How to Organize a Virtual Speed Networking Event
How to Organize a Virtual Speed Networking Event
If you’ve been scratching your head wondering how to create an engaging virtual speed networking event then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about virtual speed networking events including the benefits of hosting a virtual speed networking event, how they differ from traditional networking events, how to host a stellar event, as well as which platform to use to turn your vision into a reality.
What is virtual speed networking?
Virtual speed networking is a form of online networking that allows participants to connect with one another through a series of speedy, timed interactions that foster meaningful connections. During a virtual speed networking event, participants are often grouped into pairs or small groups and given a limited amount of time to introduce themselves, share a little bit about themselves, and exchange contact information before moving on to the next participant or group of people. Often using video conferencing software or a specialized virtual networking platform like Remo to streamline the experience, the end goal of virtual speed networking is to cultivate as many meaningful connections as possible that can lead to future collaborations or opportunities.
Wondering if virtual speed networking is for you? Virtual speed networking is for anyone that is looking to expand their professional network, meet new people in their industry, or learn about new jobs or business opportunities. It can also be a fun and exciting way to make new connections while breaking the ice with other professionals in a virtual setting. Keep reading if you're interested in hosting a virtual networking event of your own!
How is virtual speed networking different from traditional networking?
While virtual speed networking and traditional networking share many similarities, there are a few core differences that must be noted. The main difference is that virtual speed networking takes place in an online format. This means that the event takes place entirely online while traditional networking typically involves face-to-face interactions at an in-person event.
It’s also important to note that virtual speed networking events are more efficient and more accessible. These events are more efficient and accessible when compared to traditional networking events as participants can meet and connect with a larger number of people in a shorter amount of time and have the opportunity to connect from anywhere with an internet connection.
While virtual speed networking may lack some of the personal connections that can be made through in-person interactions, it can be an incredibly valuable tool for breaking down accessibility barriers, expanding professional networks, and making genuine human-to-human connections is a world that is continuing to favor online interactions.
What are the benefits of virtual speed networking?
There are many benefits to virtual speed networking including:
- Increased Accessibility
Virtual speed networking allows anyone from anywhere around the world to connect, pending they have a stable internet connection. This means that networking events are no longer dominated by big cities and can instead be accessed by those living in rural or far away communities. This makes it easier to expand professional networks and connect with people that may not be accessible through traditional networking events.
- Reduced Costs
Whether you’re attending a virtual speed networking event or hosting, your costs are greatly reduced when you opt for a virtual alternative. If you’re attending, you don’t need to spend money on travel or accommodations. If you’re hosting, your main expense is marketing dollars, or a virtual networking platform as opposed to a pricey venue, decorations, and catering.
- Targeted Networking
Unlike in-person networking events, virtual speed networking events can be targeted more easily towards specific industries, interests, or geographical regions, allowing participants to gather and connect based on shared goals and interests.
- Enhanced Technology
Technology continues to advance at rapid rates meaning hosting engaging virtual speed networking events that mimic or even surpass in-person interactions is becoming easier than ever. Continuous technological advancements mean virtual speed networking can now offer more engaging and interactive experiences with features like video conferencing, virtual breakout rooms, and gamification.
How to host a virtual speed networking event
- Define Your Goals
Before you can host a successful virtual speed networking event, you must first determine your goals. This means determining which industries or professionals you wish to target, how many participants you wish to include, and what outcomes you wish to achieve.
- Choose a Platform
Next, you must choose a platform that supports your objectives. It’s important to be mindful of which features you will need in order to host a successful event. This means choosing a platform that supports speed networking through features like breakout rooms and screen sharing.
- Set a Date and Time
It’s now time to choose a date and time. Not only is it important to choose a date and time that works for you but it’s also important to consider your participants and make sure a competing event isn’t running at the same time. Choosing your date and time methodically will ensure you get a good turn out for your event.
- Promote the Event
If you want to yield sign-ups, you must promote your event. This means creating a marketing plan or strategy that gets your event in front of your intended audience. To do so, you will want to create a landing page or event promotion page where you can advertise your event and invite participants to register.
- Create a Schedule
Creating a schedule for your event will help both you and your participants stay on track. Your schedule should account for different segments that will take place during your event, the number of participants that will be active during each session, as well as any breaks, games, or activities you plan to include. It’s also important to circulate the event schedule in advance so attendees have the opportunity to prepare prior to the event.
- Develop Icebreakers
Preparing ice breakers and discussion prompts are a must, especially if you want to start your event off on the right foot. It’s important to create an environment where attendees feel comfortable speaking up and participating in the conversation. The more participants get to know one another, the more comfortable they will feel.
- Assign or Train Moderators
Training and assigning moderators that will help run the event and manage the logistics of your speed networking sessions will ensure your event runs smoothly from start to finish. It’s important that every moderator knows how to use the platform and understands their unique roles and responsibilities.
- Follow Up With Participants
Your responsibilities don’t finish when the event is over. It’s important to follow up with participants after the event to thank them for attending and provide them with any resources or materials that were promised during the event. You can also use this time to seek feedback and learn how you can improve future virtual speed networking events.
What platform should I use to host my virtual speed networking event?
When choosing which platform to move forward with for your virtual speed networking event, it’s important to consider the features you need, the number of participants you will be expecting, and your budget. It’s also important to test the platform in advance to make sure it meets your needs and is user friendly for both the host and or moderator as well as participants.
There are several virtual event platforms that support virtual speed networking, each with their own unique set of features and capabilities. Here are a few popular choices:
Zoom is a basic video conferencing platform that was built for virtual meetings. This platform offers breakout rooms which can be great for virtual speed networking sessions as participants can be assigned to breakout rooms for set periods of time, and then be automatically rotated to a new room with new participant(s).
Hopin is an all-in-one virtual event platform that supports speed networking as well as other virtual event formats like webinars and workshops. With Hopin’s speed networking feature, you can easily match participants with others based on their interests and preferences and then encourage them to join a virtual chat room where they can meet and connect.
Remo is an all-encompassing virtual events platform that can be used to mimic in-person interactions in fully customizable online environments. Remo offers a virtual networking space called “tables” where participants can join and interact with one another in real-time. Participants can be matched based on their interests and tables can be fully customized to include your unique branding.
Airmeet is a virtual event platform that offers a wide array of features including a virtual speed networking. Similar to other platforms, participants can be matched based on their interests and preferences and join a virtual chat room to meet and connect.
Create an immersive virtual networking event with Remo
Unlike traditional video conferencing platforms, Remo makes it possible for users like yourself to create a more engaging and interactive virtual speed networking experience with features like live video conferencing, chat rooms, and virtual tables that allow participants to connect in real-time while simulating in-person interactions.
If you want to gauge success, Remo provides you with analytics that you can use to track attendance, engagement, and so much more. This means you can measure the success of your event and make improvements that make your next one that much better. Get started with your FREE TRIAL today or click here to learn more about how Remo can help you create the best possible virtual event.