Networking is a big part of any event that you might attend as an affiliate. However, this can be difficult to do at a hybrid event where half the audience might be physically at the venue and the other half is attending virtually. Here are some tips that could help you network at hybrid events more successfully, regardless of how you choose to attend.
Decide whether you will attend in person or virtually
Obviously, the first major decision that you need to make is whether you are going to choose to attend the event in person or whether you are going to stick to a virtual attendance. There are benefits to both, so it might just come down to your personal preference.
If the event is hosted relatively close to you, it might be easy for you to drop in and spend some time there. Likewise, if you have other commitments that you want to maintain, attending virtually might be better for you. You need to make sure that you are choosing the best avenue for you – remember that there are advantages to both and you should assess what is right for you in the moment.
Look through the attendees
It is obviously much more difficult to mix at any event that takes place partly online. To combat this, many hosts are creating lists of attendees to help connections get forged a little bit easier. These will often have filters so you can search by company or sector to find connections that might prove to be interesting to you.
This can be a great way to make connections, even if you are only attending virtually. Reaching out over LinkedIn or some other platform is a brilliant way to make an introduction nowadays, and you need to be prepared to chase connections such as this as and when you find them.
Engage in the discussions
Whether you are there in person or virtually, you need to make sure that you are actively participating in discussions where you can. Make yourself memorable, and you are more likely to get a response from those you reach out to plus fresh inquiries from other parties too.
Make sure you do your research before each panel so that you are able to contribute as effectively as possible. Whether you are a panel member or just a participant who wants to speak up during open discussion, your thoughts should be interesting and well-prepped.
Networking at hybrid events might be a little difficult, especially if you are used to physical ones only. However, it is important that you make the effort to network successfully, especially as crucial partnerships are often born at conferences and events such as these. Do your preparation work properly to know who is going to be there, and always be prepared to add to the discussion where you can. Hybrid events might be the new norm for a while, and we all need to get used to interacting at them.