The future of networking: Will online events replace traditional gatherings?
Self-made entrepreneur and host of the On a Mission podcast, Ellie McKay, asks if online business events are the new frontier of networking.
In today’s ever-evolving business landscape, traditional in-person events are undergoing a resurgence. No longer just a temporary trend brought about by the pandemic, they seem poised to endure, and what’s more, they’re gathering momentum.
With numerous in-person and online events under my belt, including countless investments in masterclasses and high-level masterminds, I’ve developed a perspective worth sharing.
First and foremost, it’s impossible to ignore the significant cost differential. I’m not here to critique high-level events, but in today’s climate, business gatherings in my opinion shouldn’t require us to break the bank. My experiences, along with those of my colleague Liz, underscore the disappointments that often accompany expensive, time-consuming, or unproductive events.
In addition, a number of my industry colleagues who run hugely successful in-person events and conferences have seen numbers drastically drop and have not recovered post-Covid.
Therefore, I firmly believe that the future of networking and learning lies online.
But what are the attributes of a successful online event?
Here are my top 5 reasons why online business events are excelling:
Online events excel at promoting focused learning. They allow participants to delve into specific topics that matter most to them, ensuring a higher return on investment. This also increases the likelihood of repeat attendance.
An emphasis on diverse speaker backgrounds is paramount. Exposure to a range of expertise empowers attendees to broaden their horizons and apply varied strategies to their businesses.
Interactive sessions with headline speakers bridge the gap between theory and real-world application. Regrettably, this is a rarity at many business events, but it’s a game-changer for participants seeking actionable takeaways.
Convenience and consistency
Regular online events provide consistent learning opportunities without the logistical hassles of physical attendance. This approach sustains motivation and momentum for attendees. It is also perfect for time-poor people if you work long hours or need to work around your family.
Affordability is crucial, especially for businesses in their early stages or undergoing growth. Accessible pricing ensures that budget constraints don’t obstruct valuable networking and learning experiences.
That’s why, next week, I am launching my own event with my friend and colleague Liz Baitson, and a unique feature is the opportunity to directly engage with headline speakers, allowing attendees to ask questions and gain deeper insights. We recognise the challenges of frequent in-person event attendance and firmly believe that monthly online events are the way forward.
Our aim for Elevate Your Business is simple: to provide business owners and entrepreneurs with practical, actionable insights for optimal success, thereby fostering the growth and prosperity of enterprises and businesses alike.
In conclusion, the era of online events is upon us, and it’s a force to be reckoned with. While in-person gatherings certainly have their merits, the convenience, accessibility, and cost-effectiveness of online events are hard to ignore. As the business world continues to evolve, it’s imperative that we adapt our networking and learning strategies accordingly. Online events, with their unique blend of affordability, accessibility, and engagement, are indeed outshining their traditional counterparts at this moment in time.
Ellie McKay is a self-made entrepreneur and businesswoman. A mother of three, she has emerged as a prominent figure in the entrepreneurial and business podcast landscape through her On Mission podcast and earning numerous accolades for her outstanding contributions.