Pre-Event Networking Ideas to Increase Audience Engagement in a Virtual Event
Organizing a virtual event comes with its own set of pros and cons. One such difficulty faced by the organizers is the lack of in-person networking opportunities. For most of the event participants, the scope of networking and generating leads is a major draw towards your event. However, your virtual attendees have a reduced number of in-person networking opportunities. And, the virtual event planners have come up with innovative networking tools and ideas to combat these difficulties of shifting to a virtual format.
There are various networking concepts that work excellently at different phases of your virtual event, i.e., before, during, and after the event. Networking opportunities are equally significant in all of these phases of your online event.
Let’s explore some of the top curated ideas to plan pre-event networking activities for your virtual attendees.
Top 10 Pre-Event Networking Ideas
1) Connecting Over Different Platforms
It is very important to break the ice between all your participants to execute networking activities smoothly during the event. Therefore, connecting all the participants over different communications platforms like Instagram, Whatsapp, Linked In, Twitter, Facebook, etc., can work like a charm in paving the way for interaction.
By making groups over these platforms, you can kick start the communication between your attendees in advance. This idea will not only help your participants begin networking before the event but also create a buzz of your virtual event over these platforms.
2) Team Competitions
Break your audience into teams and get them involved in games and activities. It will not only build a competitive team spirit between your participants but also a fun-comfortable environment. You can also decide the teams based on AI matchmaking, so like-minded people can team up and play more efficiently.
3) Pre-Event Open House
It’s important to understand that people are still in the process of getting used to the virtual events industry. There are various tools and elements which are very new for your audience. Therefore, it is significant to give your attendees a demo of virtual platform usage before the event goes live.
A well-resourced virtual event platform offers your participants different advanced networking tools that they can use while attending your virtual event. However, if they are not aware of these tools, they will fail to enjoy the networking opportunities. You can arrange a pre-recorded video on the networking tools of your virtual event technology for your attendees. Another idea is, you can host a separate open-house session for all your participants.
4) Virtual Coffee Room
You can set up a virtual coffee room on the same virtual event platform you are organizing your virtual event on. Over this room, your participants can connect, interact, and communicate while sipping coffee. The shift to virtual platforms has eliminated many networking opportunities. Your attendees can not bump into each other on the coffee line or catch up over the breaks. Hence, hosting a virtual coffee session would allow them to network like they do in a physical event.
5) Virtual Escape Room
Many virtual escape room companies have shifted to online platforms. It has become a new virtual game that people can get involved in while attending a virtual event. You can contact and collaborate with one such company for organizing a pre-event networking session over a virtual escape room. Also, ask them if they can provide customization facilities, so you can design the escape room according to your event’s theme. Virtual Escape Rooms can be a great idea to get your participants interacting.
6) Human Bingo
Human Bingo can become an excellent way for your participants to know each other before they attend your event. You can get your customized bingo designed according to the theme of your event and share it with your participants. Next, your attendees will have to ask each other the same facts mentioned over the bingo and cross off the boxes. The participant who completes the card first wins. Following are some of the example facts you can add to your icebreaker bingo:
- Likes Pizza
- Has been to more than three countries
- Never been on a plane
- Knows how to surf
- Has a pet dog
- Is left-handed
- and so on…
7) Two Truths and a Lie
This idea is an efficient way to get your audience together and get to know each other better. The game is simple. Turn by turn, each participant has to tell three facts, of which only one is true. The other participants have to guess which one of the three facts is a lie. This game can work well if you have a group chat for all your participants. The participants who successfully trick others will win the game.
8) Social Media Contests
Hosting social media contests will not only break the ice between your attendees at your virtual event but also maximize the reach of your event. This idea will help your attendees connect over different social media platforms.
Your social media contest can also include photo contests with specific themes. The goal can be to write the most interesting caption or collect the most comments and likes. Further, decide on a prize and share it on your event’s official page. You can also create a social wall with all the winner’s posts and add it at your virtual event.
9) Virtual Scavenger Hunt
In this virtual activity, you have to assign some codes or numbers to certain attendees and hold them a secret. Next, share the list of these codes with your participants over email. Your attendees have to chat with each other and find all the participants with matching codes. The ones who find all the codes first win the game. Just like human bingo, this game also makes your participants interact and begin a conversation naturally.
10) Pre-Event Polling and Quizzes
In Virtual and Hybird events Pre-event polling and quizzes can be a good way to bring your participants closer. It can also help you understand your audience’s perspective and expectations. This idea works excellently if you wish to decide discussion topics out of your attendee’s theme-based questions and doubts. Hosting pre-event polls will not only fulfill the networking goals of your attendees but also tell them that their opinions matter to you. It can further increase engagement at your virtual event.
Need a one-stop solution to organizing a virtual event with excellent networking opportunities? Contact Dreamcast and book a demo now!