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18 Tips to Maximize Virtual Networking Events for Business Owners

18 Tips to Maximize Virtual Networking Events for Business Owners.

We asked our audience what they thought of when they heard the words ‘virtual networking’ and we got some interesting responses.

It seems that online/virtual networking events are a bit marmite (for those of you who aren’t familiar with marmite, that means you either love it or hate it!)

Here are some of the words and phrases people shared:

  • Time wasting
  • Screen fatigue
  • A chance to get myself out there
  • Zoom (and variations of this like zoom doom and online-zoom)
  • Fun
  • Covid
  • Let’s go!
  • Opportunities.

If I’m honest I think that lockdown online networking events have a lot to answer for and these responses coudn’t show that more clearly.

Let’s address the negative first:

Anything can be a waste of time, but if you make a plan to make the most of an opportunity it can be turned into something useful. (check out the tips below for making the most of online/virtual networking events.)

Of course, screen fatigue is a HUGE issue for those who spend all day behind a desk, but this isn’t limited to online networking, taking a rest from your screen is something every person chained to a laptop should prioritise. Go for a walk, do some stretches, make a brew and stare into space. You could try the 20-20-20 rule (Dr Jeffrey Anshel); for every 20 minutes you stare at a screen, you should try to look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

I think that for some people the negative feelings about virtual networking are definitely linked to how the COVID pandemic made them feel. To those people, I recommend trying to attend some events now to create new connections in the brain. Try to separate those two things to be able to benefit from virtual networking for your business.

Now let’s cover the other words and phrases; Zoom is an interesting one. For some it’s positive, for some negative and others neutral.

We use Zoom for our events as it’s a tool most people have used thanks to the pandemic and it has different features to make the event more fun!

“Fun” and “getting myself out there” are other things that people associate with online/virtual networking. As a gamification consultancy, we pride ourselves on making things fun and silly so our events are anything but boring, stuffy or dull. We don’t like to take ourselves too seriously and have found that when it comes to networking the best opportunities often come from informal conversations and relationship building rather than the kind of networking where you pitch at each other or try desperately to sell for the entire event.

As we’re holding another fun, fast and friendly virtual networking event for business owners on 12th September at 12pm we thought it would be helpful to share some tips for making the most of attending an online/virtual networking event for business owners and so below are 11 to get you started.

We have 7 more tips too, which we’ll send to anyone who registers for our event on the 12th of Septembre. 

After all, we want them to get as much out of attending as they can! The event is only a tenner. Get your ticket now.

We’ve split the tips into three sections; before, during and after the event. It’s very easy to think that you only need to show up to a networking event to benefit, but in the words of Alexander Graham Bell:  

Before anything else, preparation is the key to success
Alexander Graham Bell

So without further ado; here are the tips:

Before the event

1. Clear your background. This one probably seems obvious but there’s nothing more distracting than a messy background. If you can’t guarantee a clutter-free space, try using a virtual background so it looks tidy!

2. Update your online profiles. After the event, it’s possible that the other attendees will check you out online. To increase your chances of making new and useful business connections and potentially making sales now or in the future, make sure your online profiles are up-to-date and consistent across the board.

3. Pitch perfect. Not all networking events will ask you to do a 60 second pitch to the rest of the group (ours don’t) but it’s still a good idea to be able to succinctly tell people about what you do in 30 seconds or less. For some industries it’s easy (everyone knows what a hairdresser does) but for others, it’s a bit more complex. It’s a good idea to prepare a short, but interesting intro to what you do so you can easily share with others in breakout groups. 

4. Connections. Some networking events online will share the contacts of the attendees afterwards (at our virtual networking events we send out a post-event survey where you can request to share your details with others – join the next one here) some don’t. It’s a good idea to find out beforehand how contact details will be shared and if they won’t be, make a plan to ask anyone that you find interesting during the event for their contact details.

5. Check your Zoom handle! If you use your laptop/computer with partners, children or anyone else – make sure you’re logged into the right account and it’s the right name that pop’s up! I’ve been at several networking events where people have appeared on screen with the wrong name, and while it seems funny, they were mortified!

6. Practice.Using a new platform that you haven’t tried before? See if you can practice with it first if you’re worried about it. We all remember the story of the “I’m not a cat” lawyer.  

During the event. . .

7. Get rid of distractions! It is very tempting while at a virtual event to check your phone notifications, or have your emails open in another browser. You wouldn’t do this in person as you know it’s rude. It’s no different in a virtual event, give the other people your full attention for better results. Turn off your phone or pop it onto aeroplane mode, close down your browser tabs and your emails…

8. Give, give, give. If you can connect others with someone useful to them, provide them with some great advice, help them with some software guidance or something else… they’ll remember you much more and be happier to build a relationship with you than if you go in with an attitude of “what can I get from this session.?!” Think about how you can help others in order to build relationships with them and you’ll be much more successful than if you spend the session trying to sell to everyone!

9. Log in early. Ever logged into Zoom only for it to decide now is the best time to update? Or had your computer decide to have a wobble while you’re logging in? Yep, we’ve all been there. Log on a few minutes before the meeting is due to start to allow for these inevitable hiccups! 

After the event. . .

10. Follow up. “The fortune is in the follow-up,” says Jim Rohn and he’s not wrong! Those new connections will only be useful to you if you continue the conversation after the event. Now don’t waste this opportunity by trying to sell to them in your follow-up messages.Instead, get back to them with any links you promised, or remind them of any advice you gave, or ask them if they’re planning to attend the next event. Build those relationships! If you can be creative (i.e. relate it back to what’s been discussed previously, then this will have a better effect than a standard follow-up. No copy and paste templates here please!)

11. Get Social. It’s easy to follow up by email and forget to make the most of socials.  After the event has finished connect with the other attendees anywhere you can on social media. This way every time you post there is a chance they’ll see it and you can constitute to build your relationship that way too.

11 tips Kimba? I thought you said there were 18 ?

The remaining 7 tips will be shared exclusively with those who register for our event on 12th September.


Get your ticket now - they’re only a tenner!

Have a gander at some of our other posts.

26 reasons to come to our networking event. Today I’m sharing the ABCs of why you should attend our networking event on

9 Reasons it’s a Good Idea to Network Outside of Your Industry. You might think that the only networking you should be

9 Reasons You Absolutely Need to Attend the Female Business Festival on 20th October 2023. The Female Business Festival is just around

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