The virtual advantage: Thriving in international business events like Digital X

The virtual advantage: Thriving in international business events like Digital X

By Ready For Social | Oct 9, 2023

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Did you miss out on attending Digital X 2023 in person, or are you looking for ways to maximize your presence at future international business events? No worries: we’ve got you covered!

But let’s first take a step back. We know attending an event offers numerous opportunities for growth and networking, but it has its challenges. Once the event is over, some people might find themselves overwhelmed with information and contacts, struggling to manage follow-ups effectively. On the other hand, missing out on an event can lead to a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) and a potential lack of exposure to the latest industry trends and connections. 

Those who miss events may also face difficulties in keeping up with their peers and competitors who did attend, potentially impacting their professional development. It’s essential to strike a balance and utilize virtual advantages when physical attendance is not possible to mitigate these challenges and continue thriving in the ever-evolving business landscape.

This article will cover the virtual advantage and explain why it’s becoming increasingly essential in the world of international business events. Our goal is to provide you with practical tips and best practices to make the most of your event experience, whether you’re an eager participant looking to network, learn, and share expertise or were unfortunate enough to miss out on the actual event fun in the first place.

Standing out at events like Digital X

How do you stand out at an event like Digital X unless you’re a guest speaker or panelist? It’s a common question that resonates with many attendees keen to make their mark in a sea of professionals. While being a speaker or panelist certainly provides visibility, there are strategies anyone can employ to shine at international business events. 

Below are some practical tactics that will help you distinguish yourself, build valuable connections, and maximize your presence at busy events, whether you’re a seasoned professional or a first-time participant. From cultivating a strong personal brand to proactive pre-event preparation, we have valuable insights to elevate your event experience.

1. Networking beyond scheduled meetings: 

While pre-arranged meetings are valuable, the true magic of events often happens outside these formal interactions. Research indicates that networking can be one of the most significant benefits of attending events. A study by Aventri found that 77% of event attendees believe networking is critical to their event experience. 

To make the most of this, actively seek opportunities to connect with fellow attendees. Join virtual networking sessions, engage in discussions during panel Q&A sessions, and participate in post-event forums or social media groups related to the event. Don’t be afraid to initiate conversations with peers who share your interests, as these spontaneous interactions can lead to meaningful connections and collaborations.

2. Cultivate your ‘personal brand’: 

Building and maintaining a strong personal brand on platforms like LinkedIn can significantly enhance your event presence. LinkedIn says profiles with complete information are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities. Regularly share insightful articles, industry trends, and your own thought leadership content on your LinkedIn profile. 

Engage in meaningful discussions by commenting on and sharing relevant posts. Connect with professionals in your field to expand your network. Keep your profile updated with a current photo and accurate professional information, as this helps others recognize you at events. Remember that personal branding is a continuous effort; invest time and energy in nurturing it well before the event.

3. Pre-event preparation: 

Even if this year’s Digital X is over, we live by the motto “after the event is before the (next) event.” And effective pre-event preparation can make a significant difference in your event experience. Research the event agenda, speakers, and key topics that align with your business goals. Understand the event’s overarching themes and identify sessions or panels most relevant to your interests. 

Engaging with event content and speakers on social media platforms can help establish connections before the event starts. Connecting with guest speakers and industry experts on platforms like LinkedIn allows you to introduce yourself and express your interest in their topics. By the time the event begins, you’ll have a foundation for productive conversations, making interactions more meaningful and fruitful. Check out this article if you want hands-on tips on prepping for your next event. 

4. Share your company’s thought leadership:

Sharing thought leadership content and aligning your company’s presence with your personal brand can significantly enhance your impact at events like Digital X. According to a survey by LinkedIn, professionals who actively share content are viewed as more credible and trustworthy, with 61% of respondents indicating that they gained more trust in a company due to shared content. Furthermore, event attendees are likelier to engage with individuals representing a company with a clear and innovative message. 

By sharing your company’s thought leadership content and showcasing its expertise at the event, you reinforce your personal brand and create a powerful synergy between your professional identity and your company’s reputation, establishing you as a credible industry leader. This strategic approach can lead to more meaningful connections, increased engagement, and a more substantial presence at events, ultimately contributing to your success in international business.

These strategies help you stand out and contribute to a more enriching event experience. By networking proactively, cultivating your personal brand, and preparing thoroughly, you position yourself as an engaged and informed participant, ensuring that your time at events like Digital X is professionally rewarding and memorable.

Making the right connections

How do you make the right connections with people and make the most of your time at the event? Navigating a bustling international business gathering like Digital X can be exciting and challenging. Beyond pre-arranged meetings, the art of networking and forging meaningful connections is a skill that sets you apart. Below, we’ll uncover strategies to help you not only connect with the right individuals but also maximize the value of your time at events like Digital X. Whether you’re an event veteran or a newcomer, these insights will equip you to leave a lasting impression and unlock the full potential of your event experience.

