When was the last time you worked your way through a room of 200 people, chatting the evening away? The last time you sifted through a new stack of business cards you just collected at an event? The last time you made new connections with like-minded people who you still chat with today?
It’s likely that your memories date back to pre-March 2020, before the world got turned upside down.
Lucky for all of us, what came out of this new world was a new and improved form of networking… Remote Networking. Remote Networking is the more effective, efficient and practical version of the networking we once knew.
Why should you continue to make an effort to network remotely?
It’s important to reflect on the importance of networking and why you should continue to do it remotely. Networking can open doors in different areas of your personal and professional life. More specifically, here are some ways that networking can impact your life.
Professional Friendships: Build supportive relationships and friendships
Business Development: Open the door to new sales opportunities
Learning & Growth: Learn from others with unique approaches or experiences
Mentoring: Give back, support, and teach others that are navigating their own career paths
Okay I know it’s important… but who do I network with?
Deciding on who you want to network with and why, will make conversations more purposeful and useful for all parties. Here are some of the many networking possibilities to start thinking about.
- Within my team to get to know colleagues better
- Within my company to get to know people in other teams or departments
- With committees to bond with others over similar interests
- With prospects and clients to fuel your business
- With potential career mentors or mentees to gain valuable insights and advice
- With potential future hires or employers to build that network in a non-urgent time
- With other professionals to learn something new (other industries, starting a company, becoming a great leader, etc.)
Formats of Virtual Networking
Virtual Networking is similar to in-person networking in that there are different formats and settings to get to know people in. Here are some formats of Virtual Networking, as well as the pros and cons of each.
- Pros: You get to take quality time to get to know a person without the distraction of other people or other conversations
- Cons: It is not an efficient use of time, as on top of the actual chat itself, it takes a lot of time to identify this person, get in touch, schedule a time... the list goes on.
- Pros: Fun, efficient, interactive and relationships can lead to worthwhile one-on-ones
- Cons: Timing for these gatherings is less flexible as you are planning around many people’s schedules
Facilitating Curated Group Networking With Lobby
You might be asking yourself: So I know the who, why and how of Virtual Networking… but where do I do it? That’s where Lobby comes in.
Lobby is a platform that lets you network in a curated group, just like you would in person. Within a Lobby event, you can move freely between smaller video conversations at your own pace, just like you would in person. Even more, you can play in-app icebreaker games that help you get to know someone better.
Want to try Lobby for free or learn more? Click here to learn more and start your two week test drive of the platform.