Cohorts: A Unique Virtual Networking Experience

Are you tired of virtual events and webinars that lack the opportunity to truly engage with like-minded people? Join a Conference Cohort!

Cohort attendees filled out this “get to know you” board at their cohort’s kick-off meeting at Design at Scale 2022.
Their cohort was facilitated by Adrienne Peck and Lauren Classon.

What's a Cohort?

A small randomly-assigned group of about 10 virtual conference attendees who are joined together to interact during the conference. This enables the benefits of small-scale interaction embedded in a large conference. Cohorts include:

  • Two facilitators who initiate engagement
  • Conference speakers, who join your Cohort
  • Multiple ways to interact including:
    • a dedicated Slack channel
    • your own a private zoom room
    • a whiteboard just for your Cohort members

Cohorts are part of your registration, there is no additional charge. However, space is limited and is on a first-come, first-served basis. Learn more about cohorts in this article by Lou Rosenfeld: Attendee Cohorts at Virtual Events—Innovating the Virtual Conference Experience.

Attendee cohorts for maximizing engagement

Attending together means learning together. That’s the idea behind Rosenfeld Media’s unique Cohorts Program. Your Cohort facilitator will convene the group where you’ll collaboratively set your own agenda, to include:

  • Getting to know each other
  • Establishing common goals for the conference
  • Discussing conference sessions
  • Engaging with speakers and other subject matter experts
  • Reconvene at the end of the conference to revisit goals

Cohort participants always gain several new industry contacts, and often lead to lasting connections.

Become a facilitator

Our facilitators bring great diversity in UX experience and come from companies large and small including IBM, Morningstar, MURAL, Uber, USAA, and Zillow. We invite community members to become cohort facilitators. No experience necessary, we’ll train you.

Cohort 7’s canvas, created over the course of Advancing Research 2022.

What people are saying

Cohorts connected me with folks who are in a similar position at work, looking to learn similar things, and with more senior folks who could provide guidance and perspective.

—Isabel F., Senior User Experience Designer, Motorola Solutions

The cohort experience was great—it created a human connection that usually lacks in conferences, virtual or not.

—Inayaili L., Design Producer, GitHub

I’ve participated in cohorts since they’ve been offered and have found them invaluable. It’s nice having a smaller tribe to discuss what’s going on at a conference. We also get to talk about what our experiences are like and get feedback on how we might approach current challenges we’re facing. \s. Hearing everyone’s roles and journeys was also helpful for me…

—Michelle C., Design Advocate, zeroheight

Being part of a cohort enhanced my DesignOps Summit experience ten-fold. As a “team of one”, meeting people who do what I do in other companies, learning more about how they approach the same problems I have, and sharing our experiences was incredibly valuable.

—Kristine B, DesignOps Program Director, IBM

The conference cohort is a wonderful experience. It has really improved the experience of conferences during the pandemic. You learn much more than you would by just attending talks because you can process the talks with your cohort and learn from their learnings and how they think. It makes the conference more personal and you end up making new friendships and working relationships that exist beyond the conference.

–Victor U., Chief Experience Officer, Public Sector