7 Advantages of online business networking events

virtual networking image

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!

10+ Tips for Planning Great Hybrid Events

hybrid event planning

Hybrid events are the future of modern-day event planning. If you’re planning a hybrid event, whether it’s your first or your fiftieth, you’re likely wondering what will help make your hybrid event as impactful as possible. We’ve compiled a list of the most important tips to follow when planning hybrid events. Use our tools to make your next event amazing!


hybrid event tips


What is a Hybrid Event?

Hybrid events are events that have both in-person and virtual aspects that all work together. Hybrid events allow participants to experience the event from wherever they are — whether they want to be in-person or online. The world is in a constant state of flux with the availability of travel and gathering, so a hybrid event is a fantastic way to ensure everyone who wants to participate in your event, can. Read our most recent blog to learn more about what a hybrid event is!


10 Tips for Making Your Hybrid Event a Success

  1. Acknowledge BOTH audiences
  2. Use proper time management
  3. Dress for the camera
  4. Create shared experiences
  5. Celebrate your sponsors
  6. Offer the content for download
  7. Keep event registration flexible
  8. Use the power of social media
  9. Lower your costs
  10. Prepare for the worst. 


1. Acknowledge BOTH Audiences

Making sure both audiences feel important and acknowledged is very important. Hybrid events are all about ensuring that the event is different from both a traditional, live perspective as well as a virtual event. You don’t want your in-person audience to feel like they should have stayed at home, and you don’t want your virtual audience to feel like they’re just watching a stream. Engage and interact with both groups — encouraging them to interact with each other — for the best results. 


2. Use Proper Time Management

If you have an event with two different audiences all over the world, time management is key. Starting late or early can make your audience feel like a hybrid event is too difficult to manage. Keep to a schedule and ensure presentations start on time so that your virtual audience as able to log on and not miss anything. 


3. Dress for the camera

You may have a lovely houndstooth blazer that you wear to in-person events, but dressing for the camera requires different choices. Small, complicated patterns often appear fuzzy and weird on screen, and bright or reflective materials can come off in a bad way. When dressing for your hybrid event, make sure you and your presenters remember to dress for the camera, not just to impress!


4. Create shared experiences

A key tip for planning a great hybrid event is to ensure that both your live audience and your virtual audience get a similar takeaway. Plan and create experiences that both audiences can engage in at the same time. Using polls, Q&As, and apps to help both audiences integrate with each other will help the hybrid event feel cohesive. 


5. Celebrate your sponsors

With hybrid events, you don’t have the ability to strategically place a poster with all your sponsors’ names. Call out your sponsors regularly throughout the program, introduce sponsor banners on screen, and potentially give sponsors a couple minutes to speak themselves (either as a recorded video or live). Hybrid events allow you to give sponsors more facetime with the attendees, so this can be a huge selling point as well as a way to properly thank them. 


6. Offer the content for download

Since most, if not all, content in a hybrid event is recorded you can offer participants a chance to download and keep the content for themselves. This can make attending an event feel worth it as there is a tangible takeaway. This also allows participants a chance to be in the moment and enjoying the event, as they’ll know they can look back and take notes another time if they so choose. 


7. Keep event registration flexible

In uncertain times you don’t want to sell virtual only or in-person only tickets. Hybrid event tickets can be sold as hybrid, potentially with a preference of in-person or virtual so you’ll have an average base. This way, closer to the date you can receive final numbers of who will be in person and who will be virtual, and if you have to turn the entire event into a virtual event no one will feel taken advantage of or that they lost out on an in-person experience they were promised. 


8. Use the power of social media

Create event hashtags and even Facebook groups to connect your participants. Live tweeting the event will create an air of excitement and ensure that participants who are virtual have a heads up for different parts of the event. Social media will allow you to share videos and photos of the in-person side of the event as well as collect media from those who are virtual. Social media is a fantastic way to connect, and the platforms can be utilized to connect your two distinct audiences with each other.


9. Lower your costs

Hybrid events have the potential to cost less than traditional, in-person events. You can use smaller venues and save money on snacks and refreshments. You should also consider negotiating with vendors (venue, catering, lights, sound, etc.) to receive money back if the need to cancel arises. Do your best to plan to lower costs so that all ticket prices can be lowered and make virtual attendance feel worth it.


