GUEST POST BY JANE RILEY, GENERAL MANAGER, GLOBAL MOBILITY AT GRACE
Networking in a Virtual World
Dress Up – Turn Up and Turn On!
Hello to all the TEMI virtual attendees who attended the super fun March virtual event! And hello to those who didn’t make it, we hope to see you at the April event.
As we discussed at the event… the conference and event landscape changed dramatically in 2020 with the majority of events now being held online. Seems like a distant memory when we would allocate half a day to attend an event; driving or commuting to the event, finding a carpark, locating the venue, etc.
When I saw the reminder pop-up on my screen for the TEMI event, I clicked it and within seconds, there I was at a virtual table with like-minded professionals from across Australia and overseas. Very cool indeed and all from the comfort of my office chair.
As we committed to refraining from using the words ‘COVID’ or ‘pandemic’, we laughed that amid the top common comments for 2020 were “You’re on mute!”, “Can you hear me?” and,”Sorry, that was my dog barking”. Boy, how we have adapted and pivoted in a year of massive changes and challenges.
We agreed that networking can be a little daunting for some, whether in the real world or online. It doesn’t have to be that way. With a little planning and preparation anyone can become a networking guru.
6 Steps to Successful (Virtual) Networking:
- Sounds like the obvious but confirm your registration and secure the details in your electronic diary, ready to go. There is nothing worse than finding out that you missed out on an important event because you didn’t confirm your registration.
- Explore a little further and research who is hosting the event, the purpose and key objectives, who is attending, is there a sponsor and who are the speakers.
- Test the software ahead of time, and of course check your sound and video functionality before the event commences so you are not struggling with the technical aspects and join late.
- Five minutes before the event start time, turn your phone on silent, close your door and click to initiate to join the event. Mute your speaker if you prefer when you are not speaking but remember to unmute – “Can you hear me?”
- Look the part! Even though you might be participating from the comfort of your home, dress up, turn up and turn on. Nobody will know you’re secretly wearing Ugg boots under the desk!
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions or introduce yourself. If you prefer not to engage in a public forum, then take note of anyone you want to connect further with and send them a message on LinkedIn or a warm follow up email.
The TEMI event used a cool platform function ‘speed networking’, not at all like speed dating (or so I am told). We were ‘virtually matched’ with another participant, moved into a virtual room where we engaged one-on-one for a 4-minute session. We were armed with five questions to ask and share including our names, our location, if we could live anywhere in the world where we would choose and why… and what positive experiences did we glean from 2020 that we/our organisation could further leverage in 2021 for the most successful year ever. It was very fun.
So next time you are attending a virtual event, take advantage of these tips, make new connections and above-all, have fun!
Book your free ticket to TEMI’s 15 April global networking event today.
Published by: The Employee Mobility Institute, March 2021