Event Networking Basics

At Brella, networking is #1.

Connections drive us, and events are the best place for building connections of greatness. Yet there is lack of effective methods of enabling these connections. We believe every event is a networking event, so everyone deserves an equal chance of networking.

Networking isn’t the realm of the driven and extroverted anymore. An effective networking app helps anyone network effectively, no matter who you are or where you’re from. This page will tell you why event networking is worth it and how to simplify networking at events, no matter if you’re an attendee or organizer.

 

Is event networking worth it?

Networking is a key driver for event attendance. The potential to create meaningful connections that drive business value and increase your network reach is nearly limitless. However, the current networking methods haven’t evolved to harness this potential effectively.

Never underestimate the power of face-to-face connections. Even though technology makes communication easier than ever, it can’t replace real, genuine connections. That’s why more people attend events – it’s an efficient way to meet like-minded people in a reinforcing and stimulating atmosphere.

Managers and business leaders know the value of personal meetings

86%

 

Vital for negotiations

Managers agree that sealing important contracts require face-to-face contact

79%

 

Close more deals

Face-to-face meetings are the preferred method for selling to new clients

69%

 

Solve problems faster

When you need a complex problem solved, phone calls and emails don’t always cut it

But how do we make these connections? Giving out business cards is one way. They’re useful, but did you know they were used back in the 17th century?

Let’s be honest: they’ve changed little since then. Do you really want that archaic method to be your only chance at effective networking?

There’s also the tactic of striking up conversations with random passers-by, hoping you’ve caught the right person. At smaller, intimate events this has a good chance of success. But what about events with 1,000, 100, even 50 people? As attendance grows, networking needs to adapt.

man with binoculars

We don’t believe technology should replace face-to-face meetings.

Technology should enable these connections so everyone gets the most value possible.

By using an event networking application, you assist and empower your attendees. They find the most relevant people at your event and have a structured meeting with them.

No more time wasted handing out business cards, giving pitches to wrong people or prospecting potential leads that may not even attend.

Sales reps arrive with their schedule full of meetings with high-value leads.

Bold startups meet with investors who are all but ready to sign the check.

Savvy freelancers meet with interested potential clients.

event networking with Brella

All these people show up to events, but they’re lost in the sheer size. Attendees want to extract the maximum value from events, just like organizers do. 

So yes, networking events are worth it.

But to get maximum value for both attendees and organizers, we recommend using an event networking app. This gives you the power to pre-engage and start the networking process before you step foot in the venue.

When attendees have the right networking software, networking is simple and the event experience improves.

 

What is pre-engagement, and why is it important?

The current networking tactics are outdated. Technology enables us in so many ways, allowing us to meet people from around the world. Why should event networking be different?

Pre-engagement via a networking platform allows you to get past the pleasantries before your event and arrive to your meeting ready to talk business. You can discuss an agenda, do your homework on your meeting partner and come full of confidence. This improves the meeting quality and allows you go to more, shorter meetings. That’s what makes pre-engagement key to effective networking.

For organizers, it also keeps your event in your attendees’ minds longer and earlier. They’ll spend time looking through potential leads, sending requests, then crafting agendas and proposals for their meetings at your event.

The excitement builds as the days inch closer to your event. Think of all the things they’ll do – listen to the inspiring speakers, catch up on the latest industry trends and meet valuable people to drive their business or career.

That sounds like one event we’d love to attend. Send us an invite?

 

Connect with attendees earlier and stay connected longer.

“Having a facilitated, structured environment where we can actually enable 15-minute speed-dating, essentially, among our clients of the conference is just great value added, and it’s core to what we do here at LendIt.”

Bo Brustkern, LendIt Co-Founder
LendIt USA

Do networking events work?

Some people think networking events are a waste of time, but we disagree. It just needs a more efficient way of facilitation.

Here's what we have to say about event networking.

Event Technology – Essential for Event Organizers

As event technology improves and becomes more accessible, more attendees will become used to it. But does this mean every event needs event technology? There are many factors to consider when implementing event technology, and many questions to answer. Does it fit your theme? What about your budget? How difficult is it to implement? How […]
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Is Event Networking Worth It?

Search ‘networking at events’ and all sort of listicles pop up on how to ace, survive, ‘kill it’, or navigate the next networking event. But is it important for your event to work as a platform for attendees to find new, relevant connections? According to the The Event Tech Bible, making new connections is one of the […]
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How Can You Improve Event Attendance?

Not all of your attendees pay their own way to your event. For business events especially, the company sends employees to events on their dime. However, this generosity comes with expectations. Not all businesses jump at the chance to send employees away either. For example, 30% of Millennials attending events need permission from someone higher up the […]
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But don't take our word for it.

TechCrunch Disrupt

Together with TechCrunch Disrupt, we embarked on a journey to make startups and investors meet in a more efficient way than ever before. How it all started As a startup it’s not always easy to find potential investors to back up your idea. And as an investor it can be difficult to attract companies that […]
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InsureTech Connect

How to build valuable connections at an event with thousands of attendees? InsureTech Connect was ready to tackle the challenge. How it all started Insuretech Connect wanted a platform to help a large event feel easily navigable by the audience, plus a platform that lead to not just increased connections but an increase in the […]
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LendIt FinTech USA

Together with LendIt Fintech USA we created a networking experience that flowed as smoothly as possible for the attendees. How it all started LendIt USA and LendIt Europe are the leading events for innovation in financial services. Even though they are big players in the financial service event field, the organizers weren’t happy with the […]
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How does a networking app help me?

before brella

Tell us if this sounds familiar.

