Take Your Event to New Heights with 16 Awesome Virtual Networking Event Ideas
Take Your Event to New Heights with 16 Awesome Virtual Networking Event Ideas
There are incredible advantages to hosting meaningful, engaging networking events. Virtual networking events help connect people and businesses, paving the way for successful collaborations, new innovations, and lasting mutually beneficial relationships. While networking events are incredibly beneficial, not all events are successful. Hosting an engaging virtual networking event requires creativity and tenacity. You must be willing to get to know your audience and leverage creative networking event ideas to plan and execute an enticing event. If you don’t take the time to integrate creative networking event ideas into your event, you may run the risk of hosting a dull one-way seminar that leaves attendees feeling lost, unfulfilled and unwilling to attend future events. As a result, no real networking may occur.
In order for your virtual networking events to be successful, you must find creative ways to make your event engaging. To help you host an engaging virtual networking event, we’ve put together 16 awesome ideas that have successfully brought together attendees and facilitated meaningful networking opportunities. Our 16 proven networking ideas are as follows:
- Pre-event live chats
- Open mic sessions
- Expert sessions
- Virtual meal sharing
- Virtual escape rooms
- Pre-event photo contests
- Playlist parties
- Virtual mixology lessons
- Speed networking
- DIY craft challenges
- Guess who
- Scavenger hunt
- Storytelling links
- Two truths and a lie
- Guest speakers
- Pre-Event Live Chat
A pre-event live chat allows attendees to introduce themselves and network with other participants before the event starts- helping break the ice and minimize awkward silence. Kicking things off with a live chat is an excellent way to set the tone for the entire event. If participants are welcomed with friendly conversation, they will be more inclined to engage, and participate through the entire event. Hosting a live chat prior to the networking event also benefits the event facilitator or host. Hosting a live chat is an excellent way for the meeting host to get to know attendees prior to the event. This way the event can be tailored to create a more engaging experience for attendees.
- Open Mic Session
Open mic sessions are an excellent virtual networking event idea if you’re looking for an entertaining way to kick things off. While you can host an open mic session at any point during your event, we recommend using this segment to kick things off, or saving it for the end of your meeting. Encouraging participants to come with a fun fact, talent, joke, or poem, or song, is a great way to get to know participants on a more intimate level. Not only will an open mic session allow you to get to know participants on a deeper level, but it will also give attendees something to talk to each other about when they have the opportunity to network one-on-one.
- Expert Sessions
Integrating an expert session into your virtual networking event is an excellent way to add additional value to your event. If you want to refrain from bringing in an external expert, encourage event participants to share something they may be passionate about outside of work. Whether it be painting, rock climbing, coding, or cooking. Everyone is a subject matter expert in something and encouraging people to share their expertise is a great way to get people talking. These conversations may even lead to unexpected or more intimate connections among attendees.
- Virtual Meal Sharing
Nothing is quite as intimate as breaking bread. While your event may be taking place online, it doesn’t mean participants can't share a meal. Depending on what time you’re hosting your virtual networking event, you may want to encourage attendees to share breakfast, lunch, or dinner. If you’re hosting a smaller virtual gathering, you may want to consider offering an incentive like a meal coupon or discount code. Virtual meal sharing is a great way to give your virtual networking event a more casual feel. Attendees may even be able to connect over what type of cuisine they’ve chosen to enjoy!
- Virtual Escape Room
Virtual escape rooms are one of the best activities that you can leverage to breathe new life into your virtual networking event. If you’re looking for something fun that encourages attendees to strategize, and collaborate, a virtual escape room is perfect! Luckily, there are virtual escape rooms for groups of all sizes as well as escape rooms that cater to budgets of all kinds. If you’re looking for something more economical, there are tone=s of free online resources that you can leverage to have fun!
- Pre-Event Photo Contest
Any activity that happens prior to the event is great for initiating conversation. Hosting a pre-event photo contest is a practical way to break the ice and get people talking. Simply choose a theme and encourage attendees to share their photo and kick off your virtual event by crowning the winner! You can choose absolutely anything for your theme including but not limited to funny pets, most elaborate home meal, best travel shot, coolest WFH setup, and more! This pre-event photo contest will give attendees something to talk about when they have time to network one-on-one while simultaneously giving attendees the opportunity to get to know their fellow guests on a more personal level.
