Networking is one of the key reasons why people attend in-person events. With the event sphere shifting towards virtual platforms, networking has become a bit of a task. This shift has also eliminated the possibility of generating leads directly.
However, along with having several drawbacks, the virtual event format also provides us with the opportunity to explore countless creative possibilities. Let’s have a look at some of the most creative ideas to increase the networking opportunities at your Virtual Expo:
1) Chat Rooms
The virtual chat room is one of the most interactive networking ideas that simulate in-person event features efficiently. As a host, you can facilitate your attendees with a chat room space where they can easily initiate a private or group conversation. With the help of this component, your participants can easily take their networking expectations forward. Chat room features can also be integrated with live audio and video chat tools to enable a holistic approach for your attendees. This idea will undoubtedly increase the networking opportunities of your Virtual expo.
Gamification is another tool that effectively helps the attendees in social engagement and interaction. You can configure gamification in the entire virtual event, so with every impression, the attendees are rewarded with points. Participants with the highest points can make it to the leaderboard and further be rewarded with online coupons or offers. You can also add interactive contests and quizzes where the participants can interact and view each other’s responses.
3) Live Polls and Q&A Sessions
This feature often fosters the possibility of idea exchange and knowledge sharing amongst the participants. During these sessions, the audience can not only share their perspectives but also interact with each other.
4) Schedule Meetings
The virtual event platforms have an excellent tool that facilitates the attendees with an option to schedule their meetings anytime they prefer before or after the Virtual Expo. Every virtual event attendee seeks long-term connections and a strong network. This feature can help your attendees in generating leads. It also comes with the tool of calendar links through which the attendees can manage their meetings by finding a free time slot in each other’s calendars.
Being the organizer of your Virtual Expo, you can also add a questionnaire to the registration link that helps this feature of matchmaking. With all the required information, like the attendee’s field of interests, preferences, industry, and background, you can work on matchmaking. The attendees can apply search filters to find like-minded people.
6) Virtual Lobby
With the feature of a virtual lobby, you can help your participants connect and network during or between the sessions. Here, the attendees can also view the agenda and exhibitor’s profiles. Virtual event platforms also have the feature of embedding social media links or contact details so you can download these details and have a conversation later on.
7) Pre-Event Photo Contest
You can encourage your attendees to share a picture of them with a pre decided theme. Holding a pre-event photo contest is an effective way to get your attendees connecting and networking before the event begins. You can also decide a target like most thumbs up or most creative caption, and pick a prize for the one who wins.
8) Virtual Escape Rooms
Many leading escape room companies also have shifted to online platforms for providing a virtual experience. You can contact such a company and try to collaborate with them. This virtual game can further add a very enticing element and gamify your virtual expo. You can also ask them to customize the room’s theme according to a concept, industry, or idea that is compelling for your attendees. Your participants can be teamed up or they can choose their team according to their preferences and participate in the virtual escape room. It will give all your attendees a chance to connect and network with each other.
9) Virtual Scavenger Hunt
Virtual scavenger hunt need not have to be any different from the one in real life. You can give a theme to the game, split your attendees into small teams and then give them a list of items that they have to find in their homes. These items can be specific but general enough that your attendees have to leave their rooms to find them. This game will not only help your attendees engage but also have fun.
10) Private Social Media Groups
Private social media groups can be an excellent idea to give your attendees better opportunities to network. This not only serves the purpose of networking before and after the event but also builds enthusiasm amongst your participants. Also, these social media groups can remain active even after your virtual expo is over.
11) Same Interests Sessions
Also known as birds-of-a-feather session. This is similar to a breakout session where attendees with the same interests are united. These are informal discussion groups based on similar interests with no particular agenda. A session like this helps in forming a community by establishing a connection through networking. You can have one or two speakers for a birds-of-a-feather session who are familiar with the theme.
12) Two Truths and a Lie
This game will provide your attendees with a playful opportunity to share details about themselves and their businesses. Each attendee has to share three facts about themselves, only two of which have to be true and other attendees have to guess which one is a lie. This classic ice-breaking game can not only provide your participants with a fun time but also the chance to connect, communicate, and network.
13) Create a Clubhouse
With the growing prevalence of virtual events platforms like Clubhouse are growing too. Clubhouse is an excellent emerging platform that provides people with similar interests to connect and socialize over a live platform where every member can come live and chat by turning their mic on. You can create a similar club with your virtual expo’s name. With the help of this platform, your attendees can have free-flow communication and elevate their network.
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