Do’s and Don’ts for Hosting a Successful Networking Event.
As the host of a virtual networking event, you aim to ensure things run smoothly.
You have two goals:
*put attendees at ease.
*manage the time.
As the host, you should be online well before the others. Have a right-hand-person lined up just in case you get delayed.
As each person joins, welcome them and say their name. Check you are pronouncing their name correctly.
Before the event, speak to a few people who plan to attend and ask them to help keep the initial conversation going. Light conversation puts everyone at ease.
As you wait for people to join, ask direct questions of guests to help them feel included. Avoid a conversation-clique.
When you begin, remind attendees of any guidelines; if introductions are part of the event, set clear limits.
If there is a speaker or presenter who requires a set amount of time, enforce introduction time limits to prevent eating into the presenter’s time.
If an attendee is rambling (possibly due to nerves) gently interject. Wait for them to take a natural break (or breath) and then thank them. If you keep silent, they will talk on to fill the silence.
If it is a social event with no presentation, ensure everyone gets equal speaking time.
Avoid asking multiple questions of each person. Ask one per attendee and then circle back for question two etc.
Thank everyone for attending.