Networking is the most crucial part of an event that drives attendees to register for an event and participate. But with the current pandemic situation and lockdowns all around the world, virtual events are leveraging the internet to keep the culture alive and help organizations connect better.
The most important question that has been making rounds amid the pandemic and the virtual event is ‘Can we connect with people just like we could at physical events?’
It would have been difficult to answer this question a few months back, but today, industry experts have come up with exciting ways to engage attendees and keep the hype going.
Do you want to check out the amazing list to enable networking in virtual events and see if you have implemented all of them yet? Read on below to learn more about the tip for seamless networking in virtual events.
1. Kick-ass content for virtual events
Now that attendees would be registering for an event virtually, it is advised to craft content that is more exciting, explains a lot of stuff, convinces the attendees to hang on to your event, interacts with the participants, and draws their interest in the content wit.
One of the best ways to find ideas about various contents, check out your competitors and look through various videos that interest you. Carefully read between the lines and understand their flow of content.
2. Quality products
We know that there are many influencers who started their journey of creating videos with smartphones and gradually moved up the ladder to buy expensive cameras. Don’t get influenced by such influencers or treat them as examples, considering that the virtual events you will organize are for the organization’s brand, more professional, and will have many eyeballs looking and listening to you.
Don’t go by the start-from-the-scratch idea and set up a studio with great equipment and quality. If the quality is less, you might lose your attendees’ interests, unlike YouTube.
3. Live stream before and after the virtual events
The entire world is getting together virtually, and as organizers, we must not shun away from our means of knowing people.
Conduct live stream events with your attendees before and after the event, so they get time to know each other. Live streams can help like-minded attendees connect.
Also, as organizers, when you live stream with the same batch of attendees twice, you get a better exposure of your upcoming events, get access to collect feedback, network with people, and listen to their preferences.
4. Let attendees E-meet before the virtual events
There are many virtual event platforms that let attendees connect, raise hands, and talk with each other.
Open the virtual platform for your attendees before the virtual event and give them a space to connect. Even though they might not have ample time to learn or educate, they can still communicate with like-minded people, and connect with them on social platforms.
This way you provide your attendees, who are interested in your event and have knowledge in the same field, a platform to connect and discover opportunities.
5. Live polls for virtual events
Before the pandemic, there were hardly any events that might use live polls as an exciting feature. It was mostly used just to gather some random data and insights. But amid the pandemic, live polling has become a trend and a medium to keep your attendees engaged. Do you see the change?
Well, in any virtual event, live polling is your savior. The more the number of exciting questions, the better will be your attendees’ interest in being present for the event and participating in the polls.
6. Complete use of push notifications for virtual events
In different countries, we can see organizations acing their brand presence with exciting push notifications.
Then how can we not use it? It is understandable that in-person events didn’t really need a lot of push notifications, but in virtual events, you can use this feature to its fullest.
Push a simple yet exciting notification about the upcoming speaker, or coffee break, or an engaging part.
7. On-demand content
Unlike in-person events, virtual events can really get stressful. To give the attendees some breathing space, it is important that you keep your virtual events flexible and accept on-demand content requests.
Keep a mix of both the event content and sessions that can be browsed later. This gives attendees an option to divert into something relevant to the event and enjoy their break times.
8. Create chat rooms and discussion forums for virtual events
Chat rooms are not a new concept, they just lost their touch after the inception of social media platforms. But the pandemic has forced organizers to consider chat rooms to help their attendees connect.
You can create multiple segments in the chatrooms, private or public, and allow attendees to communicate and participate in different tasks. You can assign a moderator for these chat groups to maintain the decorum.
The best example, create Facebook pages for all the virtual events you have conducted separately. Invite all the attendees on the page and assign a moderator. Initiate conversation and let the group blossom with their knowledge in the domain.
9. Use the event app
Now creating chat rooms is important, but attendees would love to hang out at places that are more informal. Use your event application to initiate a conversation between the attendees.
This technique not just helps the attendees to network, but also helps them get to the organizers better. And you always have a chance to approach the attendees if you feel they are your hot leads.
10. Call their names
However childish this may sound, it is a good way to keep your audience engaged. After all, they never know when you might call out their names.
This method also helps your attendees know their fellow mates and, if possible, initiate a conversation.
11. Keep an eye on the meeting length
Nobody likes to attend meetings more than their estimated duration. The same goes for virtual events. How much ever-interesting one might be, exceeding the time limit is never appreciated.
If in any case you must extend, ask your attendees for permission, and only if they seem energetic, continue or else drop.
12. Conduct virtual games/assignments
As we understand that playing games or attending to assignments is a little different from usual, don’t hesitate to include them in the agenda of your virtual events.
Games and assignments bring attendees together in breakout sessions where they can communicate with each other, know their strengths, function better, and enjoy the perks as a team.
Games and assignments do not have to be complex, they can be simple games attracted to the main topic of your event. With your smart initiative, you are not only giving attendees an option to network but are also acting as their confidant who guides them to open up virtually and slay on the social platforms.
13. Keep it active on Twitter
For virtual events, Twitter is the best place to keep the hype going. On Twitter, you can tag people, and reach various brands. Create your community of event attendees, schedule timely chats, and keep up the spirit of delightful conversation.
Use narrow and to-the-point hashtags so people can search for your groups easily and join to create a great community. Make sure to create great different communities if your topic of events is widely different.
14. Connect over LinkedIn
When we are reading about connecting professionals, which platform is better than LinkedIn.
Over LinkedIn, you can create your community and bring your attendees together. As LinkedIn gives the flexibility to connect with people from the same field, with similar interests, it is a social platform an organizer must be active on.
15. Workout and stress relief sessions
While you are not a health coach and neither is the event related to health, it is exciting to engage your attendees with tasks that are different.
After the pandemic, most people have moved to healthy eating, exercises, meditation, and many more to keep their brains working. It is a good deal to include some basic exercises during your virtual event.
These exercises act as breaks, attendees who are interested will follow the trend, while those who are not will come back after the break.
Overall, this is a unique way to engage your audience, and not many organizations have implemented it yet. So if you plan to go big, implement this step along with the ones comfortable from the list above, and you can see the change happening already!
16. Don’t forget to add an element of surprise
To augment your virtual events, a surprise is the best thing to have in place for the attendees to stick to your event till the end.
The surprise can be anything exciting, like a renowned speaker’s presence at the end that is held live, or some techniques that will be revealed at the end, or some bonuses that attendees can look forward to.
You decide on the element of surprise that is relevant to your product or brand and satisfies the attendees at the end.
With events being conducted virtually, we have to get accustomed to the new normal and must be more active on social media platforms.
A virtual event is sometimes restricted by time, or many other factors and networking might just be not like any other physical event, but as attendees, we must be proactive to reach out to fellow attendees on social media and share insights.
As long as there are social media platforms and virtual conferencing tools, there is no end to networking.
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