In this era of social distancing, you might often find yourself in virtual events, whether it’s a Zoom webinar, a Facebook or LinkedIn Livestream, or Skype meeting. But listening to the presentation is not the only thing we do when we attend these virtual events. Often times, you might catch yourself chatting with other attendees while sharing your insights and knowledge. You’ll find that the audience usually has great backgrounds, but it can be hard to connect with them. So in this article, I want to break down how to master networking during virtual events and stand out using two tips you can easily implement the next time you find yourself in one of these scenarios. You can continue reading along to learn how to master networking during virtual events or watch the video below instead.
How to Master Networking During Virtual Events and Stand Out
Tip #1: Preface Your Comments with an Introduction
In these past few months, I have participated in a lot of webinars as well as various online seminars, summits, and conferences that are 100% virtual. It’s definitely not the same as being able to speak with someone face to face in a meeting room, so your strategy and approach has to be a bit different. Whenever I observe different chats, a lot of people are just chiming in and sharing their thoughts. They’re really great participants, however, most of the feedback is surface level, with comments like, “I agree” or “That’s a really great point”. They’re not necessarily saying why they agree or sharing any justification or rationale behind what makes something a really great point. They’re also not providing any context or background on themselves in these types of comments.
So as you are leaving your comments, I encourage you to share your quick introduction. You want to establish yourself as an authority or at least give people some background information about who you are. Include your key points and explain the reason why you are agreeing. You don’t really want to walk away without knowing anything about that person who is chatting alongside you. For example, “As a Human Resources Business professional for the past 7 years and currently working at TOMS, I agree with you because I see this happening recently and (insert your insight).” You’ll pique other people’s curiosity just by adding a quick introduction in your comments. They might be interested in meeting someone in your field, or they might be seeking someone with skills such as yours. With this simple addition to your comments, you provide many more opportunities for others to instigate a conversation with you.
Tip #2: Before the Event, Prepare Your Information for a Quick Copy + Paste
Make sure that before hopping on to the webinar, you have prepared your LinkedIn URL as well as your best contact information. During these events, the chat passes by very quickly and usually always disappears once the session ends. If you aren’t sure about connecting with somebody, you can absolutely message them privately or tag their names in your comment. Similarly, at the very end of the chat, you may feel really engaged with a specific targeted group. You may send them an invitation to connect and say something like: “I really enjoy this webinar today. Thank you so much for all of your guy’s great energy and thoughts. In case you want to connect, here’s my LinkedIn profile and my email address.” Then drop your LinkedIn profile as well as your email address in the chat.
I hope these tips are helpful – let me know if you end up using them! I love hearing feedback on what is helpful to my job-seeking community. Feel free to share some of your own virtual networking tips as well!