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5 Ideas for Networking During A Virtual Conference

our experience – your experience – their experience

1. DIY Kits or At-Home Activities 

Let’s face it, ice breakers can be awkward and there’s only so much mindless banter you can exchange before people grow weary and attendees drop out. In order to add an element of fun and interactivity, and more importantly, a common connection for guests to jumpstart conversation, you should consider providing attendees with a do it yourself activity to participate in, such as a tiny campfire, virtual cocktail classes, or an online trivia game.

Whichever path you choose to go down, just make sure that attendees are able to sign up to participate and receive the necessary components well in advance!

our experience – your experience – their experience

2. Invest in an Event Guide/Mobile App

Whereas event guides and apps have previously provided GPS directions to different conference centers or specified the location of breakout rooms (in addition to program schedules and speaker lists), they are increasingly being leveraged more and more for their ability to digitally connect attendees. 

Invest in an Event Guide or Mobile App that has an in-depth bio and contact section and community message board where attendees can start threads with other participants and message each other directly. Networking is a lot like planting the first seed, it takes some effort to dig up the dirt, but once the conversation germinates you just need to nurture it with time and attention.

our experience – your experience – their experience

3. Plan Themed Breakout Rooms

Any web conferencing solution worth its salt will offer some form of breakout rooms for guests to join in between sessions. Help smooth this transition by providing themes for guests to kick off the conversations with—whether it’s creative digital backgrounds, fun face filters, or even a thematic element. 

Themed virtual breakout sessions can help provide connection points for attendees and inject some fun into your events. It is also a great way to feature a particular sponsor or product at your event.

our experience – your experience – their experience

4. Professional Matchmaking Service

Tech Crunch, the online startup periodical for all things technical, saved 2 months of planning by providing an event match making service. These services will gather information on your attendees and partner them into groups of people with similar professional goals or complementary experiences. 

In addition to eliminating the stress on your end, they also allow hosts to collect valuable data related to guest metrics including event attendance, guest satisfaction, and the ever important feedback regarding what elements participants would like to see in the next event.

our experience – your experience – their experience

5. Create a Networking Template

Attendees spend a lot of time and money to participate in these virtual events, and it’s likely that they have their own set of personal goals they are looking to complete. Rather than trying to tease out hidden clues as to how you can connect, make your guests fill out a networking template beforehand that is accessible to everyone. 

This helps eliminate a lot of the initial searching time and can give you a solid foundation with which to connect.