10. Prepare for the worst. 

If there’s anything we can be certain of, it’s that nothing is certain. Make sure that you have gathered all the information you need to prepare for when anything goes wrong. Put together a game plan for turning your hybrid event into an entirely virtual one as seamlessly as possible. Make sure that you have backups for your virtual side as well (triple test the internet connection and make sure you hardwire as much as possible for example). Whatever could go wrong, write it down and have an action plan in place.


The Most Important Tip to Planning a Successful Hybrid Event

An eleventh tip we have for planning a successful hybrid event is to work with Intelligo! We specialize in hybrid events that will leave your audience excited and happy to have attended. Our platforms are completely customizable to fit your event, and we have a dedicated support team for every event we run. If you want to plan a hybrid event that will knock the socks off both virtual and in-person attendees alike, work with Intelligo! Contact us about your next event, we’d love to work with you!

Are you looking to host your own hybrid event?

Hybrid Events in 2021: Definition, Pros & Cons

hybrid event in 2021 with pros and cons

What are Hybrid Events?

Hybrid events are events where in-person and virtual aspects are combined. Hybrid events are a mix of live and online participants who get to experience the event in its entirety. As the world navigates the return to in person events, many people will still look for an alternative that allows them to participate in the events without having to be physically present.

That’s why hybrid events are such a fantastic opportunity for businesses looking to provide adequate support and options when it comes to their events. Hybrid events are inclusive of participants who wish to attend without travel as well as those who seek a more personal touch. Read on to learn about the ins and outs of hybrid events and they can take your event to the next level.

What makes an event a hybrid event?

A key factor of hybrid events is that both in-person and virtual participants get to experience every aspect of the event. Hybrid events are not just streamed video of the live events, hybrid events allow virtual participants to engage with the material as well, ensuring that everyone can participate in the material and engage with one another.

If you’re developing an event and hoping to make it hybrid, be sure that both parties feel they received equal attention and importance. If in-person participants experience a virtual event that has snacks they will feel their money and travel time was wasted. On the other hand, virtual participants who experience what is essentially a live stream will wonder why the event was called hybrid when they were treated more as viewers than participants.

The key to making your event truly hybrid is to provide value to both sides. Ensure that virtual participants can still ask questions, network, and peruse content, and make sure that in-person participation is viewed as valuable and worthwhile by giving them the VIP treatment. Make sure your audience is engaged with the content and with each other so your event feels worthwhile, regardless of being virtual or in-person. 

What are the advantages of hybrid events?

There are many advantages to hybrid events. The key advantages of a hybrid event are:

  1. Higher audience participation and engagement
  2. Reduced Costs
  3. Environmentally Friendly
  4. Increased Sponsorship Opportunities

One of the primary advantages of hybrid events is that anyone can participate in the event regardless of where they are and what their travel budget is. Many people bow out of conferences or trade shows simply because they don’t have the time or budget to travel. Hybrid events allow these people to enjoy the event and experience all the benefits without having to sacrifice multiple days to travel or the additional expenses.

The same goes for those who don’t enjoy virtual events and find face to face contact far more meaningful. These people can engage with the content and others in a way that is more beneficial to them, and vice versa for virtual participants. 

Hybrid events are less expensive to run, as with half your audience virtual you don’t need to rent as large of a space, provide the same kind of refreshments, or subsidize tickets and travel. This reduction of travel and event space is also better for the environment, which can be viewed as a huge benefit especially for largely corporate sponsored events.

Finally, hybrid events have a lot of sponsorship opportunities. With hybrid events, your sponsors will be able to record messages or directly engage with all your audience members. This is a fantastic opportunity for sponsors as the event will have a larger audience and can participate directly in parts of the event they wish.

Are there disadvantages to hybrid events?

As with all event styles, there’s never going to be a perfect option. Three disadvantages to hybrid events you should be aware of are:

  1. Technology Issues
  2. Extra coordination needs
  3. Struggling with change

WIth hybrid events, technology is your friend, but it can also pose a challenge. When half your event is relying on steady internet connections, power, lighting, and other technology, if something goes wrong the entire virtual side of the event can be impacted. Replying so heavily on internet and power connections (for both the event planners and participants) can be difficult and lead to problems. Extra testing and preparation is needed when it comes to utilizing the technological side of a hybrid event to its full potential. From a planning and coordination standpoint, hybrid events do tend to take more work.

