November 3, 2020

Better Together Networking

This year has brought many challenges to us all, but one common thing we are all missing is human connection.  Typically, we meet at conferences around the country throughout the year and have the opportunity to network and connect with others in our industry.  Every year you look forward to seeing those familiar faces again after connecting on LinkedIn or other social channels. Many of us enjoy catching up with our colleagues and business partners at conferences and we are certainly missing the opportunities in 2020. While we may not like the idea of this, it might be the “new normal.” This year reminded us how important it is to have and make connections with others. And, for many of us, making connections in a virtual environment is new and somewhat uncomfortable not knowing engagement protocols or having a meaningful conversation starter.

When planning our very first full-day virtual conference, Better Together, the Alliance of Women in Workers’ Compensation had you, our followers, in mind.  We know you look forward to our events across the country and view them as opportunities to make new connections and reconnect with friends. To be amongst industry leaders and stakeholders that care about our mission and lifting up women in our industry. What would make this experience unique and allow individual and group interactions? What would make it not just another Zoom call? Luckily, with the help of Safety National, a 2020 corporate sponsor, we will be using the Hopin platform which allows for real-time networking via video or chat for all attendees.

How can you engage with other attendees during Better Together? Treat the networking lounge like the conference lobby where you can enjoy conversations with a variety of people. This area of the Hopin platform is designed for pure engagement and is similar to a FaceTime call. Once inside you are matched with another attendee. Turn on your video to begin the 5 minutes speed networking session and click Connect to exchange contact information.

If you prefer chatting via an instant message feature, Hopin has a variety of opportunities to engage.

  • Event chat — global event chat where all participants can post messages.
  • Stage chat — chat with a Stage-related discussion all attendees have access to.
  • Session chat — each session in Sessions has dedicated chat rooms. Attendees who are off-camera can chat to interact with people on camera and vice-versa.
  • Direct messages — anyone can send messages to an individual at an event on Hopin via DMs in the People tab. To send a DM, find the person you wish to chat within the People tab, click their profile photo, and send a direct message to them.

There are so many benefits to networking.  To name a few, Forbes article: 10 Reasons Why Networking Is Essential For Your Careermentions that networking can improve your creative intellect and be an extra resource library.  The ability to share ideas can allow for creativity to flow. Especially in the times we are in, creativity is the only way to keep moving forward. How can we adjust and get creative while doing so? Learning to adapt to new circumstances takes creativity.  Many people are still looking for new job opportunities and what better way to find one than through networking?  You never know what could come up from that 5-minute conversation.

By: Haley Carrasquillo, Program Coordinator, Alliance of Women in Workers’ Compensation