How to Network While Attending a Webinar
The new work-at-home trends spurred by COVID-19 have placed online events such as webinars front and center. This development has become a good investment by companies and organizations to replace in-person events. However, what’s severely lacking in many webinars is the ability to allow attendees to network with one another or the knowledge of how to network online at all. After all, networking online is new for most people, so this article will help explain some strategies for success.
Exchange Digital Business Cards
Digital business cards are a new trend that’s being developed on a few platforms that host webinars to allow attendees to take time before, during, and after the webinar to network. It works like this:
You set up and edit your own personal business card virtually within the platform; no one can see it but you. Unless you opt to share it with another attendee on the call, at which point they could accept it, saving it to their profile, and then they could then share back their own card to you, or not, just like in real life. Make sure to have your attendees take the time to set up their own Digital Business Cards so that they can fully take advantage of the Webinar experience.
Use Social Walls
A social wall allows you not only to see who else is in the webinar, but it’s a great way to vet which attendees are most engaged with it. It’s not a rule, but if you catch someone posting a lot on the wall, then it might be a good place to start making friends. Make sure you also post on the wall and get some recognition; it’s a great way to let others come network with you as well.
If it’s not available for others to directly find your contact info in the platform of choice for their webinar’s social well, try to end your posts with a Twitter name, email, or phone number so others can contact you. A good idea would be to introduce your attendees early on to the social wall so that they can engage in the Webinar.
Direct-Message Other Attendees
Another growing trend among webinars is hosting the event on platforms that allow for direct messaging of other attendees. Direct messaging is a fairly straightforward approach to networking. You find the name of the attendee, and you message them.
It really is that easy, but take some advice from us, use some context when you message someone at an event; direct messaging has a connotation of being very personal, and being too upfront can easily turn someone off from talking to you if you butt into their experience too bluntly. Try to bring up context from the webinar that engages them.
Leverage the Live Chat
The most common form of communication during a webinar is the live chat that happens during the event. Use this chance to engage with the speaker, of course, and be active. It’ll get more eyes on you, and to make it easier to reach you, try to keep the contact info of your choice on your clipboard so you can paste it at the end of each message so no one can miss out on an opportunity to keep in touch with you after the webinar.
Another great thing about live chat is that it helps you scalp the audience for the most engaged individuals, so keep an eye out for those most engaged to target, almost like our advice for social walls.
Engaging in Social Media
Make sure to advertise your event beforehand on Social Media. Employ hashtags, key phrases, or descriptions of the event to help you engage with attendees outside the event.
Even better, tag the speakers and notable attendees in your post; it’ll signal them on social media platforms that they’ve been mentioned, and they’ll have a higher chance of re-sharing. You might even spur a conversation that’s public and drives more people to reach out.
Social media is a good place to direct message other attendees you saw in the webinar; just remember our advice for direct messaging, and it should go quite well.