Attending a virtual event is a slightly different experience to one in person. You have to be prepared to make the most of it in the best way you can – especially when it comes to networking.
Events are some of the best ways to meet other experts in your field and swap tips. At the AffiliateINSIDER Summit, we have top speakers from a variety of fields coming together to discuss all aspects of digital marketing in the coming year. Make sure you are prepared to leverage these golden opportunities for growth and networking in your favour!
Here are 10 things you need to do in order to get the most out of a virtual event like the AffiliateINSIDER Summit!
Your first step will always be to ensure that you are actually registered for the event that you want to be a part of. This is usually easy to do (you can do so for the AffiliateINSIDER summit here if you haven’t already!) and it is a step that you need to tick off.
Once you are registered, you will receive your welcome pack which will contain useful information about the event and speakers, plus the links to the panels and other discussions you might wish to join.
Establish your personal goals
What do you personally want from this event? Are you attending to educate yourself on the industry? Do you want to get in touch with a certain person? Maybe you wish to collect the contact information for a set number of people?
Establish this personal goal as early as you can. Your networking goals might require you to think carefully about how you are going to forge your connections. With a virtual event, there is no chance to grab coffee or lunch. You need to know where you will be able to invest the majority of your time to then receive the most pay-off in terms of new connections and leads.
Get your profile set up
Once you have registered for the event, you will be sent an onboarding email to access the virtual event platform. Look out for this email next week! (It may go to your spam folder). Next thing you’ll be asked to do is set up our professional profile or business card which acts as an introduction to others.
After all, there might be some people who wish to make a new business connection with you! Submit a short bio and a professional photo. Don’t forget to add some contact information too – a link to your LinkedIn profile will be invaluable to those who view your profile prior to the event.
Analyse the attendee list
Make sure you check out the profiles of the other delegates and pop along to our Exhibitor and Learning centre too – which will be packed with loads of FREE assets to download and read and listen or watch. An event like the AffiliateINSIDER Summit can have hundreds of delegates, so you need to work out who you would like to get in touch with. This will allow you to narrow down the list of those who you want to get in contact with. You might even have the opportunity to make a virtual introduction prior to the event.
Join in on social media
What is one of the easiest ways for you to announce your attendance at this event? Social media, of course! Get online and find out what the hashtags and social media streams for the event are.
You can use these to reach out to other delegates and share your thoughts on some of the various panels you have attended. From shoutouts to simple reviews and more, there is a lot that can be done on social media.
Test your microphone, webcam, and Wi-Fi
Before you log onto your first panel, try to test the various connections that will help you to make effective contributions to the discussions. Our delegate guide will give you a full run down of how to use the platform.
Will your Wi-Fi give you a clear picture and unbroken audio? If you wish to contribute, do your microphone and webcam work – so other delegates will be able to hear and see you clearly? These are all important factors to test. A bad connection means that you might miss a vital part of the panel, or you could also hold things up as you try to make yourself understood.
Make meaningful contributions
You will have plenty of opportunities to demonstrate your expertise at your virtual event. Whether you share an article relevant to the topics that have been discussed, or you wish to participate in a Q&A, there are many ways in which you can make a meaningful contribution.
Remember, this is a chance to network – not to sell. Don’t over-comment or crowd a discussion – it can seem like you are trying to hijack the conversation.
Participate in networking rooms and hangouts
In addition to the main panels, the virtual event will most likely have breakout areas where you will be able to discuss the previous panel and engage in a little networking. Make sure that you are prepared to handle these as best as you can.
It might be as simple as being able to recognise who is in the hangout with you, then using that knowledge to demonstrate your own expertise and gain a connection. You can never tell where a networking opportunity is going to come from.
Don’t forget the fun events
Many virtual events will also throw in a few fun events beyond their hangouts. These could be a quiz, or some other type of fun mixer! Don’t miss out on these! They are another great way to make a connection with the right people. A low-key event like this might be perfect.
Follow up on your connections
Once you have made your connections, you need to make sure that you follow them up after the virtual event is over. Did you manage to meet your set targets? Email your new connections, or reach out over Linked-In. What is the next step? Is it a meeting, or an informal chat about a potential project? Whatever it might be, make sure you get it pencilled into your diaries.
There is no better place to network than an event, and that includes virtual ones. Make sure that you are registered at the AffiliateINSIDER Summit and check out our Agenda to find the panels and opportunities that will best benefit you!