Not sure how to use an online event to your advantage? Our clients have surprised us by coming up with a myriad of smart ways to use our platform to engage their communities. Here are a few of our favorites.
Online events have become increasingly popular as a way to make meaningful connections. We recognized that from the start, and that’s why we made the decision to pivot from our origins as a social network for Millennials to a platform for hosting mobile networking events.
What we never anticipated when we got into this business was the myriad of innovative ways our clients would use online events. As it turns out, there are many reasons for getting to know someone online in real time.
Here are five cool ways companies, universities and organizations are using mobile networking events to further their cause: (Click here to tweet this list.)
1. Engage alumni
It’s a well-known fact that alumni who engage with their university are more likely to donate, and those alumni contributions are important for a lot of reasons, including university rankings.
But often professionals who work at alumni centers simply don’t know how to provide valuable, relevant information their alumni care about and the kind of connections their members so desperately seek.
Here’s the irony: A university’s most valuable asset is its community. Alumni are always looking for ways to connect with their peers, especially when networking provides opportunities for career advancement.
So why not help alumni make those connections? That’s what an increasing number of universities are doing. While in-person events limit alumni to meeting others who live in their city, online events widen the net, providing countless opportunities for alumni to meet each other. And that’s a sure way to make your alumni happy.
2. Recruit hard-to-find employees
Most recruiters will tell you traditional recruiting tactics are becoming less effective. Top candidates are inundated with LinkedIn messages, which makes it difficult to cut through the noise. Workers in high-demand fields don’t tend to scan job boards, so they’re harder than ever to reach. And Millennials in particular often care more about company culture — which can be challenging to showcase — than traditional perks like a high salary.
Mobile networking events allow recruiters to bypass many of these issues, offering candidates a more engaging way to learn about the company, which ends up being more convincing. Why would you apply for a job via a job board, when you could talk directly with someone who works at the company for insight?
3. Retain top talent within an organization
Networking events aren’t just for bringing new people into an organization; they can be used to engage current employees, too. What if you held an event where employees who had outgrown their position or were considering a change were able to chat with recruiters and partners in other divisions of the company?
Some of our clients are doing just that: using mobile events to promote from within. It’s more efficient and affordable to promote your best workers than hire new employees, and helping talent continue to learn and move up the ladder is one of the smartest ways to keep them on board. Offering employees room to grow has also been proven as one of the best methods for keeping them happy… which means you’re happier, too.
4. Create a community
Lots of brands have communities, but how often do community members actually engage with that brand? Providing opportunities for your members to talk with one another will not only boost your brand loyalty, it will also help your community grow.
As an example, we’ve organized mobile networking events for our blog community — and been thrilled with the results. Not only do blog readers become more engaged members of our community after participating in a blog networking event, but they go went on to tell their friends about the experience via social media, giving us even more of a ripple effect.
You’d think it would only be regular blog readers who show up to these events, but when you promote them well, you also bring new members into your community — people who wouldn’t have heard of you otherwise. Talk about a warm introduction!
5. Woo prospective students
Just as recruiters want to impress top talent to bring them on board, universities have good reasons for wooing prospective students. But getting them to say “yes” from afar isn’t easy, especially when potential students aren’t planning another visit to campus.
The smartest universities are using mobile networking events to show prospective students just how awesome their college experience could be. They’re giving students they’ve admitted — but those who haven’t yet accepted — premiere access to admissions officers, financial aid assistants, and best of all, other students.
Not only does this interaction help prospective students discover answers to any lingering questions, it also helps them create a connection with the campus before they even arrive, which often increases their desire to attend. It’s a personal touch that’s difficult — if not impossible — to achieve with your typical phone call.
Interested in hosting a mobile networking event? Click here for more details.
How else can you envision yourself or your organization using mobile networking events? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!
Ryan Healy is the Founder and President of Brazen, a Washington, D.C.-based real-time chat technology platform that enables organizations to engage their target audience. Ryan has been named one of the 20 Entrepreneurs to Watch, One of D.C.’s Top Entrepreneurs Under 40 and one of the Top 25 Online Influencers in Recruiting. In his free time he enjoys running, reading, binge-watching Netflix and pretending to be a weekend tourist in Washington D.C.