VIP room at virtual event

Networking is the number one reason that people attend events. Being able to connect with your peers and industry leaders in a meaningful way is what brings people together at conferences and events. With virtual events and experiences taking center stage, virtual networking events are becoming immensely popular and have proven to support physical events by reaching a larger group of people without any geographical barriers. So how do you put on an event where people feel like they are able to connect in a meaningful way online? 

People might find virtual networking events a scary place to strike up a conversation. However, with the right virtual event platform features such as fun games, polls or breakout rooms, you can initiate tons of connections and conversations from your virtual experience.

Guide to Hosting A Successful Virtual Event

If you’re trying to figure out the best way to host successful virtual networking events, the following guide will help you find the inspiration you need to design your next event.

virtual presentation panel

Before the virtual networking event

1. Come up with the overall plan

What are your event goals? What are you looking to achieve from the event? It’s important to sit down and plan the skeleton of the event to understand your overall goals and how you will structure the event. This plan will help you define your customer base, what kind of activities you will have, who the guest speakers will be and what will drive people to the event.

2. Plan the overall design

Take some time to come up with a theme and the branding for the event. People love to be a part of a fun theme and it’s a great way to have your audience engaged from the start! Take this planning phase to figure out how you want the flow of the event to be such as Q/A sessions and breakout rooms for attendees to network in. Additionally, think about your branding and how you want your business to be seen at the event.

3. Choose the right platform

Finding the right platform for your event is extremely important. As you understand your goals and what you need for the event, you need to find the platform that will have all the features that will drive engagement and ensure a smooth event. This could be features like gamification, social media integration, customer support and other networking capabilities.

4. Figure out the logistics

There are so many platforms and apps out there for virtual events. It’s important to figure out the logistics of how you will bring people together. Make sure you test the platform out completely and ensure that attendees are able to seamlessly log in and navigate the platform. You don’t want your attendees to be frustrated with technical difficulties or other issues that can be ironed out before the event goes live. Additionally, try to have a calendar invite with all the information required so everyone will be able to get a reminder and be able to access the event easily.

5. Decide on the guest count

You don’t want to be stuck with a huge guest count where it’s chaotic for your attendees to network with each other. Consider keeping your count to a manageable size. If your group can be segmented, it might be a good idea to break them up depending on the segments. You can do this by creating breakout rooms that are relevant for each group depending on specialties and topics.

6. Market your networking event

Don’t forget to promote your event! Use social media and other marketing channels to get word of your event out there. You can create a social media contest to encourage sharing among attendees and get their help in spreading the word. Depending on your budget you can even send relevant gift bags to further promote your event.

panel discussion at a hybrid event

During the virtual networking event

1. Have an introduction session

Depending on how large your guest list is, it could be a fun idea to have an introductory session where attendees can introduce themselves to each other. This can also happen in breakout rooms or other sessions to facilitate conversation before other events start.

2. Start the conversations (if needed)

It could be a good idea to head to chat rooms or other chat sessions and start a conversation with a question to encourage participation. Sometimes attendees might not want to be the first to say something or they might not know how to start a conversation. You could use this opportunity to create a game or a fun quiz around topics to further encourage conversation.

3. Make sure sessions aren’t drawn out

People have short attention spans. While you might have made sure video broadcasts aren’t too long, you cannot predict what your guest speakers might do. If you feel that topics are getting drawn out or that speakers are going off on a tangent, it could be a good idea to set reminders or have a way to signal them when it’s time for them to wrap up. This will only help make sure the event continues to run smoothly without any delays. 

virtual meeting room

After the virtual networking event

1. Send a thank you note

Make sure to send a thank you note or email after the event to all your attendees. This will help the attendees continue to feel connected and give them the opportunity to provide feedback  after the event. It could be a fun idea to include any highlights from the conference to further gauge attendees’ memories.

2. Gather feedback

When you send your thank you notes, use this as an opportunity to gather feedback for any improvement in the future. You can send out a post-event survey or poll to make it as seamless as possible for people to respond.

