Business networking is an interesting and interactive way for professionals to meet other experts, share ideas and grow their circle. The pandemic has shifted these events to a virtual mode and, while the platform has changed, the effectiveness of these events remains the same.
The best in the business are still able to engage in spirited conversation and build relationships virtually. Such online networking events have become hugely popular in recent times and require a fair amount of effort and planning. As per a study by Markets and Markets, the revenue of the global virtual event platform, which was USD 10.4 billion in 2021, is expected to grow to USD 18.9 billion in 2026.
While virtual events are a great way to bring industry professionals together, they need an added element to be distinct. There are several ways you can make your online networking events stand out. Here are some interesting and effective ideas:
Interactive coffee talk
One of the best ways to connect is over a steaming cup of coffee and that’s exactly what your event needs- a virtual coffee room. Since it’s a virtual event, everyone gets to bring their own coffee and can show off their coffee mugs or even their latte art.
Such coffee talks can serve as a great ice breaker and help everyone connect. You can encourage the attendees to share stories and talk about their personal remote work experiences in a coffee-themed virtual room.
Mind challenges - virtual escape room
A virtual escape room brings together fun and engagement, while giving participants plenty of mental exercise. During this activity, teams are put in an escape room where they have to solve riddles or puzzles in order to escape.
This popular activity encourages collaboration, teamwork and team building among participants. Brands like Google, Microsoft and JP Morgan use virtual escape rooms in their online networking events to ensure that everyone gets to build on their skills while enjoying themselves.
Virtual live performance
Live music is a great way to jazz up the ambience of your virtual networking event. A good musical performance is an instant mood lifter that every attendee can enjoy. Many organizations, like Amazon, Salesforce, Allianz and Accenture, hire bands to perform at online networking events.
Such performances make your event entertaining and ensure that the participants cherish the experience long after it is over. There are many popular virtual house band singers like Dylan Bell and Suba Sankaran who have already performed at various online Canadian events.
Pre-event photo contest
What better way to make your virtual event more interesting than organizing a photo contest? This way, you can get your attendees to interact easily. All it requires is some creative thinking to come up with a good theme.
Participants can be asked to share pictures of their work-from-home set up or they can take pictures of their home-made lunch. You can even ask them to involve their children, pets or other family members in the picture. Similarly, you can think of a goal for the contents- getting maximum thumbs up, points or a picture with the best caption.
To bring the same level of interaction to virtual events that face-to-face meetings can generate, you need to think outside the box. This is where one-on-ones can be applied where attendees are randomly paired and given a few minutes to talk about a highlighted topic.
If you are looking to make the interaction more proactive, you can give them a list of professional and personal questions to ask. This can range from their favourite tourist spot to their firm’s strategy on overcoming challenges imposed by the pandemic.
Fun mixology lesson
If you want to make your virtual event a memorable and fun session, then you can incorporate a fun, skill-building class. The twist here is to introduce something new, instead of skills that are common in the business field. Everyone enjoys a good cocktail and you can teach your participants how to mix one. All you need to do is hire someone who can take your attendees through a short, hands-on session where they learn the fundamentals of home bartending. Some companies, like bar industry veteran, H. Joseph Ehrmann, specialise in conducting such online team-building exercises.
Virtual Scavenger Hunt
Fun activities like the virtual scavenger hunt make a virtual networking event engaging and dynamic. They give participants a chance to get creative and think on their feet to come up with interesting items for the hunt.
Just like a real-life scavenger hunt, attendees are split into teams and have to collect items from around their home. These collectibles should relate to a specific theme, such as work or travel essentials or things you would take to a deserted island.
Interested in studying a good event management program that prepares you for a dynamic industry? Then check out Event and Venue Management – Toronto offered by the Trebas Institute. The program focuses on enhancing core capabilities required to plan and organize successful events.
Students will learn theoretical and practical training skills, such as planning and coordinating logistics for an event, building a strong network and negotiating service agreements, among others.
The programs at Trebas Institute Toronto are taught by industry experts and award winning artists. What’s more is that you will get the chance to study in Toronto, which is a vibrant place brimming with business opportunities and filled with friendly locals.
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What job roles can I pursue with the Event and Venue Management diploma?
There are numerous job roles that you can pursue with this diploma, such as conference and meeting planner, conference services officer, convention co-ordinator, event planner, festival organizer, meeting planner, special events organizer, trade show planner and many more.
Are there job opportunities in event planning in Canada?
Event management is considered an in-demand career in Canada and students will find ample opportunities in this field.