.
In light of the current pandemic, this virtual symposium provided a way for us to keep in touch and exchange ideas without having to return to campus. Through this and future symposiums, we hope that participants can forge and expand their networks with other like-minded individuals who are also interested in the research we do at Group for Persuasion and Evaluative Processes.
By Reiner NG and Rachel SNG
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