People love to network. Networking is essential for business, careers, growing personal connections, education, and so much more. According to LinkedIn, 80% of professionals believe they can achieve better career success through professional networking. Not only does networking help enhance skills, but it also helps individuals stay on top of the latest industry trends.
But the question remains: can virtual networking match the results of in-person physical events? The answer is yes; they can! The key to success lies in an organization’s ability to create meaningful and engaging virtual networking events.
Virtual Networking Poised for Exponential Growth
Before the global pandemic, when most networking events were held in person, businesses invested $78 billion in virtual events. According to Grand View Research, this figure is expected to reach $404 billion by 2027 and $657.64 billion by 2030. This being said, let’s dig into some top networking ideas for your next virtual event.
Top 5 Networking Ideas for Virtual Events
1. Breakout Groups and Speed Networking
These networking formats are very successful in physical events, but did you know breakout groups and speed networking are also popular within virtual events? Breakouts groups are workshop-style groups geared toward discussion, collaboration, and problem-solving. During a virtual event, attendees typically enter a main “room” whey they are automatically redirected to another sub-group of event participants. From here, event attendees meet with one another in their respective groups and discuss their professional goals for about five minutes before moving on to the next attendee. The idea is to network with a larger group of people during the speed networking sessions. This is totally achievable on HoloFair with our user-friendly talk zones. These breakout sessions can also be secured with access codes for each group.
2. Q&A Panels and Polls
Live question and answer (Q&A) panels and polls are a great way to grow the participation rate of your audience during your virtual networking event. On HoloFair, attendees can submit their questions to the speaker during live streaming sessions through any video conferencing platform such as Zoom, Microsoft teams etc. In fact, 78% of people who attend online events express that Q&As enhance their engagement.
3. Invite VIP Speakers
According to Markletic, 67% of virtual events use external guest speakers. VIP speakers increase your virtual networking events’ appeal and content scope while presenting increased opportunities for reach, marketing, and engagement. Virtual events open the door for a wide range of VIP speakers to “attend” your event. For example, public speakers who would usually be booked, live too far away, or would charge an arm and a leg for travel expenses, now have greater flexibility to present their speeches virtually.
4. Incorporate a Social Wall
The latest figures show there are expected to be 3.96 billion social media users worldwide in 2022 (a 4.8% increase from 2021). A social wall gathers and filters content from social media channels such as Instagram or Twitter and showcases them on your company homepage, event smart screen, and other such places for increased engagement. A social wall can help virtual attendees easily network and spark conversations and connections before, during, and after a virtual event. It injects a digital life into your event by allowing attendees to talk to each other, share experiences or images, and ask questions.
5. Integrate Virtual Photo Booths
A virtual photo booth provides an excellent opportunity to boost engagement at your next virtual event. Virtual photo booths allow users to create custom photo content and empower brands to engage and connect with fellow event attendees. Now, on HoloFair a snapshot can be taken of you and your friends as real-time avatars! You can customize your virtual photo booth to your brand and integrate it with many leading virtual event platforms. Most importantly, they are fun!
Now that you are well acquainted with the above networking ideas, these can surely be implemented for events such as:
- Virtual conferences
- Virtual exhibitions
- Trade shows
- Career fairs
- Team-building activities
Enhancing Your Virtual Events
More and more companies are looking to host their networking events virtually. By keeping your audience engaged with the above tips, your organization will be well on their path to ensuring their virtual events are just as successful, if not more successful, than in-person events.
Our immersive metaverse solution, HoloFair, is designed to do just that! This innovative experience allows users to access and enter the metaverse with ease where they can engage and network with one another in real-time. Leveraging our experience and innovative solutions, our team can fully customize your next networking event to your exact brand specifications.
Contact a member of our team to book your demo today!