3. Analyze the event

Once you gather your reports on engagement and participation, it’s important to analyze this report to see where and what the strong points were of the event and where you could improve. The numbers you get will be extremely telling in understanding your audience further so you can continue to tailor your services to what your target audience wants.

The more you host virtual events, the more comfortable you will be and understand how your audience works. It might take a while to give everyone exactly what they want, but that’s what feedback is for and what will help you continue to improve and host successful virtual networking events in the future!

virtual event booth

From virtual events to hybrid conferences, the event industry is evolving rapidly. Virtual events have taken center stage as businesses see the ROI and wide range of audiences they can attract through virtual events. As companies start to partner with virtual platforms, certain virtual event platform features are more important than others.

“What businesses need to keep in mind is that not every event is the same and not every virtual event platform is the same. Businesses that are looking to add a virtual element to their event need to find the right virtual event platform that will deliver all their needs and help them reach their objectives from the event,” says Stephen Handisides, V-Unite CEO.

So, what are some of the most important virtual event platform features for your virtual event?

Top 10 Virtual Event Platform Features To Look Out For

Here are 10 of the top virtual event platform features to consider before choosing your virtual event platform.

leaderboard for virtual event

1. Gamification

People love a little competition. Ensuring a virtual event platform has gamification features is an excellent way to ensure your audience's engagement during the event. With attendees constantly checking the leaderboard, participating in polls, downloading content and participating in other opportunities, you can definitely ensure audience participation at your event. Additionally, gamification also allows for attendees to interact and compete with one another which further enhances networking opportunities among peers.

2. Automation

Automation will only help make your life easier. It’s important to have a virtual event platform where most things are automated such as uploading speaker data, event pages, and other processes. Not only will this help to streamline the virtual event planning and execution process but it will also bring the overall costs down.

3. Social media integration

This is probably one of the most important features a virtual event platform needs to have. You will want your attendees to post and share your event on their pages before, after and during the event. Having this integration for easy sharing during the event is especially important so they can share the event's content in real time and generate more buzz around your event and business. It’s important to make sure this platform accommodates most social media platforms for all attendees.

training room

4. Networking opportunities

One of the main reasons for people to attend a big conference or event is the networking opportunities that come with it. Therefore, the virtual event platform must have as many networking opportunities as possible. These could include breakout rooms, networking sessions, chats and any other opportunities to facilitate a conversation between attendees during the event.

5. Virtual exhibition booths

Virtual booths allow sponsors, exhibitors and other participants to connect and engage with attendees. Attendees can engage with relevant booths and have the opportunity to take away content to research after the event is over. Virtual booths are a great way to share content and increase exposure for a business.

6. Repurposing and sharing

You will want to be able to re share your content. Once your virtual event is over, you should be able to save content to be used in the future or on-demand viewing. This is an extremely important advantage as you can continue to generate buzz and intrigue more of your audience to want to join your next event.

VIP room at virtual event

7. Live streaming

If you’re planning to have speakers and looking to broadcast videos and other sessions, a live streaming option is a must. Most virtual events have live streaming options for their audience to view content in real time. This is extremely valuable for engagement and networking during Q/A sessions after guest speakers and other hosts have presented.

8. Customization

When it comes to hosting your event, you want to make sure you can design your event with your own branding. You should also be able to personalize the event with your designs. This means that the virtual event platform should allow for white labeling to make your event your own. A virtual event should have your audience feeling immersed in the experience you provide for them, therefore you should be able to customize it to your design potential.

9. Customer support

Having customer support during a virtual event is a must. Remember, not everyone is technologically savvy and some attendees may need some guidance during the event. Additionally, having customer support will enable you to fix any problems that may arise and ensure a smooth event. This is also a great way to gain additional feedback for improvement.

