People ask me if it is necessary to use a specialized virtual networking platform to provide a tremendous virtual networking experience. My answer is it depends, but generally, no. Technology is the icing on the cake.
There are indeed some things that thoughtfully designed platforms can do that you can’t do on Zoom. For example, I love Circl.es for its capability to host intimate facilitated discussions without a facilitator. Piccles helps participants in large groups feel their community. These two platforms and many more can add an extra special something to the attendee experience.
But can you have meaningful, fun, effective virtual networking experiences without investing in extra technology? Yes, you can. The key is thinking through the journey you are facilitating.
The two questions I like to ask myself whenever I’m planning an event is:
- What is the goal of this gathering? What is the tangible outcome? What will people learn?
- How would I like participants to feel during and after this event? What emotions will most benefit people in the community right now? What feelings will help them move forward?
Once you have answers to these two questions, you can reverse engineer your event, determining the tone, schedule, activities, and what technology or platform features you will use if any.
You can find tons more insights about creating meaningful networking events within the pages of the Virtual Networking Incubator’s Roundup Report, a collaboration with Matchbox Virtual Media, 150 Incubator participants, and me.