With the complicated year that we have had, networking is now typically happening virtually, and for good reason. Networking and bringing teams or stakeholders together is a crucial part of growth. If you are wondering how to go about hosting a virtual networking event, try a few of these tips.
Right People Right Number
Prior to the event, ensure you are inviting the people that are most crucial for bringing about the desired outcome and also try not to have too many as this will lower productivity, eight is recommended including yourself.
Before the event, once you know who has accepted the invitation, ensure that you sent out a calendar invite with the date and time that includes the link for whatever app you will be using for the event.
Introduce Guests Prior
By simply ensuring everyone is aware of who will be there by including their name and maybe a one-sentence description, those attending will know what to expect and be prepared for interacting with each other. You can also then share the guidelines or agenda for the meeting.
Make Attendees Feel Comfortable
You should be prepared and, on the call, about two minutes early so you can let everyone into the session, greet them and provide the guidance on what to expect. Five minutes after the start time you can start with introductions and find out if anyone will need to exit early.
Keep the Conversation Structured
After initial introductions, you should ask each participant a specific question that is somewhat open-ended and offers the attendee the chance to share a bit about themselves. Keep the session on track and end by thanking all involved. The recommended meeting time is 90 minutes.