How to Network at a Virtual Summit?
A client recently emailed me with this predicament:
“I accepted a speaking gig for the networking opportunities before Covid-19 and #WFH. The event is now virtual. How in the world am I going to be able to exchange coffee hour chat and business cards with remote attendees??”
I suggested she create a digital give-away as a gift, and offer it to participants at the end of her talk. Examples include: A short video, an article or an infographic.
The next time you are presenting at a virtual summit and want to build your network, simply add your email address and your company’s website to the final slide of your presentation deck and offer it as a pdf to attendees.
Then follow-up by sending the pdf and offer a time to chat so that you can get to know them better.
Group Coaching Call
Another option I suggested was to offer a group check-in call after the talk. End the presentation by saying:
“I know I shared a lot of ideas today. Many of you will want to implement them, but once we all hang up, life will get in the way. To help, I’ll be hosting a group coaching call on (date/time) to answer more detailed questions and get you motivated to start! There are only X spots available. To register go to…”
Take a Poll
A third idea for her was to have the audience take a survey.
Pre-populate the survey with one or two questions about how they are doing with whatever the topic is. Then promise to share the results at the end of the week with anyone who includes their email address at the end of the survey.
Invite people to Like, Link and Follow
Social Media is built for exactly this situation. LinkedIN, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are perfect places to invite your audience to stay with you long after the event is over.
At some point during your presentation ask people to grab their smart phones and connect with you on your platform of choice. You can even create a hashtag specific to your event or topic and get people to start tweeting and posting ideas that resonate with them. eg: #virtualnetworking.
Once they are in your social media network, you can continue to engage with them for a long time. Just because we are working from home doesn’t mean we can’t continue to add value after we close our browser.