Capture the Magic of In-Person Events with Zoom Events Virtual Networking

One of the biggest draws to live, in-person events is the opportunity to network with peers and connect with others in the same industry. But in recent years, the inability to meet face to face has limited those opportunities and requires a stronger focus on creating engaging, virtual experiences that replicate in-person networking. To ease this transition, our new Zoom Events virtual networking features help event marketers bring the magic of in-person events to remote audiences.

Networking features simplify virtual connection 

While remote event participation can be viewed as relatively passive (with attendees multi-tasking or tuning in and out), Zoom Events networking tools encourage active conversation and engagement between remote participants who enjoy networking with other attendees. 

If you’re hosting your event on the Zoom Events platform, you can enable or disable networking on a per-event basis. With networking enabled, participants have several options to connect with others before, during, and after the event has ended.  

Prior to the event, participants can:

  • Create and edit a networking profile with images, social channels, and videos
  • View an event directory (unless disabled by host)
  • View the profiles of attendees and connections
  • Ask to connect with others
  • Manage “My Connections”
  • Communicate with connections via email, phone, and social media 

During the event, participants can:

  • Create and edit a networking profile with images, social channels, and videos
  • Set their preference for when they would like to network or connect with other attendees 
  • View attendees’ profiles
  • Ask to connect with others
  • Chat one-on-one 

After the event is over, participants can:

  • Edit their networking profile
  • View an event directory (unless disabled by host)
  • Ask to connect with others
  • View attendee profiles
  • Manage “My Connections”
  • Communicate with connections via various channels

The networking profile is persistent across multiple events, allowing guests to manage their active and pending connections even after an event has closed. Although event directories are specific to each event, hosts can make them accessible to attendees after the event has closed. 

To improve communication among event attendees, we’ve augmented the Zoom Events chat experience for easier profile discovery and navigation, and better participation throughout the event. Now, users can chat from the lobby, in between sessions, with sponsors, and one-on-one beyond the virtual expo floor.

How does virtual networking help event hosts? 

Although in-person events are returning, there is still a strong preference for virtual and hybrid events, with 91% of surveyed event marketers believing “hybrid events are the future of event planning/management.” ** If you’re hosting a virtual event and want to help remote attendees maximize their professional network, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

  1. Pre-event communications: Hosting events often includes pre-event communications to attendees. While Zoom Events will send a ticket confirmation email alerting participants to create a profile, we also recommend hosts use their own communication channels – such as social media posts or event websites – to ask participants to set up a profile. For attendees who aren’t quite ready to connect, remind them they can turn off their networking capabilities as well. 
  1. Publicize your attendee directory: Hosts can begin building an attendee directory that can be seen by all event guests by posting the attendee list ahead of time and encouraging registrants to start connecting with others. 
  1. Send reminders: In addition to pre-event communications, hosts should remind attendees to network with one another during the event. 
  1. Post-show analytics: At the conclusion of your event, the Zoom Events analytics dashboard is a valuable tool for hosts to review data and see how many connections and one-on-one chats were initiated. Further, this provides additional opportunities to identify any areas for improving networking at future events. 

Pro tip: Set aside time in your event agenda specifically for networking. When sending your post-event communications, you can also encourage people to stay connected and follow up with other attendees to continue the conversation.

Enhance your long-term audience connections with virtual networking

With Zoom Events, organizations can foster a tighter sense of community between attendees and hosts, enabling them to connect, learn from one another, and expand their professional networks. Over the next several months, we’ll continue to add even more networking tools to help your attendees make meaningful and productive contacts within their industry. 

Talk to a Zoom Events specialist to learn how to enhance your audience connections and virtual networking activities at your next event.

**Survey data reflected from a 2022 study of 150 event marketers performed by Morning Consult at Zoom’s request. 

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