This is because rather than having all your audience on one side, they tend to be split down the middle. You’ll need coordinators for both in-person and online participants, as well as someone ensuring the two groups can engage with each other as well. The extra coordination needs of hybrid events can be difficult, especially if you’re a small operation. 

The final disadvantage of hybrid events comes down to businesses and participants who don’t enjoy the change towards a focus on virtual. Many people have loved in-person conferences and events for years, and the idea of switching to a virtual or hybrid event is daunting and difficult to accept. Some people will never have an interest in virtual networking, that is why if you are hosting a hybrid event you’ll need to encourage your audience that their preferences will be catered to, and this isn’t always an easy task.

Is my event a good fit for a hybrid event?

Most event types can easily be converted to hybrid events. Networking events, trade shows, conferences, product launches, or global town halls are all events that can be adapted into hybrid events with little to no hiccups.

Large scale events are the type of events that can find great value in the power of hybrid. Small scale events like client meet and greets, team bonding activities, or awards ceremonies are best suited to remain entirely virtual or entirely in-person. This is because when there are only a few people participating, it is often the virtual side who gets excluded and doesn’t receive the same kind of value from the event. 

If you have more questions about virtual and hybrid events, please contact us! Intelligo provides world class technology to facilitate your virtual and hybrid experiences. Increase your audience engagement and get the most out of your next event with Intelligo!

Are you looking to host your own hybrid event?

The Big Problem with Video Conferencing in Education

Video Conferencing Image

The Covid-19 pandemic has necessitated a unilateral move to distance learning and education in the UK. Teachers everywhere are exploring platforms such as Skype, Zoom, and Teams to deliver their educational content. But there’s a big problem: the technology isn’t up to the task.

In March 2020, the UK government announced the closure of all schools with immediate effect. This had two near-instantaneous knock-on effects; teachers immediately had to consider how they were going to continue with their jobs, and downloads of business videoconferencing platforms increased by 90% in the space of a week (source: techcrunch.com). 

However, schools and teachers are quickly finding that the popular platforms don’t fulfil key requirements such as data security and safeguarding. This means that teachers are having to revert to non-synchronous modes of relaying information, such as Google Classroom. These solutions in themselves are not particularly bad, but heavily outmoded and no substitute to synchronous, face to face teaching. Below is an exploration of some of the reasons why seemingly the perfect existing solution has failed:

Problems with Video conferencing in Education



The biggest issue that has immediately been raised with the existing platforms is safeguarding. As they are almost universally designed for business professionals, apps like Zoom, Hangouts, and Teams do not conform with even some of the most basic safeguarding requirements. For example, the very fact that teachers could have access to a student’s private camera feed is enough to make schools rightfully concerned. Furthermore, there is no safety net should the teacher make a mistake or something unsuitable should happen, for example in the background of their shot.

Data Security & GDPR

Concerns have been raised about apps such as Zoom and Houseparty and their connections to potentially shady foreign locations, for example passing information through servers half way across the world. Schools cannot and do not want to be associated with data breaches or potential political data hacking.

Lack of Integration

Many lessons require worksheets and class materials to be used within the teaching. Most video conferencing apps do not have integrated document sharing or messaging functions, meaning that teachers have to ask students to download and sign up for multiple apps and accounts in order to be taught properly. This reduces engagement and increases risk of issues.

Poor standardisation/adoption

Pupils may be asked to use one app for one class, and another for their next class, leaving them confused and disjointed. It is also highly unlikely that peers will be using the same platforms, meaning that they have increased confusion and lack of support.

Hardware Issues

Teachers are having to rely on their own laptops, and can often find that their webcam doesn’t function properly, or their microphone doesn’t connect. This can be frustrating and ultimately put additional load on IT departments, who may or may not be available to assist. This can be disastrous, meaning the planned lesson goes completely out of the window.

These issues and more mean that the major platforms are not suitable for educators and schools in the UK right now. However, there are a small number of businesses who are looking to change this. 

Even though platforms like Zoom and Teams are proving not to be the perfect solution that teachers had hoped for, there are solutions out there, and the sooner schools can find and implement these, the quicker our children can get the education they need and deserve.

