May 6, 2020

Tips for Making Meaningful Connections at Virtual Networking Events

Tips for Making Meaningful Connections at Virtual Networking Events | SalesGig

Spring is a time normally rife with networking events,conferences, conventions and trade shows, all things that keep us moving forward professionally.  But suddenly, that’s all been cancelled!  So, now what?  Well, now is the time to get creative and get in touch with the virtual side of things.  It has become apparent that we are a long way off from large conventions and networking events, but there are still plenty of opportunities out there for those who are looking.  In fact, some of these networking events have found innovative ways to host virtually.

SalesGig is a proud affiliate sponsor of one of those events. Emerge is a virtual summit that will be held on Thursday, May 7th and is THE place to be.  Conducted virtually, the summit boasts 14 speakers who are industry leaders, Q&A sessions, chat rooms by topic, and they’ve even invited vendors to have virtual booths you can visit.  While yes, we are a sponsor and therefore biased, the hosts of this event have taken into account that many workers have been furloughed and may not have the disposable income to pay for outlandishly priced tickets and are offering extremely affordable tickets.  With that in mind, can you afford NOT to attend?  And did we mention that 25% of all proceeds are being donated to combat the effects of COVID-19?!

For many, virtual networking events is unchartered territory and they don’t know what to expect or how to make the most of these events.  Even if you don’t attend Emerge though, we want you to get the most out of your virtual networking experiences and have put together 8 tips to help you prepare.

1.      Prepare Your Intro

Introverts can rejoice in the fact that they don’t need to bumble through an awkward introduction. In fact, preparing a written introduction before the event even begins can save you time and help you put your best foot forward.  Your written introduction should be about three sentences or so on you, your experience and your goals.

2.      Complete Your Social Profiles

Virtual networking may lead to connection requests on social platforms.  Now is a great time to ensure that your social profiles present the image you want to convey to your business connections.  Does yours and/or your company’s profile inspire a favorable first impression?

3.      Have a Plan

After reviewing the agenda, plan out a few questions that you can use to start the conversation.  Brazen advises that open ended questions tend to illicit the most insightful responses.  Jotting down a few questions in advance can help to ensure you’ve worded the question how you’d like it to come across.  There will likely be questions that you come up with as you attend some various sessions as well.  

For events such as Emerge, there will be sessions going on simultaneously.  Know the agenda in advance and plan for which sessions you’d like to attend to maximize your time.

4.      Be an Active Participant in Chat Sessions

You don’t have to wait for someone else to begin the chat session.  You have your introduction prepared so, dive on in!  In many cases, chat sessions are normally broken down by topic.  So, if you’re joining a chat on a specific topic, maybe include something relevant to go along with your introduction such as a goal or question.

5.      Be Positive

We are aware that this is for many a no brainer.  However, it bears repeating that when attending these events having a positive attitude can open doors.  People are much more apt to want to help and work with individuals who maintain a positive and open-minded disposition - even at virtual networking events.  You should avoid complaining about your job or your boss and instead reframe those complaints to be positive goals.

6.      Avoid Casual Abbreviations

The event may be online and likely more casual than an in-person networking event, but you should still maintain a certain level of professionalism.  Casual abbreviations such as ROFL should be avoided. Sometimes, abbreviations can even mean something completely different from what you’re saying and could land you in trouble.

7.      Share Your Knowledge

You may be there to learn, and you may not be an established industry thought leader, but that doesn’t mean that you should keep silent.  If you can provide value to a conversation by sharing some knowledge, by all means please do so!  In general, one of the best ways to make new professional connections is to offer something of value such as knowledge, experience or your own professional network. This may not be applicable in all instances, you don’t want to come across as trying to one up someone, so take care in this regard.

8.      Attend with an Open Mind

Attend various sessions with industry leaders, visit virtual booths to see what’s new in your industry, but do so with an open mind.  You may learn something new or find a new tool and/or resource you’d like to implement in the process.


As we navigate this new normal together, more and more industries will likely turn to hosting virtual events.  Make the most of your time and forge some valuable, professional connections by attending events such as this.  Looking for more ways to network effectively? Check out our blog on Effective Ways to Network and Grow Your Contact Base and How to Network Effectively.

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