“Due to an abundance of caution, we’re canceling our event.”
All over the world, event organizers have had to make the difficult decision to send this message.
According to the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, 76% of people surveyed said that networking was a top driver for why they chose to attend a live event.
How do we keep networking if live events are being canceled, postponed, or becoming virtual events?
This necessary response to a global pandemic is an opportunity to create a strategy around networking that will benefit you now and when life gets back to normal.
Because, while 76% of people say that networking was a top driver for attending events, they likely didn’t have any strategies in place to help them actualize those intentions.
Whether your upcoming event was canceled, postponed, or moved to a virtual format, you can be intentional about how you build stronger connections within your industry and within your community.
1) Reach out to someone you would have seen if the event hadn’t been canceled and invite them to join you for a virtual coffee chat.
2) Host a virtual peer-led discussion on a topic that attracted you to attend the event in the first place.
3) Host a virtual happy hour by inviting 6-8 people to join you with their beverage of choice.
4) Contact speakers you were looking forward to meeting and ask them a clear and concise question then remember to follow up and let them know what happened when you took their advice.
5) Send notes of appreciation to event organizers thanking them for their hard work, especially in light of the difficult decisions that had to be made.
6) Reach out to friends and colleagues whose livelihoods are intertwined with the meetings or travel industries, they’ll appreciate your support during these uncertain times.
7) Reconnect with former clients to see how you could support them with virtual programming or group coaching.
8) Step up your engagement within industry-related community groups on Facebook and LinkedIn by posting resources, posing questions, and offering support.
9) If attending a virtual event, actively engage in the chat box by posing questions and offering commentary.
**Your Challenge For This Week**
Keep calm and keep networking.
Social distancing shouldn’t equal social isolation.
Stay connected one-on-one and build opportunities for virtual community connections.
Reinvest in your network now, it’s your best insurance policy.
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