May 3, 2021 by Sarah Michel
I have been a loyal and passionate disciple of networking for all of my adult life. I have spent decades learning, speaking and writing about it. Yet when our world was turned upside down last March, and all meaningful connection with everyone was forced into a digital world, I suddenly felt like I lost my footing and became very unstable.
I learned a lot over the first nine months of the pandemic as I collaborated with clients to design and deliver high-value networking experiences in the digital-only world we were living in. There were some epic fails, but also glorious highs. My footing began to stabilize.
As 2021 dawned, the reality of Zoom fatigue set in. With in-person meetings so far away, I wondered how we could possibly deliver digital-networking experiences that would attract and retain attendees who were burned out from staring at their screens.
Then a ray of hope hit my inbox in late January, when I was invited to apply to be accepted into a new Digital Networking Incubator. It promised to offer a deep dive over a three-month period with a global group of networking enthusiasts and meeting owners tasked with delivering high-value connections in their virtual experiences. I got accepted!
My experience with the incubator and the lessons learned will be shared with the two creators at our next webinar on May 19, Cracking the Code on Event Networking.
Virtual networking is hard but the incubator gave me hope and promise that it can be meaningful when designed and executed well.
Here are five of my biggest takeaways from my experience as a collaborator with the Digital Networking Incubator.
Golden Rule Haiku
Learn. Share. Try. Be kind.
Support all. Be generous.
Be here with purpose.
As we begin to design and plan for in-person and hybrid experiences, I hope the lessons learned over the past 15 months will help us rethink our return to ballrooms. We must deliver a strong networking and community-gathering value proposition for our future in-person events in order to drive attendance. Otherwise, why else would anyone show up?
What have you learned from your digital events that will take with you as you return to in-person? How are you planning to deliver networking value as you plan for hybrid/in-person events?
Filed Under: Conference Networking, Hybrid & Virtual
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *