7 Simple Steps to Getting the Most Out of Online Networking
With COVID-19 entering a new phase in the form of the Delta variant, the challenge of balancing in-person and virtual events continues. For some, transitioning to virtual events has been an easy switch, for others, a bit more of a challenge. Here are 7 simple steps on how you can get the most out of your future online networking event.
1. Embrace the Change
The world has turned digital and we are lucky to live during a time in which technology allows us to stay connected from the comfort of our homes. The virtual space is designed to accomplish all that you would in the physical space, so if possible, learn how to navigate it in advance so that you can get the most out of the platform at the moment. Virtual events are a great addition to your business development that are not going anywhere so take advantage of them!
2. Look the Part
Even though it is just a virtual meeting, it is important to dress like you are attending in person. Being in formal business attire gets you in the right mindset and makes you look professional. Make sure to sit in a well-lit area so that everyone can easily see your face and expressions. Having proper “zoom etiquette” when attending a virtual event will ensure that the meeting runs more smoothly, professionally, and efficiently.
3. Do Your Homework
Before attending any virtual event, take advantage of all the networking methods available. Make sure to complete your profile on the relevant website by updating your contact information, linking your updated LinkedIn profile, and taking all the necessary steps to make yourself as easily accessible as possible. Find out who else is coming to the event, connect with them, and see who’s available to share deals on the platform.
4. Keep it Concise
Be sure to have a brief and informative elevator pitch that clearly explains what you do and how you can help others achieve their goals. Opus Connect recommends 20 seconds for an effective elevator pitch. It’s important to note that side conversations can be especially distracting, for that reason we recommend keeping your microphone on mute when not speaking. Virtual meetings require more thoughtful communication to keep everyone on task and respect people’s time.
5. If You’re There, Be There Fully
Don’t just be a wallflower, make sure to participate to a tasteful degree. If you have something interesting to say, make sure you do before the moment passes. Even if you are simply introducing yourself and asking a question pertinent to the topic, you would be surprised how many connections you can create by putting yourself out there and establishing an initial rapport with the audience.
6. Enjoy the Breakout Sessions
Ask questions during sessions to better understand the other company’s business and offerings. You can also then discuss these topics in more detail with others when chatting with participants. To get the most out of virtual events, it is really important to arrive early and try to stay until the end. We all have busy schedules, but keep in mind if you show up late or leave early, you may miss out on valuable opportunities to network with others who weren’t able to stay either.
7. Follow Up
Once you do start networking and interacting with participants and sponsors, be sure to follow up in a meaningful way to solidify the relationship. Talking about these new business ideas, people, and concepts helps you remember key points and process the new information. Whether through email, social media, or a one on one follow-up meeting, simply providing a comment on a topic can set you apart and lead to amazing networking opportunities.
Today there are so many more opportunities to attend online events that never existed before to network and learn from a wider range of people. Now that you have read our 7 simple steps for attending, we hope they will give you the boost or confirmation you need to have a great experience at your next virtual event. These historic times are certainly forcing us to reinvent ourselves, and online networking is no exception.
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By Lou Sokolovskiy, Founder & CEO at Opus Connect and Anna Adamian, Content Marketing Associate at Opus Connect