How to encourage networking at conferences


How to Network at a Conference

  1. Have Clear Goals and Objectives. Conferences tend to move at the “speed of social” these days. …
  2. Stay In The Same Hotel as the Conference is Being Held. Networking events, dinners, and activities will likely be held there or nearby. …
  3. Go Prepared. …
  4. Send an Email or Tweet Prior to the Event. …
  5. Avoid the Helicopter Approach. …
  6. Be Ready with Conversation Starters. …

More items…

How to encourage networking at events
  1. Enable pre-event online networking.
  2. Build your event around event networking apps.
  3. Venue and layout arrangements.
  4. Prepare clear event name badges.
  5. Schedule regular breaks.
  6. Keep people in the venue.
  7. Promote interaction through group activities.
  8. Provide new attendees with tips.


What makes a conference networking event effective?

Effective conference networking is more than just fancy technology and tools. Defining a networking event objective is just as important. Peer-to-peer events are probably the most common way to connect attendees. These types of events connect industry professionals who are at similar points in their careers.

How can I enhance my networking events?

Use technology to enhance your networking events. Technology-enhanced networking can offer your attendees networking opportunities that go above and beyond traditional mix and mingle events.

What type of networking should you offer at your next conference?

Peer-to-peer events are probably the most common way to connect attendees. These types of events connect industry professionals who are at similar points in their careers. This is a great place to start if you’re not what type of conference networking to offer.

How do you get the most out of conferences and meetings?

To get the most out of the conferences and meetings you attend, it’s important to plan your strategy well ahead of the actual event. These 21 tips that will help you make the most of your conference networking opportunities before, during and after the event.


How can you encourage people to attend a conference?

5 tips to encourage guests to attend your next conferenceConsider the timing of your event. … Offer early bird pricing and reward last year’s attendees. … Invite a high profile speaker or entertainer to present. … Use reputable suppliers for your catering, audiovisual and venue needs. … Promote your event using social media.

How would you encourage networking at virtual events?

How to Network at a Virtual Event?Identify Your Networking Goals. … Provide Your Full Bio to the Event Organisers. … Engage and Participate in the Discussions. … Build a Small community. … Share Your Participation Pre- and Post-Event on Social Media. … Other Things to Consider to Maximise Your Virtual Event Networking Efforts.

How do you network a conference without being awkward?

Conference Tips: How to NetworkChat about the talks. … Write down additional information straight away. … Have a lot of conversations. … Join the event Facebook group. … Say ‘yes’ to off-site lunches with cool people. … Don’t be creepy. … Wait until speakers have a moment to recuperate before approaching them.More items…•

How do you network an academic conference?

10 Effective Steps to Network Like A Pro at Any Academic or Scientific ConferenceIdentify your goals and objectives behind attending the conference. … Look up attendees in advance to identify who you want to connect with. … Get in touch with who you want to meet in advance. … Make a list of smooth conversation starters.More items…•

How do you network at events?

9 tips on how to network at eventsAttend the event with a goal. … Dress professionally. … Go to the event with business cards. … Introduce yourself effectively. … Be an active listener. … Show sincerity and Interest. … Be straightforward about your intentions. … Take notes.More items…•

How do you network a virtual environment?

5 Strategies for Networking in a Virtual World1) Be Intentional. … 2) Increase Your Social Media Presence. … 3) Prepare Carefully for Online Interactions. … 4) Form a Zoom Study Group with Peers. … 5) Host Virtual Client and Prospect Events. … There Is a Silver Lining.

How do you socialize at a conference?

How to Make Meaningful Connections at ConferencesMake use of conference networking tools. … Arrive early. … Tweet with authenticity. … Make others talk about themselves. … Practice the spirit of generosity in all interactions. … Sit separately from office colleagues or friends. … Handle after hours socializing with aplomb.More items…•

What to talk about during networking?

Conversation starters for professional gatheringsWhat do you love most about your job?What’s a fact about your position you didn’t know before getting hired?What’s the most interesting thing about your company?Which industry blogs do you follow?What would you say is the most important skill in your profession?More items…•

How do you socialize at a networking event?

9 Tips for Navigating Your First Networking EventHave a Goal. … Dress to Impress. … Bring Business Cards. … Make an Effective Introduction. … Listen First, then Speak. … Show Sincerity and Interest. … Get to the Point. … Take Notes.More items…•

How do introvert network a conference?

Attend smaller conferences. Conferences vary widely in size. … Start with a goal. As an introvert, it’s important to network efficiently. … Schedule meetings ahead of time. … Experiment with what works for you, then practice.

How do you connect to a conference?

How to Make Connections at Professional Conferences and EventsShake smoothly. Get off to a great start. … Win the name game. When you’re at an industry conference, you’ll encounter many new faces. … Make yourself memorable. … Keep it light. … Be upbeat. … Put down your smartphone. … Exit gracefully. … Follow up.

Are conferences good for networking?

