Amid the coronavirus pandemic, many companies have shifted to virtual networking as an alternative to face-to-face interactions. With the Internet, they can share their knowledge, access more opportunities, and get new perspectives from others virtually.
Virtual networking can be great if you know how to engage your audience and how to set up networking opportunities for them. That is why in this article we’re focusing on virtual networking ideas you can use to captivate your audience and make the most of your virtual event.
By the end of it, we hope you feel inspired to execute your next online event for your community and professional network.
A virtual networking event is known for its ability to attract a global audience. How can you manage all these people from diverse backgrounds and ensure they generate some positive results after attending? You can count on Artificial Intelligence (AI).
One of the most significant advantages of using an AI tool in matchmaking at events is saving time. There is a lot of data involved in matchmaking events, from attendee’s names to their jobs, their interests, and much more. AI treats all this data as points, which they can process in a few minutes.
Participants can feed their basic information and the goals they want to achieve with the virtual networking event. AI matchmaking suggests the right prospects to have a one-on-one or a group discussion depending upon what the attendees choose. Event organizers can reach out to their potential audience in a wider scope through AI-managed events. This would to an increased loyalty-based customer bank and better communication flows.
In a virtual venue, this type of quick networking can be done by pairing attendees — who are interested in speed networking — into virtual chat rooms, so they can strike up a quick conversation.
Divide the speed networking session into rounds, each spanning 5 to 10 minutes. When the round ends, the attendees are separated then paired again with new attendees, and so on. You can even set up competitions that encourage them to meet as many as possible and collect their business cards. The winner will get a prize and also get new connections in the process. Choose a virtual event platform that provides easy sharing e-business cards with every attendee available on the virtual event platform.
Virtual breakout rooms are perfect opportunities to split large-scale events up into smaller, more intimate groups that encourage people to network. These breakouts can be used to run Birds of a Feather (BoF) session. The idea behind it is to have a breakout activity based on a shared interest or topic. It’s an informal or relaxed panel discussion that promotes community growth through networking with like-minded individuals.
Attendees will always have questions, so give them a chance to ask them. A live chat feature allows attendees to interact with one another, the event host, and the speaker. It is a great way to facilitate seamless group and/or one-on-one conversations that would result in high engagement and create new opportunities.
Allow attendees to self-schedule meetings with speakers, sponsors, and other attendees before the virtual networking event and have them added to the agenda. An appointment booking feature provides the ability to identify and communicate directly with the people who matter the most to them.
Remember that with any networking event, your number one goal is to connect people — not just once, but in a lasting, meaningful way. Ensure that people have a way of following up with their best conversation partners, either via the technology you are using to host the virtual networking event or outside of it.
Virtual Event Games
Gamification is one of the virtual event ideas that can promote engagement while building your professional network. You can create several games or competitions like a scavenger hunt, a bingo card of industry terms, or trivia to entertain and help attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors network.
Be sure to incorporate leaderboards into your gamification strategy. Real-time leaderboard updates drum up the competition by showing attendees where they stand in comparison to others and help encourage more participation.
Offer On-demand Content
Make the most out of your content and allow attendees to access content after the virtual networking event. You can create a valuable resource library on your event website, or host everything on the content hub of your virtual networking event platform. It is a neat way of creating new conversations with your attendees and with the wider community of people who could come to your future events.
Virtual Photo Booths
A virtual photo booth is the ultimate multimedia experience supporting the creation and social sharing of branded still images and GIFs. Make sure you use a browser-based photo booth that can be customized to fit any need and has powerful social media capabilities as well as high-end technology that allow for super-imposed personalized backdrops.
Each person will be able to take a photo of themselves from their different locations, and then the virtual photo booth will combine all photos into one with an added custom background. Attendees can share the photos on social media platforms, creating the much-desired user-generated content.
Learn about Silversea Media Group’s Virtual Event Solutions here