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Networking in Virtual Events

  • 1.  Networking in Virtual Events

    Cvent Staff
    Posted 02-15-2021 11:40
    Edited by Danielle Czark 02-22-2021 12:55

    Hello, Community members! We're back kicking off our next Huddle of the Week discussion. If you didn't get the chance to contribute to last week's chat on keeping up team morale, go check out the fun ideas shared by your peers.

    This week, we are taking another look at virtual events. While our industry has come a long way with how we now approach virtual events, there are still common struggles that exist, particularly when it comes to networking and engagement.

    Back in the fall, we discussed how you will keep up overall event engagement in a virtual event, and some fantastic thoughts were shared. Now, we'd like to hone in on networking, and discuss ways to improve this experience for any attendee.

    • What do you consider the future of networking with virtual events?
    • How do you encourage reluctant attendees to participate in video break-out rooms or other experiences?

    As always, share your ideas, experiences, and questions below! #HuddleoftheWeek #VoiceIt

    #Flex-Creating/ManagingEvents
    #ManagingVirtualEvents

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    Danni Czark
    Senior Associate, Online Community Marketing
    Cvent
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  • 2.  RE: Networking in Virtual Events

    Posted 02-16-2021 11:36
    What do you consider the future of networking with virtual events? I think that virtual events are here to stay moving forward and that will be the new norm. Now that everyone has experienced a few things: 1. Companies have seen how outbreaks effect the hospitality industry 2. Companies can see benefits of virtual meetings. 3. There are programs that will allow to attend educational sessions toward certifications without leaving your home. After the nation is more comfortable,  I think Hybrid will be the way to go, but there will always be that virtual aspect of events. 
    • How do you encourage reluctant attendees to participate in video break-out rooms or other experiences? Ask questions that are common between attendees. Those general questions should be fairly easy because you know who you are inviting to your events, or your content for the event. 


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    Mary Ann Hall
    Event Planner
    Federal Reserve System
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  • 3.  RE: Networking in Virtual Events

    Community MVP
    Posted 02-16-2021 12:12
    Danielle,

    good morning. Hope all is well.

    • What do you consider the future of networking with virtual events?
      • I could imagine to host something fun like a happy hour, yoga, virtual food/beverage tour, breakout rooms 
    • How do you encourage reluctant attendees to participate in video break-out rooms or other experiences?
      • Make it fun and have them win "virtual prizes" or a gift card - scavenger hunt or quiz


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    Andrea Timbes-Cox
    CRM Administrator & Lead Catcher
    Visit Fort Worth
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  • 4.  RE: Networking in Virtual Events

    Posted 02-16-2021 13:21
    For our last event we budgeted quite a bit of money for rewards for participation including attending social sessions and asking questions.

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    Scott Sward
    Global Travel and Events Manager
    Viewpoint, Inc.
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  • 5.  RE: Networking in Virtual Events

    Community MVP
    Posted 02-16-2021 14:46
    • What do you consider the future of networking with virtual events? I think most people will want to get back to normal face to face when they are able, however it's proven that networking virtually does work, so perhaps there is room for both experiences in the future.  
    • How do you encourage reluctant attendees to participate in video break-out rooms or other experiences? I think for attendees is about getting them to do if for the first time.  Once the first time is over, it becomes easier and more comfortable and the participate will be more comfortable and willing to participate.  I think having fun with it is key, games, tours prizes etc.  


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    Colleen Beck
    Director of Sales & Marketing
    The Westin Tampa Bay
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  • 6.  RE: Networking in Virtual Events

    Posted 02-17-2021 08:40
    • What do you consider the future of networking with virtual events?
      • I think if networking is going to continue to happen virtually, it will need to get more narrow and refined. For example, networking will be more successful if it is a room of 5-10 people who are highly engaged on the topic/area that brings them all together, versus having a bigger room of 25-30 people with less in common. People are going to be eager to get back to face-to-face networking, so there will have to be a major incentive to attend a virtual networking even
    • How do you encourage reluctant attendees to participate in video break-out rooms or other experiences?
      • Continue asking questions until you hit on something they can't help but to want to answer/engage on. Prizes and giveaways based on participation. 