Networking is a fantastic way to meet others in your field or industry. Conferences are a great place for networking because they include a host of networking benefits: Build on connections: Conferences are a great place to build and strengthen existing professional relationships.

How can virtual events be improved?

Focus on Smaller Event Groups Smaller event groups allow for more meaningful engagement, so it’s a good idea to focus on relevant audiences rather than headcounts alone. For large events, it’s also best to split activities, such as breakout sessions and workshops, into smaller groups, ideally with specific focus areas.

How do you prepare for a networking meeting?

Who to Ask for a Networking Meeting.Prepare Yourself for Success.Be Ready to Discuss Your Background.Customize Your Questions to Reach Your Goal.Last Impressions Are Just as Important as the First.Keep Your Contacts Informed.Keep Your Contacts Informed.

How do I get the most out of a business conference?

How to Get the Most Out of a ConferenceWhat the Experts Say. Professional conferences are an unavoidable fact of working life. … Change your mindset. … Pre-introduce yourself. … Be strategic with your time. … Network on your terms. … Listen more; talk less. … Manage your existing connections. … Make time for yourself.More items…•

What do conference pros need to know?

Conference pros not only have the skills to rock an event, they also have an arsenal of tools at their disposal. Before you go to the event, make sure you have the following in place: Your Badge: One of your most important, but often overlooked, assets for conferences is your badge. It is your first impression.

What is the right conference?

The right conference can be a game changer for your business. More importantly, the right conference, done the right way can prove to be a gold mine of opportunities. Whether you are going to a trade show, festival or business conference, you have to be prepared. You already are spending time, money and energy to get to the event.

Why do pros look forward to their event?

Pros look forward to their event because they are certain they will get new business from it. Pros know exactly how to work a room and walk up to a stranger like an old friend. Pros are a magnet for business cards because they aren’t the sleazy schmoozer types.

1. Have Clear Goals and Objectives

Conferences tend to move at the “speed of social” these days. That is to say, people are moving from one conversation, session, or event to another, quickly. It’s easy to get lost in the flow of things. Identify clear objectives of sessions to attend, who you hope to meet, and what you want to take away, prior to the event.

2. Stay In The Same Hotel as the Conference is Being Held

Networking events, dinners, and activities will likely be held there or nearby. In addition to this, most of the speakers, panelists, etc will be staying there also. A “chance” meeting in the lobby, gym, hotel Starbucks, or elsewhere can help “break the ice” and lead to additional opportunities for a conversation later in the conference.

3. Go Prepared

If there are specific attendees, vendors or speakers you hope to meet and talk to, do your research and prepare well ahead of time. Read their latest book, blog posts, etc, and search for the latest news on their company.

4. Send an Email or Tweet Prior to the Event

Use the same approach mentioned above. Let them know that you value and have an interest in their work and that you would like to take a minute or two at the conference to introduce yourself.

5. Avoid the Helicopter Approach

Many times at conferences I see people begin to approach someone they would like to meet only to stop 5-10 feet away and go into “hover mode”. Nothing makes a person more nervous than the possibility that a stalker is nearby. Seeing you in “hover” mode, the person you hope to meet will most likely already be formulating their exit strategy.

6. Be Ready with Conversation Starters

If at some point the conversation gets “stuck” always have a few conversation starters to get it going again. Here are a few examples.

7. Be Approachable

Don’t spend all your time outside of conference sessions using your phone, laptop or tablet. By circulating and looking open and engaged, you’ll make it more likely that someone else, looking for someone to talk to, will approach you. Knowing “when” to network is just as import and as “how to network”.

How to improve conference networking?

To improve conference networking, be intentional with your networking event objective. Effective conference networking is more than just fancy technology and tools. Defining a networking event objective is just as important.

What is conference planning?

Conference planning is well underway. You’ve secured a convention center in a city that’s going to get people excited. You’ve booked a keynote speaker that is sure to wow! You’re focused on providing engaging and interactive sessions for your attendees. You know that conference networking is important, but you’re not sure how to help your attendees make meaningful connections.

What is technology enhanced networking?

Technology-enhanced networking can offer your attendees networking opportunities that go above and beyond traditional mix and mingle events. Between matching software, event apps that allow for online and in-person networking, and technology that has LinkedIn integrations, advancements in technology are helping event planners provide more strategic networking to their event-goers.

Why do planners use event apps?

Event apps help event planners communicate with event attendees about session updates, speaker information, and schedule changes. For this reason, some event planners prefer to use event apps to eliminate the need for multiple technology or software companies.

What is networking in business?

And that’s a lot easier for your attendees to do when they are connecting with people whose experience aligns with theirs. This way, they are able to better share knowledge, bounce ideas, discuss trends, overcome challenges, and talk about the industry and/or job outlook.

Why is speed networking important?

Because instead of having to gather up the courage to approach complete strangers in a crowded convention center, everything is facilitated for them.

Why is visual representation important?

