Tips for Hosting a Successful Networking Event.

As the host of a virtual networking event, you will be clear about the purpose of the meeting, but don’t forget you also need to:

  • put attendees at ease.
  • manage the time.

Before the event:

  • If you are the sole host, ask someone to attend who can step in if you are delayed or have tech issues. 
  • Consider asking a few attendees you know to help you keep the initial conversation going. 

On the day:

  • Ensure you are in the “room” well before the others. 
  • As people join, welcome them by name. Check pronunciation of unfamiliar names.
  • As you wait for people to join, ask direct questions of guests. Make sure the regulars don’t form a conversation clique.
  • As soon as you begin, remind attendees of any group guidelines. (Muting when not speaking, cameras to stay on.)
  • Set clear time limits for introductions.
  • If an attendee is rambling (possibly due to nerves), wait for them to take a natural break (or breath) and thank them. If you keep silent, they will talk on to fill the silence.
  • If you are posing questions for each attendee to answer, ask one question at a time. 
  • Remain attentive, avoid checking phone, emails, etc.