You found our list of the best virtual networking ideas.
Virtual networking ideas are activities that online meeting facilitators can use to engage event attendees and encourage interaction. Examples include open mic sessions, escape rooms, and mixology lessons. The purpose of these activities is to help attendees connect and pave the way for successful collaborations even after the event. Therefore, virtual meeting facilitators must select engaging activities that suit participants’ interests.
This list includes:
- virtual networking games
- virtual networking activities
- free virtual networking event ideas
- online networking event ideas
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List of virtual networking ideas
Virtual networking ideas allow participants to connect and engage in purposeful conversations beyond the scope of an event. Through these activities, attendees get to meet and interact with potential clients and industry peers without logistical limitations. From playlist parties to speed networking and DIY craft sessions, here is a list of fun and engaging ideas that you can use for your next networking event.
1. Mix n’ Mingle (Popular)
Mix n’ Mingle is an innovative networking experience that encourages folks to have authentic conversations! These curated virtual activities bring team members closer together.
Here is what to expect:
- a 90-minute session led by a skilled host
- icebreakers that break down barriers
- group challenges and discussions that encourage teamwork
- creative exercises that strengthen bonds
Mix n’ Mingle is the perfect choice to elevate your team’s relationships and build a stronger network!
Learn more about Mix n’ Mingle.
2. Pre-Event Live Chat
A pre-event live chat is an excellent selection of virtual networking activities facilitators can engage participants in before an event. The activity can boost attendees’ participation from the start of an event up to the end. For example, you could create a Slack channel and lead participants through the chat. You can even host activities such as an introduction or a Q & A session. A pre-event chat live also enables event facilitators to know attendees better and tailor activities as per participants’ interests.
For more ideas, check out virtual water coolers.
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3. Open Mic Session
An open mic session is an enjoyable virtual networking activity that can spark conversations among attendees. You could carry out this activity at the start or end of your networking event. However, we advise that you start with the session to let attendees get to know each other better and lighten the event’s mood. You could start by giving all participants a heads-up about the session and letting attendees prepare mini-acts. Participants can read a short poem, showcase their paintings, sing a song, or tell an appropriate joke. Starting your networking sessions with an open mic activity will liven your event and pave the way for more engagement.
4. Expert Sessions
Expert sessions are a fantastic choice of online networking event ideas suitable for any group. With these activities, you can ask every attendee to list their expertise outside their scope of work. First, encourage participants to list unique capabilities or everyday activities that they have mastered. For instance, participants could list baking, drawing, or personal finance as their expertise. You can then use online collaborative platform features like the Zoom breakout rooms to let participants have intimate discussions with other attendees. Expert sessions could lead to unexpected connections among players.
5. Virtual Meal Sharing
Depending on the time you are hosting your virtual networking event, you can share breakfast, lunch, or dinner with attendees. The virtual meal-sharing idea works well for both small and large groups. If you host a small group of attendees like colleagues, then you can even send meal coupons. For large groups, let attendees choose their meals and interact based on their food. For example, you can let participants state why they choose to eat a Tex-Mex meal during the gathering.
Here is how to throw a remote lunch.
6. Virtual Escape Room
Escape rooms are some of the best virtual networking games that you can use to engage online event attendees. These activities will encourage interaction among attendees as participants work towards a shared goal. You could start by selecting a hosted or self-guided escape room to engage your team via Zoom or other online platforms. Teams will then complete puzzles, solve riddles, and escape the room within a limited time. If you are working with a tight budget, then we encourage you to try free virtual escape rooms.
Check out this list of virtual escape rooms for team building.
7. Pre-Event Photo Contest
A simple pre-event photo contest is a practical networking tip for small or large gatherings. You can encourage participants to share pictures within a specific theme. For instance, if you are hosting a business networking event, then participants could share a picture of a landmark they took during a recent official gathering. You can also promote a fun atmosphere by asking attendees to share images of amusing items. For instance, participants can send pictures of their pets or their at-home work setup. Then, you can have a photo guessing session where participants try to guess the owners of the photographs. A pre-event photo contest will glimpse each attendee’s personality and encourage greater engagement during the event.
8. Playlist Party
A playlist party is a good bet if you are looking for free virtual networking event ideas. For this simple activity, encourage every event attendee to add one to three tunes to a playlist on a platform like Spotify. To promote diversity, you could encourage attendees to add their favorite songs from their culture. Then, have a listening session after the networking event. You can even have a song-guessing session where participants try to identify players who chose a specific tune. Depending on the demographics of attendees, you could even encourage participants to bust a move.
9. Online Mixology Lesson
A mixology lesson is an excellent way to add some smiles to a virtual networking session. Rather than have attendees watch a mixologist whip out cocktails, you can request the expert to devise ways to encourage interaction among participants mid-lesson. For instance, the mixologist can have an interactive ask me anything session. Another great idea that could work for a few guests is sending cocktail kits. You could include each participant’s preferred drinks and icebreaker cards that will spark easy conversations during the event.
Check out this list of virtual mixology classes with kits.