You’re an attendee flying to the event, and you’re two hours in the air when you realize you forgot to look at who was going. Once you arrive, there’s some time left before things start, so you begin your search.

However, you run into an old friend and chat with them for a moment, and suddenly it’s time for the welcoming speech. Your networking doesn’t improve much after that. In the end, you collect a decent stack of business cards, but only a few of them seemed truly interested in your offer.

The event was great, but as you fly home, you wonder if you missed something. Maybe next time.

Or you’re a sponsor at that event. People come around to your booth to chat and you send your representatives scouting for leads, but you don’t find many – at least, not as many leads as you had hoped for. Maybe next time.

What about you, the event organizer? You know networking is important. But so is food, quality content, working wi-fi. It’s a hassle to plan games, icebreakers or matchmaking sessions. So, you do your best, and some people enter your networking area, but it doesn’t create the buzz you wanted.

Maybe next time.

“Brella made my Insuretech Connect experience really easy and efficient. I was able to book meetings with relevant people and manage my timetable. The matchmaking algorithm really brought up the most valuable connections.”

Matt Brown, Stripes Group Investor
InsureTech Connect

 

Now, let us tell you how a networking app improves your networking experience.

 

You arrive with your head held high and you leave with more deals, more projects, more whatever you were looking for.

Three weeks before the event begins, you receive an email to join a networking platform. You click the link and go to the event page. You spend some time creating a profile, choosing what you’re interested in finding and the skills you offer. After, you find a list of matches of people attending the event.

One of them is looking for your set of skills, and also offers a solution to your problem. You send them a meeting request. It’s accepted, and you tell about yourselves and plan an agenda.

Every couple of days as the weeks go by you check and send new requests and receive some. By the time the event comes, your schedule is full of meetings and you know exactly what you will say in each one. Some you’re selling, and some you’re looking to buy.

No more worrying about finding relevant people at events. You’ve already found them.

If you’re a sponsor, you benefit too. Along with your booth, your representatives use the platform to book meetings with key leads. You get broad brand awareness while engaging 1-on-1 with key leads and potential clients. You can even offer your specific services in the software interests so it’s simple to find attendees looking for your help. That seems like a good return on your investment.

If you spend the whole event scouting for leads, you’ll miss valuable speakers or other important content – and you came to see those too. Forget about spending long hours prospecting leads who might attend. What if those leads don’t attend? Talk about time wasted.

Instead of randomly chatting with unknown people and handing out business cards like candy, an event networking app gives you relevant matches and a simple way to communicate with them. Then, at the event, you meet and talk business, confident in the value you provide for each other.

 

An event networking platform assists everyone in their event networking.

 

Events are a huge time investment, and time needs to be spent wisely.

 

Hey, I’m an organizer! What about me?

Organizers benefit as well, don’t worry. Using an event networking app means you have more time to focus on other parts of your event. No stress about networking sessions or activities – your solution does that for you.

As well, you gather valuable data about what your attendees’ interests are and how you can use those to improve your next event. What were your attendees talking about, and what did they ignore? You’ll know. Your competitors won’t.

“I was able to gain 10 leads from Brella meetings. Brella is the best networking tool I’ve ever used and that’s why we use it at all of our events (22 events annually).”

Nadine Schubert, Plug & Play Head Of Operations and Business Strategy
Finovate Spring 2018

Networking can be tough. There are many people at events, and you generally end up bumping into people you know, swapping stories and catching up. Meanwhile, dozens of potential leads pass you by, both of you oblivious to each other.

Or then you keep to a certain part of the venue that’s most convenient for you, hoping some good leads come to your area. You could be waiting at a booth, hoping it attracts your target customers. It might and it might not.

We want to network, but doing it well – consistently – is impossible without either luck or technology.

 

You can wish for good luck, or you can use good technology.

“If I were doing this manually, I’d be lucky if I had one-tenth the meetings. It’s just a very efficient way to organize a day.”

John Costa, ACG Managing Director
LendIt USA

 

What sort of events benefit from event networking software?

Any type of events! Any gathering is a perfect opportunity for new connections. From internal company events to industry conferences, networking apps are a perfect choice. They facilitate simple yet effective interaction between all those who attend.

What about events built around connecting people, like startup or recruitment events? You’re in luck. Networking applications can sort attendees into groups to streamline the networking process and improve their matches.

In other words, your startups get a list of the best investors for them. (The same goes for your investors – wouldn’t be fair otherwise, would it?)

 

Some of the domains we’ve served:

Cryptocurrency events, fintech events, insuretech events, finance events, dog tech events, trade shows, industry conferences, business festivals, blockchain events, AI conferences, VR conferences, startup events, telecommunication events, food events, marketing events, recruiting events, networking conferences and many more!

Wherever people gather, there is potential for connections.

That’s why any event is a networking event.

And every networking event benefits from an event networking application.

Contact sales to ask for a networking software demo!

Contact Sales