As we approach ten months into the global pandemic and nationwide halt on social gatherings, most people have adapted to using online means of interaction. Attending online workshops and conferences can put individuals in spaces with people they possibly would not have had the opportunity to meet. Just as in-person networking required preparation (and a pep talk) before approaching someone you admire, there is a science to building connections online.
Before the week ends, here are some tips for making more connections during AfroTech World.
Do your research
In AfroTech World, a person’s name and company is displayed above their avatar. Take a moment to search for them on LinkedIn. Doing this will help you find a common ground to approach them in conversation. Compliment the work they did on their latest project, comment on the sports team they’re wearing in their profile picture, commend them for a question or comment they made during the conference, etc. Also, visit the AfroTech World website for a list of the industry’s top players and up-and-coming talents who will be speaking during the conference.
Break the Ice
There are features in AfroTech World that make great icebreakers. Just as you would make small talk in the hallways and lines of in-person conferences, on our virtual campus you can shake the hand of the person closest to you, wave, and more. As you wait for a presentation to start, try using one of those actions to break the ice by clicking your name in the box located on the upper right portion of your screen.
Engage with attendees during presentations
The chat boxes provided during sessions and workshops offer an opportunity to engage in a way that is not often afforded at in-person events. Attendees can send messages of agreements and ask questions without disrupting the speaker. Send an introduction and LinkedIn link at the beginning of the session, start a private chat with someone you want to get to know further, and stay around for a few minutes after the session to talk with others who attended.
Mix and Mingle
The AfroTech World has a lot of entertainment options such as concerts, a beach, the club, sports, etc. for attendees to engage in. Individuals can have fun commanding their avatars to dance with each other, play soccer, cheer, and more. Use the cocktail hours and mixers to get professionally turnt with the special guest DJs.
Remember, AfroTech World is a space made for you. Attendees are encouraged to spark serious conversations or make playful jokes about their experience in the Black tech world. We want you to end the week feeling informed, encouraged, and with a connection that will help propel you further on your path.