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    Robin Tiberio
    senior marketing manager
    American Psychological Association
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  • 7.  RE: Networking in Virtual Events

    Posted 02-17-2021 10:38
    • What do you consider the future of networking with virtual events?
    • I agree with the other posts, there may be a hybrid model for future networking and further defined topics/groups of people to get really engaged people in the same room. I think "fun" networking sessions like how to make a cocktail/mocktail, etc can also be successful because it provides a shared learning experience. 
    • How do you encourage reluctant attendees to participate in video break-out rooms or other experiences?
    • It's important to remember that everyone has different levels of comfort with 1. participating virtually and 2. the technology. If someone seems reluctant to participate it can be for many reasons. Some solutions can be to use the chat function to get the conversation started, using the annotate or whiteboard tools in Zoom, or use a tool like Google slides, Menti, Mural  to create a virtual flip chart, game, or brainstorm session within breakout rooms if your attendees don't feel comfortable un-muting and talking during breakout rooms. For the facilitator of the breakout room, it's important to make sure your session is engaging and interactive and actually applicable for your audience. 


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    Amanda Hinkel-Mauceri
    Events Manager
    HUMENTUM
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  • 8.  RE: Networking in Virtual Events

    Posted 02-17-2021 10:44
    • What do you consider the future of networking with virtual events? Roundtables and networking room discussions. Ideally things people pick in advance where we can limit the size of the group to try and encourage real discussions. The tricky part is ensuring competing companies, etc do not end up in the same discussion room.
    • How do you encourage reluctant attendees to participate in video break-out rooms or other experiences? Small tokens of prizes or giveaways. We also try and situate a 'decoy' when needed to get the discussion rolling as we normally find it's just hard getting people started but once they're started, others will chime in.


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    Rachel Sigley
    Sr. Brand Marketing Manager
    Tata America International Corporation
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  • 9.  RE: Networking in Virtual Events

    Posted 02-17-2021 11:22
    I do believe virtual events are here to stay, but so far the networking aspect has been extremely awkward and I often feel bad for the hosts who are trying to get people engaged.  For one event I attended they had us fill out a questionnaire beforehand about music.  It had questions like "name a song that reminds you of college" or "what song makes you think of a road trip you went on."  It was a lot of fun and throughout the event the hosts would play some of the songs and the person who submitted it would tell a quick story of why they wrote that song down.

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    Amy Zientek
    Director Of Sales
    Visit Lubbock The Convention and Visitors Bureau
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  • 10.  RE: Networking in Virtual Events

    Posted 02-18-2021 11:08
    Hi everyone,

    • What do you consider the future of networking with virtual events?
                Like others have mentioned, I believe virtual events will keep a larger place than they might have had before 2020. I know we are certainly planning hybrid events for future events that would typically only be in-person. I think networking opportunities within virtual events largely depends on the audience and type of event. I plan on continuing to research ideas to find a good balance of options. 

    • How do you encourage reluctant attendees to participate in video break-out rooms or other experiences?
    Some fun ideas listed above. I feel it's important to prepare attendees so they know what to expect of the networking opportunities available to them. It participates to their level of confidence going into the event. Again, know your audience. Some of our customers are looking for fun, trivia and contests, others just care for actual business discussions. Offering both types may give everyone to take part without forcing anyone. 


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    Sophie Pierronnet
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  • 11.  RE: Networking in Virtual Events

    Posted 02-19-2021 08:54
    What do you consider the future of networking with virtual events?Virtual events are here to stay in some form or another, so I think that attendees will naturally become more familiar with networking virtually. It won't replace face-to-face, but perhaps work in tandem.
    How do you encourage reluctant attendees to participate in video break-out rooms or other experiences?
    Incentivizing attendees always works (giveaways, etc.), but also keeping break-out rooms small helps ease any reluctance to join and anxiety of being on-camera and live. Also, lots of communication pre-event to prepare attendees ahead of time.

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    Bouran Qaddumi
    National Field Trainer
    Cajun Operating Company d/b/a Church's Chicken
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