10. Reporting and analytics

The reporting and analytics feature helps you understand where your audience was the most engaged, what you did right and what you could improve on in the future. It could also be a good idea to see if the feature allows for integrating analytics platforms like Google Analytics.

The bottom line is to find the virtual event platform that works for your business. It’s important to take your time when looking at your options. Virtual events are here to stay, and partnering with the right virtual event software is key to successful experiences.

Giving a virtual presentation

As if giving a presentation isn’t hard enough - trying to capture your audience's attention through a screen can be even more challenging. As hybrid and virtual events take center stage this year, it’s time to sharpen your virtual presentation skills and understand that we’re not just trying to engage the people in front of us anymore. At a virtual event or conference, we could be speaking to thousands of people signing in from their laptops or phones. Hence, designing an organized and engaging virtual presentation is key to success. 

Engagement is the magic word here. While you might be able to conveniently log on to a virtual event, keeping the audience engaged is the tricky part. There are so many more distractions for the virtual attendee. As the presenter, it's your job to create a talk that can really capture your audience while keeping in mind that they are not physically in front of you.

Helpful Tips to Nail Your Virtual Presentation

With shorter attention spans and distractions everywhere, your content needs to be interesting and tailored to your audience to make them want to stay engaged throughout the presentation. Here are 7 important tips for you to keep in mind to give a successful virtual presentation.

1. Prepare and rehearse 

You need to be prepared for your talk. This means taking the time to rehearse out loud. When you practice your talk beforehand, you can keep track of the pace and allow you to make improvements. Once you have incorporated changes and seen where you fumble, you will feel extremely ready right before you go live. Rehearsing your content will allow for fewer mistakes will help you gather your thoughts. A great idea could be to record yourself on camera and see what you can improve on. You may come across things like your tone that might need to be improved for your presentation.

2. Test your equipment

Just like you need to be prepared with your presentation, it’s imperative that you test all your visuals, audio and any other tools you will be using. Do a sound check and also check to see that your video is working and that you can share your screen with others. Practice everything you need to do prior to your presentation you know where all the tools and buttons are. Get comfortable with the platform you are using to avoid any confusion and delays. You can ask a friend or family member to help you with this. Have them log on to make sure everything is working properly as you present. This also includes lighting, clarity and helping you get used to performing in front of a camera.

3. Keep your presentation short and sweet

People have short attention spans. It's especially hard to pay attention if the topic feels like it’s getting drawn out. Make sure you are to the point and deliver your speech with animated expressions and a confident tone. Your content should be straight to the point without tangents and try to include more visuals if possible. Overall, try to keep your presentation around 20 minutes or under before you start loosing people in the audience.

4. Create an interactive experience

In order to keep your audience listening, get them involved! Besides letting your audience know about the Q&A session after the presentation, have interactive tools such as live polls and quizzes during your presentation. You can even get some members to participate during the presentation. Another helpful tip would be to offer small prizes for participants who get the questions right - this will definitely wake up any members who are starting to nod off.

presenting virtual awards

5. Stay standing

Try to stand up when you give your presentation. Not only will this get you in the mood but you will be at the camera’s level which will help you keep eye contact with the audience. When you’re standing up your energy will be passed on to your audience and they will want to be as engaged as you are during the presentation. If you do have to sit down, make sure you maintain a good posture and avoid slouching - which will immediately disengage your audience.

6. Keep distractions to a minimum

If you’re opting not to use a branded background, make sure your area is free of clutter and distraction. You are trying to draw your audience to your content, not to your friend making coffee in the background. This is extremely important to avoid your audience from getting distracted! Clean up your desk from any clutter and have a neat and clean background with simple images or backdrops if possible.

7. Have fun!

And finally....enjoy yourself. One of the most important piece of advice is to be yourself and have fun! This presentation is for you as much as it is for the audience. You should feel proud that you are being seen as a leader. Make sure you keep it real when you are speaking to your audience and just be you. 