- Playlist Party
A playlist party is an excellent idea if you’re looking for a free way to take your virtual networking vent up a level. Everyone loves a good playlist and encouraging attendees to share their favorite is a great way to get to know them on a more personal level. For this activity, simply encourage everyone that will be attending the virtual networking event to add a few of their favorite songs to a shared playlist. At the end of your event when everyone is winding down you can host a listening party and bond over your favorite tunes!
- Virtual Mixology Lesson
Hosting engaging virtual networking events can be challenging which is why it’s important to get creative from time to time. Hosting a virtual mixology lesson is a great way to create a fun, engaging environment. To make sure the event is inclusive, make sure your mixologist curates a mocktail recipe for every cocktail. If you’re looking for a way to kick things up a notch and have a little extra money in your budget, you may want to consider providing attendees with at-home kits they can use to follow along!
- Speed Networking
You may have heard of speed dating, but have you heard of speed networking? Suitable for both small and large groups, speed networking is a great way to maximize interaction among attendees. Similar to the way in which participants would get to know potential suitors during speed dating, speed networking is used to accelerate business contacts by briefly getting to know one another and exchanging information. As the host or facilitator, you can streamline this segment by creating a list of questions that participants can use to start each conversation.
- DIY Craft Challenge
There’s nothing like a craft or challenge to bring people together and get them talking! Facilitating a DIY project or craft is a great way to boost creativity and virtual collaboration. When determining how to move forward, it's best to start out with something simple. It’s important that attendees have the opportunity and the means to complete the DIY project or craft within the given time frame. You can take this session one step further by gamifying the experience and encouraging participants to vote on their favorite piece after the session has ended.
- Virtual Watch Party
While a virtual watch party may not mimic an in-person celebration to a T, event hosts or facilitators can use the activity to encourage conversations among participants. You can select YouTube clips, screen documentaries, or source TEDx highlights that relate to your event to increase engagement and integrate added value. You can then host a conversation or round-table discussion after the screening where participants can share lessons or key takeaways.
- Guess Who
Guess who a great game or session for event hosts or facilitators that are on the hunt for a great icebreaker. To start the exercise, encourage attendees to list two or three facts about themselves that no other attendee knows. As the facilitator, you can then read out one statement at a time and encourage participants to guess the player in question. You can introduce a little healthy competition into the session by awarding the participant that has achieved the greatest number of correct guesses with an enticing prize!
- Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are super simple and effective interactive sessions that can be used by virtual event facilitators to boost engagement and foster collaboration. You can leverage breakout rooms to break event attendees off into groups and encourage them to work as a team to source a predetermined list of items or you can encourage attendees to work on their own. Ideas include a selfie with a pet, a witty coffee mug, something blue, a healthy snack, and more! You can have fun with this session- what’s most important is being creative and making sure participants have a good time!
- Storytelling Links
If you’re looking for a unique way to ensure everyone in attendance participates in your virtual networking event, Story Links is a great activity for you to try! To play Story links, simply start off the game with a simple phrase. Next, tag an attendee to continue the story by building on your phrase. Continue to move from attendee to attendee until everyone has had the opportunity to add a sentence to the story. After everyone has contributed, read the full story aloud for a laugh! Everyone will feel more at ease and more willing to participate in upcoming sessions.
- Two Truths and a Lie
A classic party game, this game doubles as an excellent ice breaker for virtual networking events. Two Truths and. Lie is a great way to spark conversations among event participants that lead to more in-depth conversations. To start, encourage participants to write out two truths and one lie. After everyone has written these out, they can then share them aloud while other participants guess which one is a lie. This is a fun way to get to know fun facts about event participants that may not have otherwise been discussed.
- Guest Speakers
Hosting a guest speaker at your virtual networking event is a great way to garner attention and increase participation. If potential attendees know there will be a notable guest speaker in attendance, they may be more inclined to attend and participate during various sessions. When choosing a guest speaker, its crucial to select an individual that is relevant to the event so the guest speaker can share insightful, and relevant information that resonates with the audience.
Take your virtual event to the next level with Remo
Remo is an all-in-one immersive platform that was built to bring people together online. With Remo, you can create online networking events that are just as engaging as in-person interactions. For the first time ever, you can use an online tool to mimic in-person interactions like walking around, meeting in a fun environment with one of Remo’s custom floor plans, or simply making new life-long connections. Built with connectivity in mind, Remo is the premier choice for virtual networking events.
Interested in taking your virtual networking event to the next level with Remo? Get started with your FREE TRIAL today or click here to learn more about how Remo can help you create an engaging online event for your guests.