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Four Ways to Make Virtual Networking a Reality with ON24

April 27th, 2022

Virtual networking is a valuable tool for organizations running virtual events, webinars and more. But how can brands build a great networking experience in a digital environment? At ON24, we have some powerful tools designed to help organizations craft conversations to remember.

Four Ways To Host Virtual Networking Sessions with ON24

ON24 provides marketers with some powerful virtual networking options, whether standalone or connected to a larger event. Let’s take a look at four now.

ON24 Forums

ON24 Forums environment.

ON24 Forums gives marketers the tools to create a high-touch experience for high-value audiences. It’s an intimate environment specifically created to foster conversation among attendees and drive genuine one-to-one conversations.

Brands can use ON24 Forums for virtual networking in a variety of ways. You can have a moderated discussion among 50 participants (with up to 250 attendees listening in), an expert-led panel that then opens for a Q&A at the end, or a casual, open-ended chat in the chat room.

Attendees can also jump on camera to speak up and participate or directly message one another through Direct Chat.

Finally, hosts can encourage attendees to interact with each other and a presentation through embedded ON24 engagement tools, like polls, reactions, certifications and more.

ON24 Forums is ideal for:

    • Expert-led trainings
    • Executive roundtables and briefings
    • Professional advisory experiences

ON24 Go Live

ON24 Go Live's virtual networking lounge.

So what if you want to include virtual networking within a larger event? We have a few solutions for you to consider, like ON24 Go Live.

Go Live provides users with a one-stop shop for virtual event production. It allows you to quickly set up a professional event experience for large audiences with pre-built templates, including mainstage and breakout sessions, speaker’s galleries, exhibit halls, and networking environments.

Go Live also provides attendees with a sophisticated networking lounge. Like Forums, Go Live’s lounge allows visitors to jump in, chat on camera face-to-face, or hang out in an attached chatroom.

Unlike Forums, however, this networking feature is typically baked into a larger event, like a multi-day conference. Go Live also allows attendees to launch 1:1 video chats, letting participants hold side discussions.

ON24 Virtual Conference

A sample of a ON24 Virtual Conference networking lounge.

ON24 Virtual Conference is the tool to break out if you want to go all-in on a fully branded, customizable, multi-day event. Of course, this branding and customizability also extend to virtual networking.

With Virtual Conference, virtual networking opportunities and lounges are built-in. Participants can network through video and chat, yes, but because Virtual Conference embeds multiple events within it, you can also create unique networking experiences for each track or session you have through tools like ON24 Breakouts.

Speaking of which…

ON24 Breakouts

Discover ON24 Breakouts

ON24 Breakouts is a unique tool that allows ON24 users to embed engaging networking opportunities directly into webinars, virtual conferences and more.

Breakouts brings hosts and attendees together in a two-way video, audio and chat environment. These breakout rooms can be just one-on-one engagements or pull in a whole webinar’s worth of attendees.

For networking, the implications are obvious. Participants can chat via text, jump on or off camera and discuss any topic. Hosts can also moderate breakout sessions so attendees can have a more intimate conversation with subject matter experts and more.

A Crash Course In Virtual Networking

What Is Virtual Networking?

Webinerd looks out for hazards

The concept is simple: at a virtual event, like a webinar or virtual conference, you empower attendees to chat and interact with one another through digital means. These means can take the form of built-in tools (good for experience) or third-party tools you send attendees to (bad for experience).

We’ve already covered how to foster virtual networking at your next virtual event and virtual networking best practices for digital events. But how can you produce a great experience?

Well, let’s take a quick look at the basics.

What Are the Benefits of Virtual Networking?

A webinerd celebrating success.

Like in-person networking events, digital networking has a bevy of benefits brands need to consider. These events connect professionals to peers, allow audiences to share ideas and provide brands an opportunity to position themselves as thought leaders.

But, unlike in-person networking, virtual networking events possess a few additional advantages to a brand. For example, they:

Provide in-depth, trackable engagement data. Digital means data, and the most valuable data for marketers today is engagement data. Virtual networking allows brands to interact with participants and see what they’re interested in.

Just as important, virtual event solutions empower brands to evaluate engagement across a visitor’s history with a brand. That means being able to see how an individual lead interacts with an organization through multiple events and throughout their buyer’s journey.

Give partners another reason to, well, partner. Partners are great at amplifying events. But attracting partners isn’t always easy. Offering to share engagement data and leads for sponsoring or partnering on a virtual networking event is a lucrative lure.

Send more engagement insights to sales. Marketing and sales teams know that deals are driven on data. Everything, from questions asked, links clicked on to even time spent in a special environment, helps organizations better understand a lead’s propensity to make a deal.

Virtual networking events provide organizations with *a lot* of data. They’re great opportunities to understand common pain points within an industry, see any questions an account has asked and generally get more information that will help leads get to “yes.”

There are a lot of ways you can make virtual networking a reality. But ON24 provides your team with a native experience that seamlessly moves audiences from one experience to another. Not only that, but all of these experiences provide you with unique insights into how attendees engage with your content through engagement tools, chat and more.

Book a demo today learn more about how ON24 can power your next virtual networking experience.