How to modify your teaching for online delivery

Teacher Working at home

The shift to online teaching was one that many predicted, but nobody saw it coming with such pace and urgency as it has done in the last month. The speed at which schools and teachers have had to adapt has left many struggling, at the detriment of their students and their own mental health. The effect on schools is also potentially catastrophic; whilst pupils at state schools are somewhat committed, parents will be watching closely to see how the school handles the changes, and private institutions are at risk of total collapse if parents begin to withdraw their children or fees. With this in mind, we put together some tips on how to effectively teach using online resources. With all of the below, it goes without saying that safeguarding is paramount and you should refer back to your school if you are in doubt about any of the things you plan to do.

Make use of the technology

With so many platforms, capabilities and developments out there, it can be overwhelming, and teachers may easily retreat to the comfort of familiar formats such as powerpoint slides and worksheets. This is some of the least engaging content for students who are used to rich experiences, so try to push the boundaries a little! Video lessons are a great way to get pupils more engaged, and if you deliver them in real-time you can add some structure to their day. You can also arrange group or individual meetings with students to discuss work in more depth – giving a greater level of feedback. Take the time to explore what’s out there. Your students will thank you for it!

Experiment with new content

Online learning is an opportunity to explore things that wouldn’t work in a traditional classroom environment. Try some close-up demonstrations, use internet games, or even get up and jump around.

Set (longer) deadlines

Make use of the fact that you don’t have to fit into a one-hour timetable slot. Ask pupils to go away and consider something and come back, or do their own research.

Make it personal

When you’re not in the classroom, the traditional teacher-student relationship is no longer so formal. Make use of this fact by playing on your personal life – reference things in your own home, or wherever you may be teaching from. You may want to dress more casually, or you may want to maintain an air of formality, that’s up to you. But it is often the case that students engage more with a teacher that they can relate to.

Involve Parents

We all know that ‘helicopter parenting’ is not necessarily helpful. But digital learning allows you to tap into parents as a motivational tool. Design your lessons to make use of parents’ knowledge and try to get them enthused in the education process. Parents can also structure evening activities around what children have learned and try to encourage further understanding.

Digital learning is certainly the way forward, so don’t fight it. The reduced environmental impact, increased flexibility, quick access to resources, and added features such as gamification means it is here to stay, and teachers must adapt to providing effective lessons digitally if they want to thrive in this new learning landscape.

5 Key Benefits of the Intelligo Platform

Intelligo allows you to reach your students from home. But how is it different to other platforms out there? Take a look below:
1.      Built Around Safeguarding

Most existing video streaming or conferencing platforms are simply unsuitable for schools’ safeguarding responsibilities. Intelligo has a number of safeguarding features built into the core functionality of the product, such as:

         No access to children’s cameras or microphones is possible

         No individually identifiable information about children is collected

         Streams are delayed by approximately 10 seconds with a safety stop in case of unwanted content accidentally being broadcast

         Two forms of digital passcode required to broadcast

         Broadcast is only possible with the In Intelligo hardware – which is personally linked to an individual teacher.


2.      Every student is equal

Research shows that Intelligo encourages quieter students and those who struggle in a traditional classroom setting to engage more with the content of lessons. It does this through allowing students to ask questions without others seeing, removing the self-consciousness element. All students also receive the same learning experience, levelling the field.


3.      You can teach from anywhere

Teachers are not just confined to their home or school. They can deliver lessons from the forest, a factory, or a sports field*. By removing the geographical constraints, Intelligo facilitates a wider curriculum and range of learning experiences. Intelligo is also designed to military-grade specifications, meaning it meets worldwide standards for water resistance and durability in any location.

4.      Clearer demonstrations

Because of the high-quality camera and screen capture capabilities, Intelligo allows teachers to show information to everyone in the class with a high level of detail. Whether it’s close-up practical skills or detailed equations, the system means that all students can clearly see and hear what the teacher is demonstrating.


5.      Encourages modern skills

Intelligo allows the sharing of web links and documents, so that students can review information and feed back in almost real-time. Students have access to a wealth of information at their fingertips whilst using the platform, and by planning lessons around this, a broader gamut of learning can be achieved.