During the past year, the adoption of technology has grown exponentially as working from home has become the new normal. Thankfully, we live in a time where most things, including corporate events and networking, have taken the shift to working online gracefully. We’ve got on board with it too, hosting virtual graduations to celebrate the success of our students.
With 2020 seeing a rise in online events, it can seem like the online world is saturated with them. Nevertheless, it’s important to your career development to stay connected in the business community and up-to-date with the latest market trends. Whilst most of us are still at home, now could be a great time to build relationships for the future.
To help you make the most of virtual networking, we’ve created a 4-stage model which outlines main areas for consideration when attending online events.
Do your research
Whilst it may seem like the most obvious tactic when approaching online events, it really is important to remember the technology we have at our fingertips. A number of online events publish their attendees prior to the day, so it’s always good to prepare by getting to know who you’ll have the opportunity to talk to.
Utilise tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to get to know the speakers. Seeking background information may help you determine the credibility of the event and also the relevance of its content. Not only that, but finding common ground may open up business or career opportunities.
Set clear goals
Before signing up to any event, it is always a good idea to have a clear picture of the outcome you are hoping to achieve. You need to work out how the event can be of most value to you.
Some examples of aims you could focus on are as follows:
- Collect market research
- Ask questions
- Arrange virtual interviews/meetings
- Find career mentors
- Source career opportunities
- Build industry connections
Despite your overall goals, its best practice to go prepared with a few questions, so finding out the best ones to ask is integral. This will help you show confidence in the business world, particularly in the eyes of future employers/clients/partners.
Build better connections
It is important to remember that whilst events and conferences move into the online world, they are much more accessible for people to attend. For the most part, this can be a great way to expand your network but, it’s also worth mentioning that it’s simply impossible to get around to everyone!
It would be sensible to go into an event with a clear plan of the main people you would like to connect with. With most virtual events, you can swap digital contact details at the touch of a button, meaning you can build lasting connections.
Stay in touch
Whilst maintaining professionalism is the priority, always remember that you’re talking to real people. Not everything you talk about has to be strictly business, feel free to connect with the people around you on a less formal level. Reaching out on different forms of social media, as and when you deem appropriate, could be a great way to build healthy working relationships even if it’s not face-to-face.
There are plenty of events you can attend on Eventbrite. Here are our top pics:
- Online Virtual Business Networking & Speed Networking – New Business Development
- HR Essentials – Managing Performance
- Baking a Better Career – The experiences of a successful business
Similar to normal friendships, a professional relationship requires putting in just as much effort as you take out. Keep people in the loop, develop creative ways to approach people, and always have a topic to approach people with. Above all, remember to be intentional and sincere.