Get Ready for Your Virtual Presentation

You are going to kill it at your presentation! Remember, your audience is here to listen to your content. They have signed up because of the value you bring to them, so make sure you honor their time and do your due diligence to give them the insights they are looking for. This is your opportunity to continue to establish yourself as an industry leader. Keep this in mind to engage your attendees and keep your confidence when you deliver.

When was the last time you were at a virtual trade show? If you’re thinking that (virtual) trade shows are a thing of the past, you might want to reconsider your attendance. This is especially important if you’re a small business or a startup. Virtual trade shows are an easy way to put your company out there and meet potential clients and customers that you may not be able to through other marketing channels. Now that you can attend virtually, there isn't much more effort you need to put in, giving you no reason to not RSVP yes for the virtual trade show.

Now that trade shows can be hosted virtually, creating a virtual exhibition booth is easy and cost-effective - giving you no excuse to skip an important show. If you’re able to attend online trade shows, you can seize so many opportunities that could take your business to the next level.

7 Benefits of Attending Virtual Trade Shows as a Startup or Small Business

If you're a small business or a startup looking to grow your client and customer base, then virtual trade shows are an important event to attend. There are so many advantages to this type of event and we have highlighted our top 7 benefits.

1. Connect with industry experts and leaders, potential clients and customers

Virtual trade shows are an easy way to meet industry leaders, clients and customers. Everyone at that trade show is there because they are genuinely be interested in the businesses. This is an incredible opportunity for you to get face time with valuable people and brands. These connections can potentially help expand your business into new and more profitable markets if and when the opportunity arises.

2. Sniff out the competition

Use the opportunity of being at a trade show to learn more about your competition. You can take the time to understand your competition and research their offerings. This is a great opportunity to see what other brands are doing that you may not be incorporating. Doing research like this can help you understand more of what your customers are looking for and how you can tailor your business to give them exactly what they want. A trade show is also an easy way to gain important insights into trends and other information that you could use to better your marketing and business strategy overall.

3. Raise brand awareness and create buzz

Attending a virtual event as an exhibitor or attendee can give you immense opportunities. As a startup or small business, you want to get the word out there. A virtual trade show is the perfect place to do just that. From the opportunity to spread awareness about your business and generate buzz to connecting with industry leaders and peers you can really get the right kind of exposure for your business. Talk to influencers and journalists to get your voice heard and use every valuable opportunity to put your new business on the map!

4. Generate leads at virtual trade shows

The leads you generate from a virtual trade show will be more valuable to you because they will be targeted to your audience. Hence, networking at a trade show is beneficial because everyone attending is genuinely interested in the brands that are there. Make sure you take the time to talk to as many people that are there. Your connections will go a long way even after the event, giving you tons of potential opportunities for you and your business.

5. Ability to establish yourself as a thought leader

When you exhibit at a trade show along with bigger companies, attendees will see you on the same level as those companies. This can help you establish your authority and credibility in the industry. Use this event as the opportunity to create awareness around your company and announce your brand to the market. The best part is that this event is your biggest marketing platform for your business! You get instant awareness and can establish yourself as an industry leader. Now that’s what we call a win-win.

6. Get immediate feedback

We've already talked about the many opportunities that comes with attending a virtual trade show. One of the best benefits is the ability to gain feedback in minutes. You can learn so much from direct feedback and make improvements instantly if possible. This will only help your business thrive and give you the necessary information you need to understand your market.

7. Find relevant partners

As you put your networking skill to good use, make sure you scope out the scene for potential partners. While we have mentioned that you will have competitors at the event, you might also come across individuals with similar insights and areas of expertise. Having an influential partner and one with lots of knowledge of the industry could really help you grow your business.

Virtual Trade Shows Can Help Your Business

What do you have to lose? Take advantage of the connections and networking opportunities that will be available through valuable trade shows. Attending a trade show as a small business is a great opportunity to generate buzz around your company. This is especially important because your business is new and you are trying to get it off the ground.

