No matter the type of event — in-person, virtual, hybrid, or webinar — they all offer the chance to build relationships with those attending. The kind of event and the duration influences how the networking will occur — and whether the interactions are one-directional or collaborative.
Webinars offer a valuable opportunity to network and connect with a plethora of people. And with webinars capable of engaging 48 per cent of leads according to research, it’s time to start paying attention.
Planning and thinking about how you will encourage networking is essential if nurturing leads and connections is your goal. Making this a priority early in the preparation phase will more effectively ensure that you and your attendees are well served.
When organising an event, it is essential to consider the role of networking at each stage — pre-event, event, and post-event. By breaking down the plan, and segmenting it this way, you can create a set of actionable and measurable goals for each segment.
Before an event, it is important to plan and coordinate the details, such as the topics of the presentation and speakers, the location, and other necessary vendors. Also, it is a great time to create a plan and set up a strategy for networking and connecting with people during the event by organising the schedule and sending out promotional materials.
Plan out a portion of your event for networking. This could be part of the running order for larger events or an informal coffee and chat for smaller meetings. While nearly 80 per cent of professionals realise its importance, nearly 50 per cent don’t follow through.
Consider baking breakout rooms into the flow of your event, or ask them to join the Space before the event goes live to get to know one another. Advertise any formal networking opportunities as part of your event marketing activities, and make sure to gauge interest through RSVPs or other feedback mechanisms.
Technology can help with event management by providing solutions to send invites, monitor responses, and provide bespoke user experiences based on audience preferences. Remember to ask the relevant people to attend — instead of casting a wide net, try to understand your target audience and where to look for them.
Once your event is all set, it’s time to get connected. Whether it’s an official networking event in an online setting or simply speaking with guests at an in-person event, take advantage of the chance to get to know who you’re talking to, their likes and dislikes, what made them decide to take part in your gathering and how you may be able to help them.
For webinars, you can create breakout rooms where attendees from different industries can have a set time to connect. On Tevent, you can track customer engagement with live analytics and use existing data to initiate conversations and track new insights.
If you’re swarmed with questions as a speaker, you might not be able to get through them all in one sitting, despite your best efforts. Contacting participants afterwards to follow up with answers can be a great way to solidify a contact.
You can even add contacts and private message participants to stay in touch long after the event is over.
It’s important to maintain contact with the people you meet at your event so that you can continue to benefit from the connections you made.
Prepare post-event messages and materials beforehand and have them ready to go. This will save time and make sure that follow-up communication is sent quickly. Quick follow-ups will increase the chances of your event being remembered and result in higher levels of engagement. Once the event is over, use the insights you’ve gained to decide who to invite to upcoming events.
Post-event follow-up gives you an opportunity to connect further with attendees and hopefully turn them into long-term customers. By staying in touch and providing relevant content you remain top of mind to your attendees — which in turn increases the likelihood of closing deals.
For more tips on post-event outreach, we’ve already compiled a detailed breakdown of what to do and when.
An event-specific technology solution tailored to your needs is the best way to maximise online events. A trustworthy program assures you that it can handle any size event while helping you manage the entire event and make the most of the networking experiences.
Tevent’s social networking features empower event coordinators to create dynamic community spaces during webinars so that attendees seamlessly connect as if they were meeting in person. Remove your barriers to remote by trying our app for free or signing up for one of our plans today.
It’s about time we outgrew the teething pains of current virtual and remote solutions. Let’s start making remote fun, collaborative and workable for all.