Virtual and hybrid events aren’t just about pushing content at attendees, they are also about connecting people with one another. Business opportunities are constantly being sought after at events. As the event organizer, it’s up to you to offer up those chances.
There are a lot of tips out there like:
- Use LinkedIn so attendees can look each other up
- Create icebreakers
- Throw a cocktail party during your virtual or hybrid event
However, the most efficient way to allow attendees to network is to utilize an all-in-one event management software that specializes in b2b matchmaking. It automates the process and integrates business networking into the workflow of a virtual and hybrid event. It is the best way for attendees to find, meet, and talk to new collaboration partners.
b2b matchmaking starts when participants register for your event in the online virtual and hybrid event platform and fill out their profile. They can then browse other profiles and find interesting contacts. Before the virtual and hybrid event even begins, participants can contact those they want to meet and have their customized agenda set up. Read b2b matchmaking explained for more information.
In an ideal world, attendees would do the above and all would be well. Yet as an event organizer you know that you need to encourage this process to maximize connections during your event.
3 Proven Tips to Boost b2b Networking During Your Virtual and Hybrid Event
Keep the virtual and hybrid event registration and booking phases open as long as possible. At least until the day of the event. Make participant profiles publicly accessible. This will convince more participants to register.
First make sure you know common event tech mistakes and how to avoid them.
Then make sure participants don't stumble over technical aspects of 1:1 meetings. Create a webpage on your event website that gives instructions on how to extend invitations, how to accept them, and how to join the meetings.
A great example can be seen here.
Contact and Encourage
Once you have registered participants, contact them. Encourage them to book b2b matchmaking sessions. Email is the way to go for most, but don’t be shy of calling your top attendees directly.
A phone call has the highest effective rate to get participants to connect to each other.
Coming back to emails, the best time to start sending reminders to attendees is right after the booking phase has opened. This keeps your event top-of-mind for your attendees, who are busy with their daily work life. Don’t panic if there isn’t much action, even with your reminders. It’s very common that participants arrange most of their bookings during the week before the event.
The best frequency of email reminders is every three or four days. This shows the highest boost in b2b networking meetings.
Take the time to create two or three tailor made emails with one or two specific action requests. Reference these in the body of the email.
Effective Email Templates for Your Virtual and Hybrid b2b Networking Event
Subject line: Start 1:1 networking before event begins
In the body of the email, inform your attendees that the b2b matchmaking sessions can now be booked. Let them know how many people have already created interesting profiles. Give them clear action plans like:
- Make their profiles more detailed.
- Be clear about what they are looking for and offering.
- Review other participant profiles.
- Actively send an invitation for a business meeting.
- Accept or decline outstanding invitations to connect.
Subject line: Don’t miss any invites: Download the event app
An event app can be a great tool. It can have push notifications that even the busiest attendee will see regularly.
- It allows attendees to quickly accept or decline b2b matchmaking invitations.
- Participants can view it while they are on the go or when they have downtime.
Add a link to the app in the body of the email so participants can download it.
Subject line: Only X days left to arrange b2b meetings
Putting a bit of pressure on the natural procrastinator never hurts. Send this email three to seven days before the event. Let them know that other attendees' agendas are filling up fast. They need to act now to be part of the b2b networking aspect of the event. Again, give them clear directions about what they are to do. Fill out their profile, invite others to connect, accept or decline business matchmaking invitations.
Subject line: Your personalized agenda is ready
This email is to be sent one or two days before the event. Add a link in this email to drive the attendee to the event platform. There they can review their personalized agenda and see where they still have opportunities to arrange meetings.
The more b2b networking connections your attendees make during your virtual or hybrid event, the happier your participants will be. This will boost the success of your virtual or hybrid event.
The easiest way to boost networking connections for your virtual or hybrid events is to seek out the right event management software.
b2match is an all-in-one event management platform that specializes in b2b matchmaking to maximize virtual and hybrid event networking success.