If you have a trade show on the horizon and are not sure if you’re going to attend, keep in mind these advantages and opportunities for your business. Remember that you can use the event as an easy opportunity to show off your new company and gain important insights into the industry.

Conference room for virtual meetings

Looking to expand to a different market? Or are you in the middle of restructuring your business? Setting up a virtual office looks like the answer for you. With more businesses switching to digital platforms everyday, having a virtual office for your business has its many advantages. Companies are adopting flexible schedules and hybrid or remote work models as the new norm. Employers have found that employees can be productive at home. On the other hand, employees know the convenience of a remote lifestyle. Between childcare and other appointments, people are able to do their job and tend to their personal life with a good balance.

Remote work is here to stay. What better way to stay connected than with your very own branded virtual office?

Top Advantages of a Virtual Office

As companies figure out a new structure and adapt new work models, designing a virtual office is a must. Not only will it help you manage meetings but it will also create a seamless way to connect with employees and clients. Here are the benefits of setting up a virtual headquarters for your business and why you need to start ASAP.

1. Increased flexibility

A virtual office brings increased flexibility for employees. Having a virtual office enables employees to log in from the comfort of their homes to work on projects and other tasks at their convenience. After a year of working from home, everyone has adapted to a different kind of lifestyle and employers want to keep their employees happy. Being flexible and open is the best way to do that. There are so many life issues that can come up and having the option to log on virtually or take meetings from anywhere can reduce stress and improve the overall productivity of employees.

2. Fuels work-life balance

When employees have the flexibility to log on from anywhere, they can balance their work and their personal life. Additionally, imagine all the hours saved from long commutes and the ability to join a meeting after a personal appointment that your employee might otherwise have to schedule time off for. By designing remote and flexible schedules you can boost motivation and help your employees manage their work in a balanced environment. Employees will feel less stressed about their work and will be more productive overall.

3. Access to more talent 

Having a virtual office gives you the opportunity to hire global talent. You will be able to interview many different employees from all over the country or even the world. This means you can source unique talent with the skills you are looking for that might not be found where you are. Hiring the right talent is important and being able to widen your reach will give you the opportunity to source the best for your firm. Additionally, having access to global talent is a great opportunity for your business to expand and set up shop in another country.

4. One mailing address

Since you’re not physically in an office, a virtual office will give you the ability to have one location to get all your mail and other documents making it look like you have a physical location. Your business will also have the advantage of a mutual location without giving away your private information such as your home address.

Woman in a virtual office

5. Good for the environment

Not having a physical office is also beneficial for the environment. Virtual offices help the environment starting from your employee's commute. Not only will there be fewer carbon emissions from eliminating everyday commutes but everything is done online which reduces the use of paper and other products that further impact the environment. As companies continue to strive to be environmentally responsible, this is an easy and convenient way to start.

6. Cost effective 

Yes, you read this right! According to Business Wire, companies spend around 15% - 46% on office rent. Having a virtual office reduces your overall overhead costs. Therefore you spend less and reduce your costs over time. While you still have an “office” to conduct meetings, a virtual office provides the perk of no rent. Additionally you will also save on other expenses such as utilities, snacks and more. The money you save can be used on other aspects of the business that needs investing to boost revenue.

7. Easy to setup

Everyone likes things to be easy. The good news is, setting up a virtual office is easy and quick to have ready. When you want to close up shop, it's easy to even shut down without any additional costs or expenses.

8. Room for expansion

Opening up new offices can often cost a lot of money without the guarantee of success. A major advantage of a virtual office is that you can expand without the costs that come with moving to a bigger space. Also, if you want to tap into the global market or expand to other states, you can do so with cost efficiency. If the office fails in a particular market, you can shut it down without a big financial loss.

Design Your Virtual Office Today

While virtual offices have become increasingly popular with smaller companies and start-ups, having a virtual office has proven to be extremely beneficial and convenient companies of all sizes. The way we work has changed drastically over the past year. It's important to continue to evolve with the changing times to keep everyone motivated and happy.

