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Social Distanced Conference Event Networking Plan


Social Distanced Conference Event Networking Plan

How do you promote networking at conferences while maintaining social distancing guidelines? Here's the plan being use this year at The Well Conference, April 23-24, in Grand Rapids, MI. www.SeeYouAtTheWell.net

During the first session, instead of speed networking like before, one-on-one or in groups of three, we'll be forming lines up the aisle, with 6' distance between participants, and using microphones on stands (not handhelds) to allow attendees to answer one ice-breaker type question per person. 

Since we have four center aisles, we'll have four participants per round. If you have two or three or five, go with your layout.

The download of the questions we'll be using is available HERE: https://www.marnie.com/uploads/6/1/9/5/61952851/networking_questions.docx, but you can include any question that can be answered in 30 seconds or less AND keeps the conference launch upbeat. (ie - Avoid questions like, "What was your biggest disappointment in 2020?") 

The MC encourages everyone to get out their phone video recorders so they can remember WHO they want to connect with later, and explains that each person participating will have a 30-second opportunity to say their name and answer their one question. (Program Planners: Estimate 45-60 seconds per participant, including overages and movement.) 

People who want to participate can watch the line to jump in at the end of any aisle line when they can do so without infringing on the space of the person in front of them.

  1. Question #1 appears on the screen.
  2. Aisle 1, participant 1 says name and answers question.
  3. Aisle 2, participant 2 says name and answers question, etc. through Aisle 4.
  4. Aisle 1, participant 2 says name and answers 2nd question.

Important: Your PPT screens should always show the current question in BIG FONT with the next-up question under in smaller font so participants can be thinking ahead.

It's imperative to use a timer or bell to keep the energy going and allow the most people to participate before your allotted time is up. You wouldn't say this outload, but wait to start the timer until AFTER the person says their name. 

If someone begins to answer without their name 1st (which WILL happen), immediately use your microphone to say, "Name?" Do not wait until they finish. 

That's the whole thing and your attendees are going to have so much fun hearing all these "insider" answers from their conference mates.

God speed!




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