With a visual representation of the people you should approach, event attendees often feel less anxious approaching strangers. Not only is it expected, it’s guaranteed the two people will have something in common. They also reduce the time it takes for attendees to make meaningful connections.

1. Create a fertile ground for networking

What you do be for the event (pre-event) is crucial for setting up effective networking.

2. Eliminate networking obstacles

You’ve set the foundation for networking during your event, now it’s time to think of the atmosphere that will contribute to and encourage networking.

3. Utilize technology

Today, event organizers widely employ technology in almost every stages of event preparation.

In conclusion

People want to attend events that provide great networking opportunities. Attending events allows them to find new useful business connections, and, as an event organizer, your task is to facilitate that.

How Do You Network Effectively at an Event?

Whether you’re new to conference-style events or a seasoned veteran, take note of these 11 tips on how to level up your networking game.

How Do You Facilitate Networking at a Conference?

Now that we’ve given visitors and attendees a good idea of how to improve their networking skills at conferences, it is time to talk about the hosting end of the event.

Networking for Virtual Conferences

There are additional steps that you can take as an event manager to make sure your virtual events are just as effective and successful as physical events. Here are a few ideas that you can implement within virtual conferences.

How Do Students Network at a Conference?

Networking is not just for professionals. It can be a great tool for students as well. So, let’s take a look at some advice for students who want to learn how to network at a conference. Here are a few tips.

Final Thoughts

Overall, we understand the value and critical aspect of networking when it comes to business, academics, or even hobbyist events and conferences. Making new and meaningful connections is what helps us grow in the long term. Hopefully, you got something valuable out of this guide.

Why is networking important?

Networking is an important part of life, and it can be both pleasant and profitable when done successfully . As an event planner, you’re in a unique position to bring people together and help them form new connections.

What are nibbles in conversation?

You can even introduce the food and drinks by describing where it’s sourced from to kick off the small talk.

What happens when you are seated at an event?

If your event is seated, then your attendees will spend most of their time talking to the people next to them. Plan for seat rotation throughout the event so everyone gets to know each other.

How to ensure conference attendees meet, connect and network effectively?

Here are six ways event planners can ensure conference attendees meet, connect and network effectively. 1. Give Attendees and Vendors an SMS Business Card.

What is the best tool to use for a conference?

Text messaging is one of the easiest and most simple tools to utilize at conferences. Attendees don’t need a certain app or operating system to use it since pretty much everyone has an SMS-enabled mobile phone .

How to connect with other attendees?

A great way to connect with other attendees is to host a series of interviews. Talk to various participants at the event, gather information, and if possible record the interview. For attendees who agree to your interviews, this provides a great opportunity to talk to people, get their contact information, and even make yourself well-known in the field as well. The information you gather can be great content for company websites, blogs, social media channels, marketing videos, or podcasts.

Why do conference organizers use text messaging?

Additionally, text messaging can be used by conference organizers to gather feedback from participants, conduct surveys or quizzes, or collect attendance information. 2.

Does networking stop when the show floor closes?

Networking doesn’t stop when the show floor closes or the last presenter shuts off her laptop. After a full day of keynotes and workshops and checking out booths, conference attendees will likely look forward to after-hours events. Host a happy hour or a dinner and make it an invitation-only event.

How to encourage connections?

Another great way to encourage connections is to set up round tables at your networking events. Round tables allow people to openly share ideas, interact freely, and help attendees meet many different people in a short period.

What do I need to host an online networking event?

If you’re hosting an online networking event, you need a fully integrated event management software platform that will allow you to integrate social media accounts and encourage attendees to connect with you, and also stay in touch with each other after the event is over.

How to run a gamification photo contest?

You can run gamification photo contests through social media, networking contests through your mobile event app, or a point scavenger hunt game to increase session and booth traffic. Gamification is a fun and easy way to engage and connect better with your attendees. 9. Photo Booths.

Why use mobile app for events?

If you’re using a mobile event app for your event, then you’re in luck because mobile apps are an easy way to provide networking opportunities for your attendees throughout all stages of your event. Before your event, attendees can use the chatting feature to network with other attendees and schedule meetings with them. During your event sessions, attendees can use the mobile event app to engage with speakers by answering polls, and after the event, they can use the app to rate their favorite sessions and provide other feedback.

Why do you host a virtual dinner party?

You can host a virtual dinner party for your networking event so people can take a break from sessions and have something to eat. Even if it’s virtual, a dinner party can foster connections and encourage attendees to talk to one another, so look into it and consider it for your next virtual networking event. 18.

What is intelligent networking?

Intelligent networking takes a seamless, automated approach to networking by recommending connections based on mutual interests. This will help create a structured environment to help businesses promote stronger networking throughout their events and before and after.

How to get your attendees to talk to each other?

Live Entertainment. Live entertainment is an effective way to get your attendees to talk to each other. Whether that’s a live band, a dance performance, a theatrical performance, or even having a famous guest speaker, live entertainment will increase engagement and your attendees will bond over enjoying the experience.


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