V-Unite has it's own virtual office! Check out the branded virtual office and get inspired to design your own!

Virtual Exhibition Hall - GVAS

The virtual world is here to stay. While in-person events are slowly starting to come back, event planners and businesses have seen the value and revenue potential that comes with virtual events - making them a hot commodity. Events such as virtual trade shows have proven to provide immense benefits to businesses. One of the main advantages being the ability for businesses to attend a virtual trade show over an in-person one. Oftentimes, costs and travel factors can come in the way of businesses attending events. With virtual events, the possibilities are endless.

With the potential of being able to host and have more attendees at events, you’re going to want to invest in your virtual booth to increase awareness and buzz around your business. Moreover, the connections you can establish and community you can build can be a great benefit for you and your company.

7 Benefits of Exhibiting at a Virtual Trade Show

Navigating the virtual world can be a bit tricky. Especially if you're new to understanding how it works for your business. If you’ve been a bit hesitant in exhibiting virtually, there are many reasons you should consider it. Here are some top benefits of exhibiting at a virtual trade show.

1. Lead generation opportunities

Lead generation is one of the biggest reasons why you need to exhibit at a virtual trade show. You can attract a much wider range of attendees who are interested in your products. That’s why they opt to attend these trade shows in the first place. With features such as webinars, live Q&As, downloadable content and branded booths and platforms, why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of this opportunity?

Keep in mind - your competitors are going to take this opportunity for themselves. You need to up your virtual booth game and spend some time creating unique booth that showcases your brand in the right way. 

2. Increased ROI and reduced costs

By exhibiting with a virtual booth, not only can you reduce costs by using pre-existing designs but you will also save on manufacturing costs of designing a new booth. Additionally, you will also save on shipping and other costs associated with physically being at events. You can also increase your ROI by gaining new customers and increasing the volume of leads you might get from the virtual event in the first place.

3. National and global reach

Your brand will not only have the opportunity to become well-known nationally but you will have people knowing the name of your brand on a global scale! With virtual events being accessible from all over the world, you will have the opportunity to increase brand exposure to different parts of the world. Imagine the possibility of attracting customers from far and wide. It’s a win-win for you and your brand!

exhibition hall

4. Creative boost at a virtual trade show

Creativity can go a long way when exhibiting virtually. Whether you want to think outside of the box, change your visuals and update content every hour - your virtual booth is yours to explore and customize however you like. Play around with your brand colors and come up with a fun way to showcase your brand to the audience. Remember to have fun with it and let your creative juices flow.

5. Continued learning

With virtual events not going away any time soon, this is your opportunity to learn and understand the online community. This is a space where you can constantly evolve and showcase the latest around your brand. By understanding what you can do better and how you can take advantage of this space, you can push your brand to the next level and really wow your clients and customers in the long run.

6. Research competition and industry leaders

Virtual trade shows can be a great opportunity to research your competition. Get a feel of other brands showcasing and understand what they are doing with their marketing. You can take note of any other promotion tactics they are using and what their customers are enjoying about their booth. This is an advantage for you to make sure you are providing better offerings to your customers. By learning about your competitors you can proactively try to take charge of the market.

7. Analytics and reporting

Gathering analytics is one of the best advantages of exhibiting virtually. By looking at who downloaded your brochures, what part of the booth most attendees were engaged at and what the audience was captivated by will help you get to know your clients and customers better. Making reports and noting the numbers and other feedback will be invaluable to your organization.

Exhibit at a Virtual Trade Show

Markets and businesses are constantly evolving and it's important now more than ever to jump on the best way for your business to expand and thrive. There are so many benefits to exhibiting at a virtual trade show. Not only will your brand benefit from the virtual booth but you can come out with so many more connections and opportunities to expand your business! Virtual trade shows have been a great way to increase the exposure of brands. The virtual element has only allowed for a wider reach and more opportunities for growth and visibility.

