We networkers now have a myriad online events to choose from, many free or very low-cost. And real-world events are increasingly opening back up again, meaning networkers definitely are spoilt for choice...
I forecast very early on in Lockdown that networking organisers would have to up their game and innovate to differentiate their offering in order to survive and thrive in the post-Pandemic New Normal world.
One interesting new opportunity which I am surprised has taken so long for the on-liners to grasp, is collaborating with other non-competing groups.
Virtual meetings allow diverse organisations to share their audience with each other without diluting (and in fact, amplifying) their appeal. Members are paying a sub because they like a particular group, but organisers can easily hold joint online meetings at pretty much zero additional cost and with little fear of 'churn'. It's a win-win, because the Members of both sides get to meet more people, with no geographical boundaries - limited only by time-zone differences.
This new opportunity is not really a viable option for face-to-face-only groups, so I predict that the vast majority of networking organisations will be running a hybrid events programme going forward, simply to be able to compete with the online joint-venturers...
Interesting times in Networkland!
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