It is important for businesses to continue networking even though physical gatherings have been greatly limited this year, so a great way to keep reaching out is hosting a virtual networking event. Networking is a crucial part of business growth and can also be an incredibly helpful tool for bringing team members together on a personal level to potentially increase cooperation and productivity. Here are a few tips to help these events go smoothly and be a successful experience.
Right People, Right Number
Prior to the event, ensure you are inviting the essential individuals that are integral for bringing about the desired outcome and do not have too many as this will decrease productivity, no more than eight is recommended, including yourself.
Ensure Easy Access
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.