Need help designing your first virtual event? To further get inspired with virtual events, here's how you can make money while hosting a virtual event. We even have a guide to hosting successful virtual and hybrid events.

virtual clinic virtual event

There are so many things to consider when planning a virtual event. From choosing the right platform to putting together the content to establishing engagement opportunities. Everything that is planned needs to be set up for success. Therefore, hosting a virtual event comes with a lot of responsibility and strategic planning before launch. As you focus on how you will make a profit and ensure your guests will be engaged throughout the event, you may stumble upon certain obstacles and uncertainty during the planning stages.

If this is your first time planning a virtual event, keep in mind that this will be different from a regular event. It's important to do your research and figure out every aspect of the event before making decisions. To make your planning process a little easier, we have come up with the top mistakes you might want to avoid when hosting your virtual event. Trust us, these tips will come in handy.

5 Important Mistakes to Avoid When Hosting a Virtual Event

Mistakes happen and for the most part, they are a normal part of the planning process. Mistakes enable you to learn from your errors and do better next time. However, here are some common mistakes made in the past that you can look out for to ensure your event runs smoothly.

1. Not scheduling time for a rehearsal

This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when planning your virtual event. Why? Because as much as we love technology, it can sometimes fail us when we need it the most. Make sure you do your due diligence when it comes to testing out all your equipment such as audio, visuals, speakers and gamification features. You need to also have your guest speakers test out their equipment. Everyone should feel prepared before the event is live.

It's a good idea to have a rehearsal of the event to ensure that everything will run smoothly on the actual day. Taking this necessary step will not only make sure you have a successful event but will also give you peace of mind knowing you did a complete run through. This is your opportunity to catch any issues and find anything that is out of place before the launch.

2. Choosing the wrong platform for the virtual event

Every virtual event is unique. Depending on what you’re offering to your attendees, you need to choose the right platform for your event. This could mean taking some extra time to evaluate different platforms and find the one that truly suits all your needs. If you're trying to have a networking event, you need to make sure there are networking capabilities that come with the platform.

You also need to ensure the platform you choose can deliver everything from integrating social media, to clear audio and video streams and anything else related to your event. Have a look at our features and benefits to get an even better idea of the type of features you need to enhance your event.

3. Not timing out sessions and speaking events

People don’t have long attention spans. It’s important to keep this in mind to ensure that people don’t get bored and log off in the middle of your event. Remember, attendees will be logging on from their screens and they can switch off their devices whenever they want. Some helpful tips include keeping guest speaker sessions and other webinars to 20 minutes. Shorter presentations will have more engagement unless it needs to be long for educational purposes. Sessions should be timed and include an agenda for people to follow and stay on track with.

virtual event lobby

4. Not focusing on networking and engagement

Networking is one of the main reasons many people attend big events and conferences. While in-person events are slowly coming back, virtual events are still a more accessible way to continue to network easily. You need to ensure that attendees will get the networking and engagement opportunities during the event. A few ways to do this is by incorporating breakout rooms, live Q/As, polls, social media and other participation opportunities. Encourage your audience to participate on social media. Have contents with leaderboards to get attendees engaged and want to compete with each other. The goal is to keep attendees immersed in the conference at all times.

5. Forgetting about sponsors

Sponsors are not only valuable to you but are also valuable to your attendees! Take the time to choose the right sponsors for the event and get them involved in the early stages of the planning process. Not only will they help fund your event but they will also help in creating buzz and engagement around your event. For example, your sponsors could put together a swag bag for attendees that will get them excited about attending the event.

It’s important to do your research and pick the right sponsors for your event. Sponsors need to be related to your event to keep your audience's interest. Additionally, sponsors need provide value to you and your attendees even after the event is over, therefore picking sponsors that align with your brand is important.

