NEW YORK (Reuters) – When Diane Leonard checked in to a conference the other day, the routine was familiar: Watching keynote speakers, interacting with other attendees, bumping into friends.

One key difference: The grant writer was at home in Clayton, New York, with her favourite black coffee, treadmill desk and mini golden doodle, Ollie.

Like many gatherings this year, the tech conference for non-profit professionals by Blackbaud, a cloud computing provider, was fully virtual.

“I’d say I have been to more than 40 of these over the last six months,” Leonard said. “It’s become a way of life.”

Making the most of virtual conference