6 Tips for Making the Most of Virtual Networking
Let’s face it. For at least the near future in-person networking events and conferences are most likely not happening. The good news is that many of these events have gone virtual, which means that you can still network with like-minded people, building those relationships that will grow your business.
There are some major differences between virtual and in-person networking, and that means you need to adjust the way that you network during these events. Here are 6 tips to help you make the most out of your virtual networking opportunities:
- Establish Your Goals for the Event. Just like any in-person event, you need to have a game-plan when attending a virtual networking event. Think about what you want to accomplish during the event: Are their specific people you want to connect with? Do you want to meet 5 new people? Is there something specific you may be looking for regarding a product or service? Whatever your goal is, take time before the event to figure out your action plan.
- Prepare Your Introduction. During a virtual networking event, you’ll most likely have an opportunity to introduce yourself to the group – whether it’s to everyone participating or to a subsection through breakout session. Take the time to think through what you want to say beforehand during those introductions. That way, you will be able to concentrate on what others are saying rather than thinking about what you will say when it’s your turn.
- Participate in Real Time Chats. Most virtual networking events are utilizing Zoom or similar platforms that allow participants to communicate with each other throughout the event. Take full advantage of this to offer your comments on what the speaker is saying, ask questions, comment on what others say, and privately connect with others during the event. It shows that you are fully engaged in the event and will start to build trust with others in the group as they get to know you virtually. Turn on your camera and unmute when asked!
- Collect Contact Information. The reason you are attending the event is to build relationships and that means you need to be able to reach out to them after the event is over. Take the time during the event to ask for their email, phone number or other contact information so that you have a way to connect with them later on. Look for the common ground you may share.
- Follow Up. Now that you have made all these new connections, make sure that you follow up with them on a timely basis. Send them an email letting them know that it was nice to meet them and prompt for setting up a more in-depth conversation. Search for them on social media – especially LinkedIn and Facebook – by requesting the connection and referencing the event. Comment on the event using the event’s hashtags and connect with others through those comments.
- Explore Out-Of-Area Networking Events. With virtual events, you have an opportunity to expand your network by attending events around the world without leaving your desk. Take advantage of this time to explore new venues, attend virtual conferences and other events that may not have been on your radar because of distance or cost.
Networking is still an important part of growing your business and building relationships. With a little foresight and planning, virtual networking can be invaluable. Our President, Robin Richter, is an expert networker and would love to connect with you to help you grow your business through networking and other marketing opportunities. Give us a call at 949-888-7837 or email us at email@example.com to set up a complimentary strategy session with Robin.
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