The global pandemic has forced us to find new ways of connecting at the first virtual taxi event in the UK
Planning your trip, preparing the suitcase, putting in order documents, getting early to the venue to avoid possible mishaps, bumping into old friends or sharing funny and rewarding lunches or dinner with colleagues. Many of these moments come up to mind when you think about an event as an exhibitor or visitor. However, during this atypical year everything is turning different.
After one year of the pandemic, we are adapting to live with the virus and everything it throws at us. As a result, the rise of virtual events like Taxi summit (you can register here) is notable and event organizers – marketing and sales departments included – are striving to provide the visitors with similar experiences to those you normally enjoy from in-person trade shows.
Nevertheless, the format is quite different and here we have prepared 5 important things you need to have in mind if you are attending a virtual conference.
1. Register in advance and update your profile with a real personal picture
Being honest it’s an impossible mission in virtual events to recreate camaraderie and the spontaneity of in-person shows but it doesn’t mean that we can’t put in place different strategies to reach some level of social presence. Normally in virtual events you can create a profile similar to what you might have on social media platforms. Find and add a profile photo. It’s very artificial to talk in chat or video to some initials over black background. This simple action helps recall and allows people to connect a lot more in virtual environments.
2. Think about your questions in advance
When you are in a traditional offline event, you pass through different booths and approach exhibitors – sometimes without a clear plan on who or where to contact first. It can be sales, product, the CEO or even another visitor. In online events you have a bird’s eye view of the event and should map out who, where and how you want to engage with people – one-to-one or group tables. Thinks about the most suitable environment for your queries – it could be using the chat function to schedule a follow up meeting after the event for example. To maximise your time at the event, have your questions and concerns ready to so you can get the most out of the meeting.
3. Set aside time and a place without distractions!
In real life we don’t have the gift of being in more than one place at the same time. It isn’t the case at all in online environments. It’s possible to connect in several sessions at the same time while also having different tabs or tasks open in the browser (social media, news,etc…). All this can lead to being overwhelmed and getting easily distracted. We recommend only leaving open the event window to get the most out of the occasion. Listen to the seminars, give your full attention to meetings, keep an eye on the discussion forums – that’s enough for anyone!
4. E-mail is the new business card
In off-line events you’re probably packing a bunch of business cards to hand to potential customers, suppliers or connections. Online should be easier. Watch out for the “Register Interest” button or prompt to give people the best chance of following up with you if you don’t get a chance to connect or discuss your needs in detail. Search for people and use the messaging service on the conference platform. Also, get the contact details of partners and exhibitors you’re interested in. In iCabbi we’ll display our email contact on our profile information all the time. Failing that, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org should get you to the right person!
5. Catch up with old (and new) friends over a drink 🍷🍷🍷
Dinners and lunches are out of context in a virtual event. Many have tired but it’s hard to replicate that properly! However, it is easier to find a slot of time to enjoy an informal open meeting and grab a drink at home. It’s important to take the opportunity to catch up informally. Besides, it is possible that we’ll never have to share this unprecedented situation again (hopefully this pandemic is behind us very soon) so it can be a good experience to have a laugh and trade war stories!
Not registered for the event yet – let us know your topics of interest and book your free place now.
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