One of the biggest motivations for individuals to join an event or a conference is the opportunity to meet interesting people and potential allies. Now that these events and conferences have moved online people miss the good old days of standing in line for coffee while exchanging business cards or doing rounds at an after-conference networking event. They are now uncertain as to what are the best practices for networking and connecting with other people at these events.
These virtual events and online conferences are devoid of direct interaction with other people like face-to-face conversations or handshakes. Yes, we all miss the traditional conferences and events but as these conferences and events are moving online in almost every industry we have to realize that online conferences and virtual events are the new norms. Now we have to get used to this new norm and use it to our advantage.
So in order to help you network with other people at these events, we have compiled a list of 10 tips on networking at online conferences and virtual events.
Do Some Work On Your Event Profile
Your profile is an excellent tool for you to showcase yourself. You can use your attendee profile to let other attendees know about yourself, what you do, and how to contact you. Write a profile that introduces the readers to you and what you do. Put everything you want to deliver in it. Most important of all put your contact information and social media handles in the profile. This will allow your networking prospects to get to know you and allow them to contact you. Make your profile unique to you and take your time writing it instead of rushing through it.
Use The List Of Attendees to Your Advantage
Most online conferences and virtual events provide an attendees list which you can use to your advantage. Remember that you are not the only one joining the event seeking networking opportunities. There are many other individuals joining the event whose goal is the same as yours and you can use the attendee list to find any potential contacts with whom you would be interested in networking. Using the attendee list, you can find potential contacts and then figure out the best way to contact them.
Use The Group Chat to Your Advantage
It is usual for online conferences and virtual events to create their own discussion boards or live chat for attendees. It is common for people to be hesitant in participating in discussions taking place on these discussion boards or live chats. But remember, these platforms serve as an alternative to networking breaks so make sure to use these platforms as a tool for networking. Ensure that you check into the live chat or discussion board regularly during the event. You can participate in discussions on these platforms by joining discussions on topics you are an expert on and learn from other discussions taking place. Answer those questions which you can and ask serious questions. Taking part in the discussion and contributing to it serves to make your name recognized at events. You might even get a mention. Article on networking and why empathy is an important skill How to use empathy when networking
Be More Public About Your Attendance
Publicizing that you are attending a specific online conference or virtual event can benefit you in attracting potential contacts. The best way to do this publication is through social media. Announce that you are attending the event on your social media feeds. This will allow others who are in your network to know that you are attending this event and they can look for you.
Be Dedicated to The Event
Focus on the online conference or virtual event taking place. Give it your undivided attention. You will be tempted to multitask throughout the event but avoid doing so. The best way to focus on the event is to set aside the proper time dedicated solely to the event. This will ensure that you actively participate in the event instead of passively participating in it. This way you will learn more and will be able to participate more in the event forums. Being dedicated will not only increase your knowledge but will also allow you to genuinely connect with others through that knowledge.
Take Part in Side Events
Take part in any side events or extracurricular games. Participating in these will allow you to not only have fun but also help you network with other participants. You can attract prospects with your personality and get your work done while having fun. Participating in these events will show how engaged you are in the event and a fun experience is always looked back at fondly by people.
Share Insightful Content
A good networking strategy is to share the educational content that you found helpful and relevant to the event. This content can be anything from infographics to articles. They do not need to be original content created by you but can be from a public source. Having some content to give back instead of just taking can be quite helpful when networking. Although pay heed not to dominate a conversation.
Register as a Speaker
A very effective way to get a spotlight on yourself and your organization is to register as a speaker. you will attract many more prospects if they view you as the expert in the room. This will allow you to share your knowledge with a multitude of people while also attracting potential contacts.
Continue Connecting After the Event
The best way to continue connecting after an event is through social media. Search around different social media platforms for any conversations about the event and participate in them. Make insightful posts about the event and what you learned in the event. Send emails to your event contacts to thank them or request further conversations. Keeping yourself engaged and showing your dedication after the event can help you keep networking after the event is over.
Plan a Follow-Up After the Event
Once an event is over planning a follow-up with people with whom you networked is a good idea. It can be a simple conversation sharing your views and knowledge over a service like Zoom. This will allow you to maintain the connection you made with your event contacts and will benefit you in the long run.
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Dr. Tina Persson |CEO| Career & Leadership Coach| Author | Helping people to fulfill their goals