Virtual Event Networking Conversation Ideas
Jan 25, 2022 11:49:07 AM
When events took place fully in-person, it was easier to see people face-to-face and strike up a conversation about anything. When it comes to virtual events, hosts have to come up with networking conversation ideas for attendees that don’t lead to the dreaded Zoom silence.
Virtual event networking is becoming more and more essential as more businesses are going virtual. Let’s take a look at conversation starters that can help bring life and enjoyment to video conferencing for your attendees in a virtual environment.
In-person events often have scheduled dinner plans, either as part of the event, or for attendees themselves after the formal events have ended. Virtual events might make it seem as though dinners with other attendees are impossible, and that dinner conversations are a thing of the past.
However, you can plan virtual dinners and send meals to attendees to encourage those conversations to start back up again. Meals provide a great environment for socialization, and help spark meaningful conversations. By sending meals to your attendees ahead of time, you can all enjoy a communal meal, even at home.
During a virtual conference it can be hard to get conversations started, as the guests’ attention is typically placed on the speakers and keynotes, not each other. By hosting live chat events before and after the event itself, you can help create the types of conversations that would happen during networking time before a speaker during an in-person event.
A moderator can help keep conversations going rather than going stale, and it can help attendees feel more included in the event rather than just as a viewer at home through a computer screen.
One of the biggest challenges of working from home has been the strain on mental health. Events are no different, as spending a day in meetings looking at a screen can cause stress, exhaustion, and take away from important mental health activities. Take advantage of that need and get conversations going at the same time with group health activities.
You can organize a group meditation, yoga class, or even stretches and movements that can bring a group together. By debriefing afterwards, you can get conversations started and help bring your group closer together throughout your event.
Sitting at home leads to many people missing out on some of the special formalities that come with in-person events. After all, it’s easier to put on comfortable clothes and relax when no one sees you in person. Bringing some of the glam of upscale in-person events to the virtual environment with an at-home gala and formal wear event can help you entertain your attendees and get conversations started.
When you’re in a large group it can be hard to get conversations started, since there aren’t as many opportunities for one-on-one meetings. Speed networking and rotating one-on-one conversations not only allow your attendees to meet and network with other people, but they help create conversations rather than having a large group staring at their screens and not speaking with each other.
Many networking events at an in-person conference or event will take place with some type of beverage involved. There’s no reason why the same environment can’t be created at home. Similar to sending meals, you can help create a conversation with your attendees by offering coffee or wine options that can be sent to attendees at home.
You can combine the drinks with planned conversation prompts and topics, or you can let conversation flow openly as people become more comfortable with each other. It can also help to have a moderator with a planned list of conversation starters that involves people and encourages open conversation to start.
One opportunity that comes from a virtual event is the chance to have a guest speaker or master class teacher pop in without worrying about travel costs, reservations, and group limits. This allows the attendees to learn something together and have fun, which in turn allows natural conversations to flow.
Examples of interactive lessons include cooking classes, mixology lessons, and even flower arranging. Sending swag bags with gifts or boxes of ingredients or providing purchase lists ahead of time ensures that everyone is prepared for the lesson and allows attendees to get the most out of virtual event networking.
One of the most difficult parts of running a video conference within a virtual environment is getting conversation ideas when the natural talking slows. Having a moderator is a great idea, but sometimes prompts that are too close to the industry, or topics of the event can stall out and make event planning even more difficult.
Having a list of icebreaker questions that are fun, thought-provoking, or unique can help create conversations that are meaningful and help attendees really learn more about each other on a deeper level.
If you have a large group of attendees, it can be hard for your individual members to find others with similar interests that they want to message or meet with. Helping match up people is a great way to get conversations going.
Fortunately, with 6Connex you can utilize artificial intelligence and AI matchmaking within your virtual environment to study each attendee’s behavioral data. Whether it’s finding a new role or introducing someone to your product, 6Connex AI matchmaking serves as a means to deliver a personalized experience and get you to that next step.
However, if you don’t have access to AI within your environment, you can have profile badges, games to match those with similar interests, or even pre-planned lists of similar people in order to help attendees find each other.
Even if you have a large group, you can still leverage breakout rooms and break into small groups. It’s much easier to talk with a smaller group of people than in an entire event space, so small groups and roundtables are a much better option to spark conversation. You can plan out which groups are created, or randomize them to find natural conversation starters.
The best networking events, whether virtual, hybrid, or in-person, inspire natural, meaningful conversation between parties. However, sometimes those conversations need a jump start. By coming up with conversation ideas and making your icebreakers engaging and entertaining for attendees, you can make your entire event a better experience that will make them want to return time after time.