In this Covid-19 affected world that we live in, knowing how to host a virtual networking event has become incredibly important. Networking events are events where groups of people can talk with each other to build connections.
People who would previously not consider attending online networking events attended virtual events out of necessity. And so, virtual network event’s popularity skyrocketed.
There are a few essential aspects to consider when deciding how to host a networking event. In this article, we are going to dive into the 7 steps to host a successful virtual networking event!
1 - Define the goal of your virtual networking event
Deciding what you want to achieve by hosting a virtual event is critical in deciding what type of virtual event to host, and what activities should be part of the event. For example, do you want industry peers to connect, do you want to attract new clients, or do you want staff members in different locations to share ideas? The goal will determine the structure of your virtual event.
2 - Decide on a structure
Once you’ve decided what the purpose of your event is, it’s time to decide what to include in the event. For example, do you want Q and A sessions, a presentation followed by breakout rooms, where different groups can network based on their interests or industry? In this step, you should define the actions that will allow you to achieve your event goal.
3 - Choose the virtual event platform
Once you have decided on the structure for your virtual networking event, it’s time to choose the virtual event platform to deliver the features you need. It’s important to have a conversation with the team of the chosen platform. This will help you to have a better idea of how to adapt the existing tools to your event goals. SCOOCS can help you to build your dream event! If you still have questions on how to organize your virtual networking event, start here a conversation with the SCOOCS team!
4 - Get the word out
Hosting a virtual networking event with no participants doesn’t make sense. Therefore, it’s crucial that once you have chosen a virtual event platform, and confirmed the date of the event that you must have a marketing plan. This is to attract attendees to your virtual networking event.
The type of networking event will determine how you attract attendees. For example, attracting new clients might require paid advertising, while an industry peer networking event might require mention in an industry forum. The important thing is to get the word out about your virtual networking event well in advance and have regular reminders right up until the event.
5 - Welcome the virtual networking event attendees
You are hosting the networking event. So it’s important to welcome your attendees and make them feel at home, just as you would an in-person event. It’s good practice to be present before the start time to chat to those arriving early. It is also a good idea to have a short session to welcome all attendees. Explain what they can expect before allowing smaller networking sessions to take place.
6 - Let your attendees network!
It’s a virtual networking event, so let the attendees network to their heart’s content. Ensure that your networking sessions allow the attendees to achieve their goals.
7 - End in style
Finishing the event in a way that will help you achieve your goals is crucial. First, have an appropriate call to action. Whether your goal is to acquire new clients, create an industry forum to share ideas, or sell a product, you must have a clear call to action to facilitate the appropriate action.
After the event
After the virtual networking is over, it’s vital to strengthen the relationships that you have formed from hosting the event. Sending personalized thank you emails to the attendees is a great touch. Try to make it sound like a personal message from you, even if it is an automated email. On the other hand, don’t be too formal.
It’s a great way to bring your online networking event to a close. It’s also a good way of ensuring that a large proportion of your attendees will attend your next event.
If you are still looking for the right event platform for your event, check here our features! We have everything you need for a successful virtual networking event!