Industries are rapidly moving to online mediums of networking in today’s world. The concept of virtual conferences is not unusual anymore, as companies across all segments are quickly adopting this new norm. With the ease of virtual access to industry experts, participants can now conveniently attend conferences from the comforts of their homes. The question of “how to network in an online setting” is a key concern for organizers considering to host a virtual conference, especially if it’s their first time. It’s natural to worry about the scope of social interaction, particularly when you have no prior experience with a virtual event. In this guide, we will walk you through some tried and tested ways of networking in a virtual conference. You wouldn’t be surprised if the results from an online conference supersede those of your physical events. We all realize the importance of networking and exchanging business cards, but in times of social distancing, this is all still possible without the need to shake hands thanks to virtual events.Following are some effective ways of making connections without meeting in person:ChatroomsThis is surely one of the most popular tools to mimic an on-ground event experience. As an organizer of online conferencing, you can activate a live chat feature, enabling private one-on-ones as well as public forums within a single platform. With the availability of public chat, attendees can easily share their concerns and ask questions — this works like a discussion forum. Of course, it is also possible to meet and share contacts with the industry experts of your field through a private chat.Live chat can also come with integrated audio and video features that enable a holistic experience for your visitors. Schedule meetingsThe purpose of a virtual conference remains unserved if it doesn’t involve post-event meetings. Why? It’s a no-brainer that any eventgoer can answer. As a virtual conference attendee, almost everyone seeks long-lasting connections and comes with the intention of building networks.For this reason, some successful event organizers actively make use of calendar links, through which people can easily manage their meetings by seeing the available time slots in each others’ calendars. Virtual lobbyHere organizers can help their guests network and connect with each other during and in between the live sessions. What’s more, visitors can also view the agenda as well as view speakers’ profiles (may include contact details) before entering into the live sessions. Some companies also post their social platform links in the lobby area, so their attendees can bookmark and connect later on. It’s a smart way of advertising and some sponsors also utilize this feature to extend their market reach. GamificationOne of the most creative ways of boosting social engagement while online conferencing is by running interactive contests. There’s a good opportunity to incorporate playful ways of hosting a collaborative online event. For instance, some event organizers aiming to maximize touchpoints for their attendants usually configure gamification in their virtual event. This is a great way of rewarding your visitors for indulging actively in the various segments of your online conference. The results can be presented in real time using a leaderboard in order to promote a competitive networking environment. Live polls and Q&A sessionsDuring a live conference, attendees can not only share their feedback but also interact with the panelists and connect in Q&A sessions. This feature often fosters knowledge sharing and the exchange of ideas among the participants. On top of that, it may also stimulate some productive discussions among your visitors, leading to greater chances of building long-lasting networks. MatchmakingAs an advocate of social networking, you can also attach a questionnaire in your registration form which can help the like-minded visitors network by applying search filters and connecting them within the virtual platform. For example, you can add some fields related to their areas of interest, making it easier for them to find potentially relevant experts. You can also use the form to gauge their motives to join your virtual event.ConclusionIn this volatile business environment, you need to ensure that you don’t lose direction. Use our tried and tested tactics to build connections at your virtual conferences and pave your way towards making long lasting networks. Our team at vFairs works day and night with a mission to support hundreds of businesses in a disconnected world! Get in touch with us: firstname.lastname@example.orgAbout vFairsAt vFairs.com, we strive to build a top-class online event platform that will help event organizers make memorable connections with their target audience. We’re obsessed with taking out the hassle normally associated with physical events and leaving organizers and exhibitors to focus on what’s most important: engagement with the audience.