Any form of connection is desirable these days and with so many tech tools to help us stay connected all the time, networking opportunities can happen all year round. With robust community engagement platforms like Juno 365, networking events can be dynamic and engaging to make meaningful connections beyond tomorrow.
Similar to organizers, networking digitally can also seem like new territory for attendees. (For organizers, view our tips on creating memorable experiences here.) Networking virtually isn’t the same as in-person, but virtual tools can enable some awesome opportunities. Just like with social media tools, digital networking enables us to connect with those we may never have had the chance to meet in-person. Here, we’ve prepared some tips to make the most out of your virtual event networking experience.
Tips for Virtual Networking Attendees:
- Commit Yourself
- Quality Over Quantity
- Do Your Research
It is hard to replace in-person networking events, but you must commit yourself to the online experience.Don’t go into the event with the mindset of: “this isn’t in-person, so I know I won’t enjoy it as much.” If you aren’t attending a new experience with an open mind, you aren’t setting yourself up to have any real success.
At the same time, understand that this is not in-person and the dynamic will be different. If you are attending with a committed mindset though, you’ll be surprised by the connections you are able to make.
Quality Over Quantity
You may have heard this one before, but it's important that you put greater effort into lesser amounts of connections, rather than less effort into greater amounts of connections.
At the end of the day, virtual experiences can bring thousands of people together all in one place, and that can be overwhelming, just like seeing the thousands of attendees walking about an in-person event.. If you manage to get a thousand business cards or phone numbers, but don’t get to know a single one of them, what’s the value in that?
Networking is about learning what people do and what they love to do. It's one thing finding someone who can help you do this, but if they also share a love for dogs or Malbec, you are already that much more connected with that person.
Also, if you take the time to get to know someone and find out that they also love dogs, there’s a good chance that you will remember them. If you remember who you’ve networked with, it's easy to separate their business card from the rest.
Do Your Research
Hopefully your event organizer has pre-event information available such as the guest list or a theme. To make a virtual event experience the best it can be for everyone, attendees also need to prepare.
Check out who’s attending because there might be someone you're eager to meet. If there is a fun theme to the networking experience, be sure to participate. Again, give yourself over to the experience.
Get a sense for the platform beforehand to make the experience easier. And come with a plan of attack. If you are simply looking for a fun activity, be sure to enjoy it. If you are looking for specific people or opportunities, make that clear with people you meet so they know what to expect.
Whether it is your first virtual networking event or you are a seasoned pro, these tips can help better the experience for everyone. Remember, as much as virtual tools can bring us together, we are all somewhere else in the world looking on from a computer screen. The more effort people put into digital, the more fun and dynamic the experience can be for everyone.