Virtual networking has steadily increased in popularity in recent years. Though some people may prefer the face-to-face in-person alternative of days past, the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing has caused virtual networking to become the only way that businesses can network at present.
So, as the pandemic restrictions begin to lift in the UK, here are 7 reasons why virtual networking trumps in-person networking, thus proving you should carry on virtual networking in a post-pandemic world.
- Streamlined process
You might think that virtual networking is limited to conference calls with large groups of people, but this is not the case. With a digital experience platform such as ON24, you can organise breakout rooms and one-on-one meetings at the click of a button, something which would otherwise be an arduous task to organise during in-person networking.
Thus, virtual networking can streamline this whole process, transporting you to different ‘rooms’ instantly without the need to move your feet! This means you never have to run around to make sure you won’t be late to a session – just sit back, relax, and get networking.
Networking virtually also benefits from having zero geographical limitations. Want to network with businesses in Australia or New Zealand but you can’t get a flight over there? No problem- just turn on your computer and you are there.
The added benefit of this is that you can organise virtual networking sessions at any time you please. This means that you can plan an optimal time for the majority of your participants, no matter where they are in the world.
- Less chance of overrunning
Virtual networking sessions are often restricted to set time limits and time slots, which means there is less chance of your networking session overrunning by a huge amount of time.
- More cost effective
If you are the host of the networking event, the cost of all the overheads can become expensive. With venue hire, catering, perhaps even overnight accommodation, in-person networking requires a larger chunk of the budget.
However, virtual networking is a more cost-effective way to solve the problem. With virtual networking, there is not even the need for any travel expenses.
- Easier to do Q&A sessions
Having a debate or answering questions in real time can be a daunting prospect. For many people, networking is one of the more anxiety-inducing aspects of the job. However, virtual networking allows you extra time to think about your replies, and you can type out your answers instead, which is much less scary than doing so live or in-person.
- Safer in the COVID-19 era
With the threat of COVID-19, those employees who could work from home throughout 2020 were encouraged to do so. Though the pandemic looks to be easing, it is predicted that flexible working practices will be a thing of the post-pandemic future. Virtual networking allows businesses to network whether they work from home, from the office, or a mix of the two.
- Real time analytics
Finally, virtual networking can be developed with artificial intelligence technologies, to collect and analyse user behavioural data in real time so that you can continuously optimise your process.
Now that you know the benefits of virtual networking, all that is left to do is to start growing your network, and get networking.