5 Tips To Help You Stand Out At A Virtual Networking Event

How-to-stand-out-at-virtual-networking-events.                       Picture: Geralt/Pixabay

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. 

Follow Up

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. 

Ask Questions

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. 

Show Gratitude  

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. 

Ten New Ways of Unleashing Your Creativity in The Workplace

Creativity is the new buzzword – you are constantly reminded that you need to showcase creative thinking in your workplace, to ‘think outside the box’. However, no one tells you how intimidating unleashing your creativity is and it remains one of those scary things for many jobs since it involves shaking things up and trying new things.

That means letting go of older, inefficient systems, all in order to solve new problems that are increasing in their complexity. You never know how vital a new way of thinking is until you face a problem that cannot be solved using the tried and true methods of the past.

Many reasons exist that necessitate the need for creativity in the workplace – needing to resolve problems, a requirement for something new, and a need to communicate with others.  Innovation is the lifeblood of any organization or business, so here are some ways that will help you increase your creativity.

Sometimes, disregarding the rules is good. 

The next time you get together with your team and brainstorm, it is a good idea to enforce a ‘no barring of ideas’ session. Encourage everyone in the team to come up with ideas, even those that seem far-fetched or nonsensical. Even in these ideas is a bit of wisdom, so make it even better by assigning someone to police any negative phrases that may be said, and encourage honesty from everyone as well.

 Become visual in thinking 

Becoming a visual thinker is a good thing, regardless of the industry you work in, or the role that you are operating in. visualizing ideas is an excellent way to get you and the team thinking on new levels, so leave the phone alone, get into a room and use a board or your notebook – at least until your hand hurts from all the drawing or writing of ideas.

Propose a finished idea, then work backwards

You have a scenario you find ideal, and it happens 20 years later? Present it to the group, and you can work backwards with everyone to figure out what to do to make that dream a reality. However, do not choose to focus on the ‘how’ you will make it happen, and watch your road map unravel itself.

Write down everything you hear or think

When brainstorming and thinking about creative ways to do your job, understand and remember that no idea is too small for consideration. Keep in mind that even the most far-fetched ideas have some value to your business, and you can use them down the line.

After all, you never know the exact phrase or word that will spark the next great idea, so make sure you note all of them down. You can then display it somewhere prominent in your office, such as a dashboard, and remind yourself of these ideas.

 Turn idea sharing into an interesting game Turn idea sharing into an interesting game

To promote the flow of creative juices, you can set up a game during the next meeting. For instance, having everyone present to write an idea and toss them to the table, you can pick a random idea and read it out loud. Another way is to switch roles, and you can ask one of the other employees what they would do if they were in your position.

Mental breaks are important

The perception we all have of social media and things like playing a random game of monopoly or Sudoku may seem like time wasters – after all, society teaches you that you should be actively participating in bringing more money and investing more time in your work.

However, no one tells you that the most productive people in the workforce take regular mental breaks – you are not a machine, you are a human. Give yourself time to rest and recover from your work – it is impossible to produce creative ideas when you are exhausted or lacking morale.

Encourage yourself to go for an exercise session

The problem with sedentary jobs is the lack of physical activity. However, exercise does not only serve to keep you healthy, it also encourages a boost of creativity.

At least once a day, take a break from your job. Go outside for a walk, a run, or whatever suits you and your schedule. You can even get outside and smell the fresh air, or go and say hello to other people outside your office.

That break has many benefits on your mind, and it will allow you to tackle an idea or a problem with a fresh mindset. You may even get inspiration in the middle of a break.

Maximize your strengths Maximize your strengths

Most people think that creative thinking in the workplace is the preserve of the ‘chosen few’ that have creative roles in your workplace, while the rest of the workers are logical-minded and dull thinkers. However, contrary to popular opinion, any skill that you have can be useful in a creative way.For instance, do you shine at using Microsoft PowerPoint? You can put your ideas in a presentation format, create graphs and charts to analyze them and see brainstorming sessions begin.

Initiate the conversation

The most difficult part of all brainstorming and creative thinking sessions is initializing the whole process in the first place. Regardless of whether you are in a group or alone, getting the ball rolling is not the easiest task.

The solution is simpler than you think – start writing or talking, or even doodling your ideas. Once you get the words down, even though they seem nonsensical in the beginning, you have gotten past that initial hurdle and ideas will begin to flow.

Take some time to relax Take some time to relax

Your workday is mostly spent when you have your tea or coffee mug beside you. However, do you realize that a small amount of alcohol can help you out in brainstorming?

Do not use this as an excuse to drink yourself silly though and land yourself in AL alcohol addiction treatment facility,for instance –a glass of wine is enough to relax the mind, help you to stop focusing on negative outcomes too much, and instead focus on the positives.

Conclusion

Creativity in the workplace is not the preserve of a few gifted individuals, but anyone can exercise it. The key to increasing creative output is to relax your mind, and convincing yourself that your thoughts are not impossible to attain.

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