One of our conference objectives is to "explore future opportunities for continued collaboration surrounding equity and inclusion work in higher education."
Take advantage of the scheduled networking sessions to keep the conversation going throughout the conference. We've also put together a list of virtual networking tips for your reference.
All times listed in CST
Set aside time
If you’re spending the time and effort to participate in a virtual conference, make sure you have blocked-off time in your calendar for the entire event. This will allow you to be more present for the scheduled sessions and delve more deeply into your networking efforts.
Establish your goals
Networking virtually requires more intentionality and planning - you won’t run into someone in line at a booth or while grabbing lunch. Make a list of your networking goals in advance of the conference dates – such as “introduce yourself to five new people” or “trade emails with ten attendees”.
Download the virtual event guide
The mobile version of our event guide has additional features for engaging with other participants. For example, you can use the “Interact” community discussion board to start conversations or reach out one-on-one using the “Connect” chat tool.
Prepare your introduction
Every virtual event has an introduction moment – whether on the community discussion board or in a live networking session. Draft a brief intro in advance so that you can simply copy/paste it when asked to introduce yourself. This will allow you to perfect your messaging so that you say exactly what you want to say, and it also makes you more present for others who are sharing at the same time.
Share insightful comments
Using social media or the virtual event guide, showcase your expertise by engaging with targeted sessions and presenters via the event’s social media accounts or the event guide. Post your thoughts on presentations and other feedback during and after the event.
Participate in virtual networking sessions
Use these scheduled, themed sessions to socialize and discuss various topics so you can get to know your fellow attendees (and help them get to know you).
Grab a cup of (virtual) coffee
Have you made a new connection that you’ve never met in person? Schedule a one-on-one meeting over Zoom, or a similar platform, between sessions for a cup of coffee and to get to know each other. It’s a low-pressure way to kick-off that new relationship.
Stay in touch
Once you’ve made the effort to reach out and build your network virtually, don’t let that go to waste. Follow up via email or cross-reference your new connections on LinkedIn! Did you have a great conversation or virtual coffee meeting? Send a thank-you message and see if they want to do it again.
Tips adapted from Top Resume, Whova and Frank J Kenny