Wondering How to Host a Virtual Networking Event? You’ve Come to The Right Place.
Wondering How to Host a Virtual Networking Event? You’ve Come to The Right Place.
Hosting a successful virtual event is an art which is why it’s important to do your research beforehand. The first step to hosting a successful virtual networking event is choosing the perfect platform. Tools like Zoom are great for a quick meeting or check-in with your team, but if you want to create an engaging, memorable experience for your guests, you must choose the appropriate technology. The right tool will empower you to initiate meaningful discussions and natural experiences that mimic in-person interactions.
What is a virtual networking event?
A virtual networking event is a gathering among professionals that share a virtual environment rather than meeting in a physical location. The purpose of virtual networking events is to bring a group of like-minded professionals together to network and cultivate professional relationships. While there are a number of key differences between in-person, and virtual networking events, the main premise remains the same. These interactions are meant to form connections and build personal or working relationships.
Virtual events do not need to be complicated, but they must be planned meticulously and be supported by the appropriate technology in order to be successful. There are a number of platforms that are commonly used to host virtual networking events however, these platforms often present hurdles, and roadblocks. Zoom is ideal for basic interactions among team members, but it wasn’t created for networking events. Click here to learn about the best virtual event platforms with breakout rooms.
What are the benefits of hosting a virtual networking event?
Virtual networking events allow people from anywhere in the world to interact with organizations, colleagues, or peers from the comfort of their own home, office, coworking space, or coffee shop. These interactions are made possible through video conferencing software or meeting tools that were designed specifically for these types of interactions like Remo. Unlike in-person events, virtual networking events are highly interactive and inclusive. Virtually anyone can join, and the possibilities for engagement are endless. Virtual event hosts and facilitators can leverage polls, live chats, video conferencing, and so much more so attendees can engage fully and get the most out of your event.
Additional benefits of hosting virtual networking events include:
- Quick and easy to set up.
- Low cost setup and high return.
- Opportunity to collect feedback and make iterations.
- Opportunity to measure engagement on an individual basis.
- Saves time and money for guests that may be vastly distributed.
- Opportunity to measure and communicate value based on how many guests have created meaningful relationships with each other.
How to Host a Virtual networking Event
- Determine your why
Before you can host a successful virtual networking event, you must determine your goal. Mapping out your end goal upfront will ensure you know exactly what you’re working towards. When identifying your goal, it’s important to determine what success looks like to stakeholders. Are they most interested in nurturing leads or are they more interested in the number of guests they have successfully networked with? Understanding what metrics are the most important to stakeholders will help you plan a virtual networking event that leaves guests feeling satisfied with their experience.
Having a clear purpose will also help you plan your event from the ground up. As the host or facilitator, these insights will help you determine the event's audience, structure, and necessary components. A clear purpose may also encourage more attendees to enroll as they will have a clearer understanding of how they will benefit personally or professionally from the event.
- Choose a virtual event platform
When choosing a platform to host a virtual networking event, many event hosts often make the mistake of choosing a more well-known platform that wasn’t designed for virtual networking. Oftentimes platforms like Zoom are chosen simply because they are more familiar, not because they have the features necessary to host engaging virtual networking events. When choosing your platform, it's best to opt for a tool that was designed with these events in mind. Features to look out for include having the ability to create intimate interactions at small tables, having access to collaborative tools like whiteboards, having the ability to connect beyond the platform with features like profile cards, and having the ability to seamlessly move from floor mode to webinar mode. Each one of these features are crucial when hosting an effective virtual networking event.
- Determine the size of your virtual networking event
Virtual networking events come with limitations, with one of the main being size. While virtual networking events tend to garner large crowds due to their accessibility, it’s important to be cognizant of how many guests will be attending. Ensuring that an adequate number of guests attend is a must however it's equally as important to make sure that you don’t invite too many to handle. You must ensure your moderator is prepared for the number of anticipated guests and you must also ensure the technology you’ve chosen can accommodate all attendees.
- Identify and implement your lead magnet
Hosting a stellar virtual networking event is one thing but capturing leads is another. If you’ve taken the time to create an environment that brings people together, it’s important that you capitalize on the opportunity by retaining their information or encouraging them to take the next step like signing up for the next event. Identifying your ideal persona, your value propositions, and your type of lead magnet will make it possible for you to create a lead magnet that appeals to your audience. Remember, your lead magnet can be a guide or report, a cheat sheet or handout, or even a resource list. What’s most important is finding something of value to your audience and using it to capture leads. In this case, a lead magnet for your event could simply be prompting attendees to provide their contact information in exchange for a recording of the event.
- Select a moderator or speaker
How many times have you joined a virtual event to be greeted by silence? During this scenario, one of two things happen. A few meeting attendees may choose to start the conversation and ultimately monopolize it, leaving other guests out of the conversation, or awkward silence will prevail, and guests may begin to leave the event. Choosing a moderator for your virtual networking event will ensure guests are met with a warm welcome, as opposed to awkward silence.
Moderated discussions are great if you wish to provide your guests with more freedom. Creating an immersive online environment that empowers attendees to connect and chat among themselves is an excellent way to foster genuine connections. To make sure the event runs smoothly, a moderator can remain present, and be prepared to guide the conversation or answer any questions that may arise.
- Create an agenda
A comprehensive agenda will provide you as the virtual networking event host or facilitator with a framework for success. Your agenda should account for all phases of the event including an introduction to guests, event format specifics, and closing remarks. In addition to providing you with a framework to run your virtual event, an agenda will also provide guests with the information they need in order to adequately prepare for the event.
Choose the perfect virtual networking tool for your next event
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.
If you’re planning a virtual event and want a platform that will help you create exceptional experiences for each one of your guests, Remo is for you. Key features include:
- Custom floor plans so you can create a unique atmosphere that attendees will love.
- Custom table sizes so you can create the perfect atmosphere for formats big and small.
- Profile cards so you can streamline connecting and guests can get to know each other beyond the event.
- Secure and lockable whiteboards so guests can brainstorm during the event, and you can protect your information.