The Virtual Event Should Provide Value to Attendees

We hope by acknowledging these mistakes you will be able to stay on top of your planning process to make sure that your event will run as smoothly as possible. You need to make sure your audience will feel like they really took away valuable insights and were able to network with their peers at the event.

event information center

As most conferences and events have moved online and are probably going to be hybrid as we move forward, networking can get a little tricky when you’re trying to engage and interact with event attendees through a screen. Networking is one of the main reasons we go to conferences in the first place. Business conferences and other events are a great way to meet industry leaders and interact with peers in your field. As events start changing with in-person and virtual attendees, how do we network to ensure we meet with everyone we wanted to learn from?

While we can’t start up a conversation with the person sitting next to us as virtual attendees, there are many ways to successfully network and get a conversation started when attending a conference virtually.

Top Tips for Navigating a Virtual Event Successfully

networking at an event

Unsure about how to network successfully at a virtual event or conference? We've rounded up our top suggestions to successfully network with your peers.

1. Establish your networking goals

You need to set networking goals and create a plan on how you will network with your peers during the event. This is a great way to ensure that you reach out to everyone on your list and meet your overall networking objectives. A great way to create your networking plan is to research other attendees' profiles. Check attendees out on social media to understand more of their background and how you can have a meaningful conversation. Having these set goals will help you establish what you’re looking for and how you will achieve your connections during the event.

2. Create a strong attendee profile 

Just like you will be looking up other attendees and speakers, other people will also be trying to look you up as a possible connection. Use this as a chance to flush out your profile with all the necessary information that will help you stand out. This is your time to show off your credibility in the field and how you can establish yourself as a valuable network.

Some ideas include linking your website and social media profiles. Even have your portfolio on there for others to see all your work. Additionally, try to add a picture so attendees will be able to get familiar with who you are before attending the event.

3. Reach out and introduce yourself!

Don’t be shy! Go ahead and introduce yourself to the attendees. You can do this by sharing who you are, a little bit of your background and what you do professionally. Depending on where the conversation goes, talk about your hobbies and other fun elements about yourself. When establishing a connection you need to gauge the ambiance and figure out the tone you want to set for the introduction. This will be great way for people to get comfortable with you and start a conversation at the event. 

Conference room for virtual meetings

4. Leverage social media

Speaking of social media, use your platform to share conference news and information. Share your updates on attendance and what you are looking forward to at the event. This could be what speakers you will be listening to or participating in chat rooms. Use event hashtags provided and start a conversation around the event to engage other speakers and attendees.

Remember, you are trying to network and social media can help you create connections before the event even starts! Additionally, make sure to share follow-up posts after the event to continue the conversation even after the event.

5. Participate in real-time messaging 

Depending on what the event offers, try to participate in the live polls, Q/A and other live chats when you can. Participating in these offerings is an easy way to chat with other attendees, ask questions and stay engaged during the conference. Some events offer leadership boards and the ability to collect points during the event. This is a great way encourage more participation so use this as an opportunity to network.

Make sure to leverage all the networking options to make the most out of the event. If your goal is to meet the most number of people, you need to participate and engage consistently. It's also important that you share updates and information as much as you can to facilitate constant networking throughout the event.

6. Engage in breakout sessions

Breakout sessions are another great way to have thoughtful discussions with your group; This is the time to ask important questions after a segment or speaker. Take this session as an opportunity to chat with the guest speakers and also have a meaningful conversation about a topic at these sessions.

7. Follow up after the event

Conversations and networking capabilities don’t just stop at the event. To continue to establish your connections further, make sure you follow up (politely) with the people you met at the event and see how you can further help each other with business goals, etc.

Networking Opportunities Create Value

event lobby

Conferences and trade shows are extremely valuable in helping you connect with your peers. You will never know how your connection can help you in your career. From mentorship to job opportunities, networking is of great value and can open many doors.

We hope these tips will help you reach your networking goals where you come out with valuable connections after the event! If you’re new to virtual events, check out how you can make money hosting a virtual event to get inspired to create your own event.

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