In this new COVID-19 world, we’re learning how to go about our daily lives in a new way. Rather than attending events in person, we’re attending them in a virtual format. Networking events are no different.
We’re still able to meet new people, but only through our cameras and microphones. With this barrier, how are you supposed to stand out? The following tips should help.
Even if you click with a few people during your virtual networking event, it can be challenging to know what to do with those relationships next. Do you send them an email? Do you give them a call? Is it appropriate to add them on social media?
If you’re not quite sure where this newfound relationship could lead, consider corporate gifts and promotional products. By sending products to as many people as possible in your virtual networking event, you put yourself in a desirable position to be remembered.
They’ll have a branded product from your business to remember you at the right time, and you may just be able to strike up a conversation if they contact you to thank you for the nice surprise.
Go on Camera
There are many benefits associated with networking, but how you attend networking events will determine which benefits you’re likely to experience for yourself. If you’re an anonymous addition to the virtual event, with no webcam, you’re unlikely to be remembered.
Even if you express, at great length, your business offerings and reach, people still need to put a face to the name. Turn your webcam on, and make sure it faces you so that you’re looking directly at the lens.
Dress in professional business attire, and ensure the lighting is just right. If you can, avoid sitting in front of a window as it can negatively impact your picture quality. It’s also important to check that you’ve got a clear background behind you.
Have a Goal in Mind
Attending a virtual networking event without a goal can be a pointless exercise. Therefore, before you log onto that Zoom call, think about what you hope to achieve. You might be looking for some tips on a subject that’s been troubling you or to exchange ideas about something in particular. Many people also attend networking events, both virtual and in-person, to learn more about specific fields or make new connections in those fields.
There are few things as awkward in an online networking event as silence. The conversation has stopped flowing, and no one knows what to say next. Avoid this scenario by having a list of thought-provoking questions you can slip into any awkward silences.
After doing this enough times, you can confidently leave conference calls knowing that you stood out as a leader.
If you’re not sure what kind of questions to ask, do your homework before the event begins. Find out the career paths of some of the participants. You can then ask questions about people’s latest projects and triumphs.
At the end of the event, as everyone is signing off, thank the host for organizing it. If the host isn’t present, contact them afterward to express your gratitude. This gesture of appreciation is bound to be welcomed and may just secure your invite to the next meet-up.
Virtual events can be a lot to wrap your head around. They’re new and dramatically different from in-person gatherings. However, the same principles apply. By setting goals, being assertive on camera, and remembering to follow up, there’s certainly a chance that you can stand out for all the right reasons.