By Claudia Gurr – Events & Membership Manager
I often get asked “what’s the etiquette for your online networking events?”
There isn’t a one-size-fits all answer. Ultimately it’s down to you to make a good first impression for your business.
However, having run over 100 online events I like to think we know a thing or two about how to present yourself virtually and get the most from your time online.
Here are some useful pointers to help you get more from your online networking, feel more comfortable attending networking events, and make sure you leave a good impression!
1) Turn up on time and be present
It’s number 1 for a reason. Turning up on time is important in all walks of life, but especially online. You wouldn’t turn up to a meeting late, would you?
We open our online events 5 minutes early, so that’s always a good time to aim for.
But we get it. Life can get in the way sometimes. If you’re going to be late it’s not the end of the world.
However, once in the event, do try and give the conversations you’re having with people your full attention. Closing email and other apps will not only speed up your computer but it’ll help you stay in tune with the event without distractions.
2) Don’t be salesy. Selling isn’t networking
I sound like a broken record with this one, but it’s SO important.
PLEASE do not attend one of our networking events to just sell, sell, sell to people. That’s not what we’re about. Trust me, you won’t sell anything and will only burn bridges. I’ve seen it all before! Asking effective questions will help you identify opportunities.
Share your experiences of what’s been discussed or a useful nugget of information that could help people. Ask people if there’s anyone in particular they could connect you up with, and help people where you can.
Check out our top 27 questions to ask when networking for inspiration.
3) Share time fairly
When networking online, and in-person, try and make sure each person on your table has a fair share of time to walk. Bear in mind some people may not be as out-going as others so do encourage all attendees to get involved with the conversation.
4) Ask for introductions
There’s always at least 3 members of the Network My Club team in our online meetups. Use us!
Our members all come with the same mindset: collaboration.. If there’s someone you’d like an introduction to on the event, simply message one of the team and they’ll facilitate it
If there’s someone you didn’t manage to catch on the event, ask for an email introduction afterwards!
5) Say thank you!
If someone introduces you to another person in their network, or refers their contacts to your business, don’t forget to say thank you!
Even better, show your appreciation by returning the favour if you can. Your gratitude will be appreciated and help won’t go unnoticed.
6) Don’t be afraid to move tables
You can dip out of conversations politely by saying something like ‘it was great to meet you, I’m going to jump on to another table now, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn and I look forward to catching up with you again soon’.
Everyone is attending the event for the same reason: to network. No one will be offended if you politely ask to leave a table!
7) Arrange one to one’s in the event
One of the coolest features we’ve included at our online networking events.
As the floor plan within Remo is fully customisable, we’ve added two one to one areas in the event itself to allow for private conversations.
Why? Well, we want you to get the most out of your time networking.
If you meet someone of interest and feel like you could benefit from having a longer conversation, try to schedule a one to one at the end of the event using the designated areas at our events. This way you won’t be ‘hogging’ each other’s time.
8) Don’t spam the chat-box with long-winded sales messages!
It’s like attending an in-person event with a megaphone and shouting over everyone about what you and your business does.
You (hopefully) wouldn’t do that in real life, so don’t do it online. Use the chat box during an event to share ideas and engage in the wider conversation. Don’t forget during our online meetups, you can submit questions via the Q&A area too.
Put these tactics into action and how we’re bringing networking into the 21st century at an upcoming event.