Networking is an important part of business operations for many industries. Making new contacts can lead to more business opportunities or mentorship, both are valuable parts of growing in an industry. As the world switched to doing business virtually due to the global pandemic, it was realised that there are many advantages to online business networking events.
Advantages of Networking Events
Whether it is online or in-person, networking is very advantageous for business. Networking allows you to gain access to new opportunities and connections you may not have found in a day to day. Sharing knowledge with people in your industry, or finding ways to learn about other industries, can help you grow as a professional. Networking events can also help you grow in confidence and ability. It’s easy to become shy or reserved if you’re only used to speaking to direct coworkers, and networking events are made to coax you out of your comfort zone to talk to new people. Eventually, introducing yourself and networking will become a second nature, and you’ll be far more confident talking about your profession, experience, and asking questions. Networking events are incredibly useful, so when travelling is limited or it’s hard to find time for a trip, virtual business networking events offer all these same advantages, with some additional perks too!
What are the Advantages of Virtual Networking Events?
1. No Need to Travel
Not having to travel is a huge advantage to virtual networking events. Travelling to conferences can be expensive, time consuming, and disruptive. Rather than missing three days of work for a single conference, you can take off one day and attend the conference from the comfort of your own home or office!
2. You Can Expand Your Range
Before virtual networking events, most of us were limited by proximity to a conference and travel budget/time available. Not needing to worry about travel means you can have a much wider range of networking opportunities. Rather than only focusing on the most important/relevant conferences for your field, virtual networking events mean you can have a much wider range of interests, and thus, a much wider range of opportunities.
3. It’s More Comfortable
Networking events can be intimidating. Through the power of virtual, social anxieties can be mitigated as you’re in your own element and able to control things like lighting, temperature, or even how often you get to snack or take a bathroom break. Being in the comfort of your own space can make networking events more relaxed and allow you to perform far better.
4. Everyone is on an Equal Footing
Virtual events are the great equalisers. In-person events can lead to higher profile guests being hard to reach, quieter speakers being ignored, or simply giving the spotlight to the more outgoing individuals. In virtual, questions are answered based on merit, and in theory, everyone should have a chance to network with whoever they wish.
5. The Events are Safer
COVID-19 is still incredibly prevalent, and there are still risks associated with travel and meeting in-person. There are other safety risks associated with large gatherings that are mitigated through the use of hybrid or virtual networking events.
6. It’s More Versatile
If you only have an interest in attending part of a networking event, or would prefer to attend virtually in the evenings while in-person during the day, these are all things that can be accommodated with virtual or hybrid networking events. There is a lot of versatility to virtual events, including attending the networking events in short bursts so as to not fall behind at work.
7. It’s Easier to Network
Virtual networking takes care of a lot of introductions, pleasantries, and small talk. Some may say this is a disadvantage, but in reality, being able to jump right into professional networking saves a lot of time, meaning you can meet more people from a wider breadth of industries and professions. Virtual networking makes networking itself simpler and more efficient.
What Should You Try Online Business Networking Events?
You should try online networking events because it has all the advantages of in-person networking with the added convenience and accessibility. Intelligo makes online networking events even better with our customisable , interactive program! If you want your next hybrid or online business networking event to be a success, try Intelligo!