Virtual conference networking ideas – a quick guide

Explore our quick guide to virtual conference networking ideas that will transform how you connect online. Discover innovative strategies for engaging and building meaningful professional relationships in a digital space.

Why do people attend conferences? Is it solely for knowledge? Of course not. Conferences aren't just about learning, practicing, or acquiring new skills; they're all about networking. This is the key aspect that everyone seems to focus on and strives to excel in. The same principle applies to virtual conferences, though networking can be a bit more complicated compared to in-person events. 

How to enable networking in online conferences? Read our article and get some invaluable, practical tips.

Facilitating connections in online events 

Networking is crucial for achieving various goals, such as landing your dream job, expanding your business, solving complex problems with a little help, or finding a community that resonates with you.

No wonder then that we're all seeking effective ways to make virtual networking events genuinely beneficial for participants.

Networking in virtual conferences can be easy! 

The truth is virtual networking doesn't always meet people's hopes. It can be even more awkward than meeting people in person because you can't see their body language or relax together in a comfortable environment, like you would with an open bar. This makes online chats feel less genuine and it's hard to make strong connections or have great conversations.

But don't worry. Although networking at virtual events might seem challenging, with the right strategies, it can be exciting and fruitful. As virtual event opportunities grow with advanced technology, knowing how to make these interactions impactful is crucial.

To kick things off, here are some enjoyable and innovative ideas for networking virtually that will leave a lasting impression on your attendees!

Virtual conference networking ideas

Popular networking strategies

#1 Icebreaker games

Launching a meeting with an icebreaker game is an effective way to enhance engagement and spark connections in a virtual setting. These games help introduce people who might not otherwise interact, adding an element of curiosity and collaboration to meetings or gatherings.

Choose a simple yet creative game that encourages participation and dialogue.

Popular formats include: 

"Getting to know your team" 

Before your meeting, let each team member respond to three personal questions. During the meeting, present these responses and challenge the team to match the answers with their colleagues. After everyone has made their guesses, disclose the correct answers. 

"Remember who said what?"

Let each team member introduce themselves and share an interesting fact based on a given prompt. Participants then try to remember which fact belongs to whom from the introductions. Suggesting a favorite TV show is a good prompt, sharing vacation stories or a concert wish list can be equally entertaining. 

Two truths and a lie

Each player takes a turn to state three facts about themselves - two of these statements must be true, and one must be a lie. The other participants then try to guess which of the statements is a lie. 

Virtual quiz icebreaker

Team members have the option to quickly answer as many as up to 100 questions, with the option to skip any they prefer not to answer. Based on your team's responses, create personalized quizzes that ask, "Who said what?". 

Virtual conference networking ideas

#2 Pre-Event interest surveys 

Before your event, distribute surveys to gather information on your attendees' interests. These questions can cover a range of areas, including general event themes, career interests, or specific industry topics. Utilize the collected responses to organize customized breakout sessions tailored to these preferences.

#3 Virtual coffee breaks in breakout rooms

More and more companies are turning to virtual coffee breaks as a creative solution to strengthen team connections, offering a chance for employees to engage in meaningful chats with teammates abroad.

#4 Trivia contests

Trivia contests are an engaging and entertaining way to learn new facts and broaden one’s knowledge base. They offer participants the chance to win prizes by correctly answering questions on a wide range of subjects, such as history, music, sports, science, and pop culture.

Virtual conference networking ideas

#5 Interactive Q&A sessions

For instance, during a virtual seminar on digital marketing, the host might use an interactive Q&A session to discuss emerging trends. Attendees can submit questions in real-time and then discuss the answers together or in breakout rooms.  

#6 Online networking breakout rooms 

Breakout rooms can help break attendees into small group networking sessions on topics they are most interested in. That's why it is a good idea to create multiple specialized breakout rooms to remain open for the duration of your event, making it clear they’re for discussion on a specific topic.

Here are some popular breakout room networking strategies you can use. 

  • Themed discussions

Assign specific themes or topics to each breakout room.

  • Online speed networking events

Give participants a limited amount of time (e.g., 5 minutes) to introduce themselves and discuss their professional backgrounds or interests before moving to another room. This encourages quick, focused interactions and helps people meet more attendees.

  • Industry specific rooms

Create breakout rooms catering to specific industries or professional roles.

  • Problem-solving sessions

Pose a challenge or problem in each breakout room and have the participants collaborate on solutions.

#7 Continuous live chat

Keep a live text chat open for the duration of the event so that all attendees can see and participate. This feature enables participants to converse with each other throughout the event, even while engaging in various rooms or activities happening at the same time. If attendees find others with similar interests in general chat, they can plan to meet in designated networking spaces or choose to join an activity together.

Using technical solutions for better virtual events

Nowadays, there are plenty of technical solutions that have made planning and enjoying virtual events much simpler and more fun. These tools help organizers set up events with ease and keep everyone attending interested and connected.

Webinar software like LiveWebinar comes with handy features for organizing schedules, automatic sign-ups, tracking attendance, and even handling ticket payments. 

How LiveWebinar can help with virtual conference networking? 

LiveWebinar is a versatile cloud-based platform that offers an array of features designed to enhance virtual conference networking. Among them the most useful are: breakout rooms, translated live chat, polls &surveys, whiteboard. 

Introducing gamification 

Thanks to the special Engagement feature, webinar hosts can introduce elements of gamification into online meetings, webinars and conferences. 

How does it work? Incorporating gaming strategies involves rewards and recognition to introduce engaging challenges and live polls. Participants earn points for each completed activity, which are then showcased on a public scoreboard. There's also the possibility of redeeming points for a variety of virtual gifts, giveaways, and products provided by sponsors. Read more about gamification here. 

Check out LiveWebinar to make the most of your online events! 

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