How to Host an Online Networking Event?
With all the restrictions around, the scope for broader networking has now become remote. Physical handshakes and meetings are replaced with virtual hellos and expos. Unlike real events, online events demand niche planning & understanding of technology and surrounding experts. If you are new to virtual reality events or are in search of a comprehensive virtual event platform that offers a myriad of services with seamless connectivity & integrations, then organizing your virtual networking events with HexaFair can be the best solution. With over decades of experience in hosting online events, we have observed and learnt about our audience interests and have put in every effort to transform & elevate our technology to match that level.
Today, we want to share some good knowledge bites about online networking events and how to host them? Read On!
- Pre-Event Preparation:
Identifying the right people and inviting the right numbers.
In online networking events, the number of entries must depend on the capacity for audience expression & interaction. The mix of diverse audience groups builds curiosity and better communication. One best benefit of hosting virtual events is people across the globe can come together and participate. That, which is highly impossible with physical events, has now become easy with virtual reality events.
Coming to the timing of online networking events, 90-minute sessions are enough to foster better engagement between the clients and their audiences. The timing is perfect to express themselves and talk with each other. Attendees can share their childhood dreams, personal stories to growing up and facing the new challenges in the business world. The main reason for hosting an online networking event is engagement, and that is sustained. The timing set for the virtual events is 6-7:30 pm ET, but the events are also recorded to play later comfortably. As we target a global audience in diverse time zones, our strategies performed well. And, we could serve all our clientele with equal respect and commitment. One of the best benefits with online events is the virtual parties where you can share your breakfast & drinks with someone sitting far away.
Make plans organized and well-set for your attendees.
As your attendees register for the event, send them a calendar invite with added virtual session links. Several platforms offer best-quality virtual connectivity like Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Microsoft Teams. The platforms are easy to use and come in handy for people who have no prior experience. Send them alerts for download in advance for faster connectivity.
Send out guest introductory e-mails!
Share across the names of the participants who are attending the event. A short description with links to their social sites will be good. People are usually excited to know beforehand about who they are connecting with? Also, share the guidelines to follow while at the event. This is really important. Begin with a nice hello, add the details, timings, introductions and end the conversation in respect.
- During the Event:
Comfort is important!
Arrange a manager at the entrance to greet your guests and guide them through the event. Initiate the session 2 minutes before the main event to ensure smoother participation and attendance. Get started with introductions after 5 minutes of the event start. Check for any early goodbyes and prioritise them in the list to introduce and share about their visit.
Give every personnel a minimum of 2 minutes to introduce themselves with a mix of personal and professional information. The follow-up attendees will get an opportunity to learn about the length of their part &the tone they have to adopt. As a host, you can pass-on the introductions to next & get the ball rolling. It offers great confidence and comfort to your attendees who seem worried about their participation & event outcome.
Ask participants to answer a special question.
It is the responsibility of the host to initiate a conversation and carry out the engagement of attendees. The structure of the conversation must be enticing, simple and fun to listen to. Here is a small list of the questionnaire you can ask.
- What are the new ways that you are adopting to engage yourself in lockdown?
- Throughout the event, share a time when you have been flexible.
- How comfortable were you to shift to the new normal?
- What unexpected changes have you noticed last month?
Avoid distractions by bringing back people onto the track of the first question. Make sure everyone gets a fair chance to respond to the questions asked.Make the event as exciting as possible. If there is extra time, make sure to keep a backup of a few more questions to ask. Small gatherings ensure everyone gets a chance to participate in the online networking event.
How much ever good the event is going; we suggest you end the session sharply after 90 minutes. Video meetings can create a boring atmosphere after some time. Even if the event is going on a high, ending the event within the set time is necessary.
After the event, send personalized thank you emails to audiences for their participation and encourage them to interact with other audiences, if interested. Virtual events have enabled good networking & relationship building between audiences even in these pandemic times.
By hosting online networking events, you’ll be able to build your own network, as well as enhance your reputation as a connector. HexaFair virtual spaces fulfil all the requisites of a best online events networking platform and are here to give you a never before virtual experience.