10. Speed Networking
Suitable for both small and large groups, speed networking is one of the best online networking event ideas that will maximize interaction among attendees. For small groups, you can let participants pair up and strike up a conversation within two to four minutes through fun prompts like icebreaker questions. Each attendee will then initiate a conversation with a different participant. For large groups, you can divide participants into teams of five to ten players. Then, have inter-group interaction sessions.
For inspiration, you can check out this list of conversation starters.
11. Virtual Watch Party
While a virtual watch party may not mimic an actual in-person celebration, event facilitators can use the activity to encourage conversations among participants. You are free to select movies, documentaries, or shows that highlight a topic related to your event. For instance, you can choose a recent film release and let participants watch it before the event. You can then have an after-film interactive session where participants share lessons from the film.
12. DIY Craft Challenge
DIY challenges are interesting virtual networking activities that boost attendees’ creativity. In this challenge, ask attendees to make DIY crafts with readily available products. We advise that you think of simple challenges that will not take much time to complete. For instance, pet owners can draw illustrations of their furry friends as other participants make paper plate animals or cardboard flower prints. Once attendees complete their craft challenges, host a session where each participant showcases pictures of what they wanted to create and the final outcome. If you want to engage attendees in challenging craft activities, then be sure to coordinate ahead of time and ensure participants have all the proper materials.
13. Storytelling Links
The storytelling links activity is a good bet if you are looking for virtual networking ideas to engage attendees. For this idea, start the storytelling session with a simple phrase. For instance, “my Persian cat loves dry food.” Then, the next participant can continue the session, starting with “I had a black cat when I lived in Ohio.” All attendees will contribute to the story by adding relatable statements. The storytelling links will help event attendees know each other better and also teach quick-thinking tactics.
14. Guess Who
Event facilitators who are on the search for virtual networking games could try Guess Who. This activity works well for large and small teams. To start the exercise, let all participants list two to three fun facts about themselves that no other attendee knows. Then, the facilitator will read out one statement at a time as players guess the participant.
- Who once lived in Ghana?
- Who has a crush on x (famous personality)?
- Who among you would eat pizza every day?
- Who owns a German shepherd?
- Who among you would wear oversized shirts every day?
- Who can play more than five musical instruments?
Be sure to encourage attendees to list unique and entertaining prompts.
Here are more guessing games.
15. Virtual Photo Booths
A virtual photo booth is a a platform that workers can access from any location and customize their pictures. These booths allow attendees to add fun filters, backdrops, and stickers to their images. For example, you could let attendees use an old picture or request each participant snap a selfie during the event. You can even ask willing attendees to share their photos with other participants and have a fun session where guests customize each other’s pictures.
16. Pet Party
A pet party is a great virtual networking idea for event attendees. For this simple activity, request pet owners to join the networking event with their furry friends for a few minutes. Dog owners could even share funny videos of their pets’ tricks, such as the paw shake or spin, which is often quite hilarious. You could even host pet contests for the best snuggler, the cutest, and the most vocal companion.
For inspiration, here is a list of virtual take-your-dog-to-work ideas.
17. Guest Speakers
One of the best ways event facilitators can spice up their networking events is to invite a renowned speaker. We encourage event planners to bring in a speaker who is relevant to the specific group of attendees. You can request the guest to share insightful and knowledgeable experiences that will also keep participants’ engagement high. For instance, a Q&A session with a renowned TED talk expert, musician, or actor may be an unforgettable experience for your guests. Be sure to lead by asking questions to help every attendee learn and get involved.
For similar ideas, check out this guide to online lunch and learns.
18. Scavenger Hunts
Scavenger hunts are some of the simplest yet interactive free virtual networking event ideas. If you have a large team, then we advise that you divide players into smaller groups. Then, give each team a similar list of items to find.
Scavenger hunt ideas:
- Pet selfie
- Favorite book
- A souvenir from a past vacation
- Recreate an old family photo
- Views from your office window
Be sure to include items participants could have in their homes and challenging prompts.
Here is a list of scavenger hunt ideas.
19. Two Truths One Lie
The Two Truths One Lie game is a classic icebreaker that you can use for a wide demographic of attendees. The activity offers a playful atmosphere where participants can guess the two true statements and one lie. For an easier activity, you can give participants random numbers. Then, let the first player read out three statements and pick a random number to make a guess. If the chosen player gets the wrong answer, then they can also select another random participant to try their luck at the game. Encourage players to think of simple and believable lies. The two truths one lie game is a great idea that keeps things casual and exciting.
Here are more question games.
Gamification is the use of simple game mechanisms that include techniques such as point scoring, rewards, and real-time polls. This idea could increase participants’ engagement in a virtual networking setup.
- A point-based reward system that allows participants to redeem points earned and get swag or freebies
- Public shout outs
- Personalized trophies or badges
For a networking event, you could also incentivize participants who make the most genuine connections.
Remote gathering are a trend that has gained mass popularity across the globe. You only need an internet connection, a gadget, and an online collaborative platform to organize a fun networking event. However, since virtual events do not offer an opportunity for face-to-face conversations, attendees may not enjoy the event as much as an in-person meeting. Luckily, event facilitators can take advantage of virtual networking prompts that will foster interaction.