By Chi Chi Okezie
The virtual networking scene is taking off in a mighty way. Due to the pandemic and our need to social distance, the networking climate has literally changed overnight. Our normal habits such as traveling, congregating at large events have been obsolete for several months. Savvy networkers are pivoting and looking for avenues to efficiently connect online. Virtual networking involves various methods to ensure effective connections occur. Similarly to in-person events, building relations, showing credibility are still major priorities for success.
Listed below are tactics savvy networkers can take to leverage their online objectives in this new online environment.
The Foyer vs. The Waiting Room
In the past, people would rally in the foyer or the entrance for an in-person function. Since we have transitioned to digital events, the waiting room has become our new location. Consider logging into events at least 10 minutes early. If applicable, introduce yourself and make conversations in the waiting room. Share your business or expertise, as well as the reason for joining the session. Let others know what you expect to learn and how you would like to further connect. Feel free to include your contact information and social handles for a more effective follow up.
The Old Q&A vs. The New Q&A
Previously, Q&A sessions were reserved for after a presentation or talk. Due to the nature of the digital platform, the presenter or moderator can take questions throughout the meeting. This gives individuals an opportunity to engage more actively and add value during the program. Sharing your thoughts, comments or posting questions can enhance the discussion and encourage participation from others.
Response Time vs. Instant Feedback
Organizers of events have been able to leverage technology to more effectively connect with their members / attendees. Instead of waiting a few hours or days to send out surveys, they can send out a survey link immediately after the virtual session. This time advantage allows them to collect an increased number of accurate responses. The data obtained becomes an excellent resource for future planning, engagement and customer satisfaction.
Use these tips to improve your networking agenda. Find ways of meaningfully connecting with others and leveraging technology to increase your efficiency. Although this is a new way of networking, the principles and values still remain the same.
Chi Chi Okezie is owner / producer of SIMPLEnetworking, LLC in Metro-Atlanta, GA, USA. Visit the SN Official Website: http://www.snseminars.com to read excerpts of her books, sign up for her newsletter and follow her blog and social media. Also, take online networking courses: https://simplenetworking.thinkific.com to gain tips and techniques to network more efficiently.