Facilitated networking increases the interaction among participants at conferences and congresses
Next to being updated with the latest research, conference goers rank networking the second most important reason why attending future conferences.
Based upon our experiences having covered more than 50 events during the last decade, Zoomdox offers in this guide 5 suggestions about how to optimize networking.
The suggestions are addressed for events taking place online or on location – and in both formats.
1) Meet in advance – online/on location
Be active on SoMe (especially LinkedIn) weeks ahead of the event by creating a plan of content – and follow it strictly. Way too often posting on SoMe is based on allocating time between all the other tasks in the process of organizing a major event. In many cases this time is not available the closer you get to the official opening.
Sharing posts on SoMe – for instance short introduction videos with signed up participants – generates attraction and makes it easier for participants to interact prior to the conference.
2) Conference app – on location
Today we all have a smartphone making it convenient to gather all information in a conference app helping participants to organize their stay at the conference.
Choose an app with features matching attendees based on specific criteria and questions to encourage interactions.
On Eventmangerblog you will find a thorough description of the different conference apps on the market categorized by various criteria as for instance networking.
3) Mind Match – online/on location
As a host and an organizer, you have the overview of all the participants regarding their academic interests – if stated in the entry form – and other preferences.
This insight makes you able to match those within a narrowed field of academic research. Obviously, it should only be an offer for those interested and having signed up for such a mind match.
4) Conference body – on location
Major international events can be challenging when coming from abroad not knowing any other participants. Having a conference body in a similar situation therefore might be a good way to socialize and feel more comfortable.
In the entry form you could make an opportunity to request for a conference body, which will make it easy to mix those signed up for such a solution
While the criteria for a conference body is social and the mind match is intellectual, the two should not be mixed up.
5) Social events – on location
If you have time in the program a walk and talk is always effective in bringing people together informally.
Furthermore, you need physical exercise during a congress of several days to comprehend all the intellectual input you are receiving inside the walls.
Other social events such as organized group singing and morning yoga provide the participants with a fresh start to the day.