1. Elevating your personal brand: 

We don’t want to sound like a broken record, but your personal brand is a crucial asset when making the right connections at international business events. Research conducted by LinkedIn shows that 71% of professionals believe a personal brand is essential to career success. Here’s how you can elevate your personal brand:

  • Consistent messaging: Ensure that your online presence, especially on platforms like LinkedIn, consistently reflects your professional expertise and interests. Share content and insights that align with your industry and the event’s themes.
  • Engagement and interaction: Actively engage with your network by participating in discussions, sharing relevant articles, and commenting on others’ posts. According to a survey by Edelman, 64% of consumers worldwide say they are “belief-driven buyers,” meaning they will choose, switch, avoid, or boycott a brand based on its stand on societal issues.
  • Thought leadership: Share your own thought leadership content, such as blog posts, articles, or videos, that showcase your expertise in a particular area. Thought leadership builds credibility and attracts like-minded professionals.
  • Networking groups: Join LinkedIn groups related to your industry or event topics. Engaging in these groups can expand your reach and connect you with professionals who share your interests.
  • Visual consistency: Ensure your LinkedIn profile has a professional and current photo. Visual recognition can play a significant role in making connections, especially at large events.

2. Connect with attendees: 

Building connections with fellow attendees is also a fundamental aspect of event success. Beyond scheduled meetings, here’s how you can effectively connect with your peers:

  • Leverage common ground: If you’ve noticed that someone has engaged with your content on LinkedIn or shares similar interests, use that common ground as an icebreaker. For example, you can say, “I noticed you recently commented on my post about [relevant topic]. It’s great to connect with someone who shares similar insights.”
  • Expand your network: Don’t limit your connections to just clients and prospects. Contact industry experts, event speakers, and fellow attendees who align with your professional goals and interests.
  • Engage in conversations: Actively participate in discussions and conversations on event platforms, social media, or event-specific forums. Sharing your perspectives and insights can spark conversations and attract like-minded individuals.
  • Follow up: After the event, follow up with the connections you’ve made. Send personalized messages expressing your interest in continuing the conversation or collaborating on shared interests. We shared some best practices and examples of effective follow-up messages with you here.

Making the right connections at international business events is about expanding your network and building meaningful relationships that can lead to collaborations, knowledge sharing, and professional growth. By elevating your personal brand and proactively engaging with fellow attendees, you’ll enhance your visibility and increase the likelihood of forging valuable connections.

Event self-care: Utilizing virtual and digital tools

The hustle and bustle of international business events like Digital X can leave you yearning for moments of respite. But even during well-deserved breaks, digital tools offer a unique advantage. Below, we’ll explore the art of practicing event self-care by harnessing the power of virtual and digital devices. Discover how to make the most of your downtime, stay informed, and remain connected, ensuring your event experience is productive and rejuvenating whether you attend in person or virtually.

  • The value of mindful breaks: It’s no secret that attending large events can be mentally and physically demanding. Taking breaks is essential for recharging, but making these breaks productive is equally important. A study by the American Psychological Association found that short breaks during the workday can improve overall productivity and well-being.
  • Exploring event content: Instead of aimlessly scrolling through social media or unrelated news during your breaks, leverage digital tools to explore event content. Check event-specific hashtags on platforms like X (formerly Twitter) to stay updated on discussions, announcements, and insights shared by other attendees. Engage with posts that pique your interest, and join conversations to exchange ideas.
  • Speaker content: Use your break time to review content shared by event speakers or panelists. Most events provide access to speaker presentations or materials. Familiarizing yourself with these materials allows you to understand the topics being discussed and provides valuable context for future interactions.
  • Inspiration for conversations: Breaks can be an opportunity to find inspiration for your next conversations. You might come across a thought-provoking insight or data point that you can use as a conversation starter or to add depth to ongoing discussions. This proactive approach can lead to more engaging and meaningful interactions during the event.

Utilizing virtual and digital tools mindfully during international business events enhances your event experience, whether you’re attending in person or virtually. It helps you stay connected, informed, and engaged, leading to more productive interactions and a more rewarding event experience.

Participate in the event virtually if you can’t attend in person

What if you can’t attend an international business event like Digital X in person? Don’t worry; the virtual world offers an enticing alternative. Whether it’s due to travel constraints, budget considerations, or other commitments, choosing virtual attendance allows you to tap into the wealth of knowledge and networking opportunities offered by events like Digital X from anywhere in the world. Let’s explore the advantages of virtual event participation and how to make the most of this opportunity. 

  • Accessibility and inclusivity: Many international business events now offer virtual attendance options, making them more accessible to a global audience. Embracing virtual participation promotes inclusivity and diversity in event engagement. A report by the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) notes that virtual events can attract a broader and more diverse audience.
  • Real-time interaction: Virtual attendees can engage with event content and discussions in real-time, mirroring the experience of in-person participants. This handy feature lets you stay connected with event proceedings, join live Q&A sessions, and interact with speakers and attendees, even remotely.
  • Content consumption: Virtual attendees can consume event content at their own pace. They can review sessions, presentations, and discussions on-demand, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of event topics. This flexibility is especially beneficial for busy professionals.
  • Networking opportunities: Virtual platforms often provide networking features that enable attendees to connect with each other, just like in-person events. Leveraging these features allows you to expand your network, initiate conversations, and make valuable connections, even if you can’t attend physically.
  • Sustainability: Virtual attendance aligns with sustainability goals by reducing the environmental impact of travel. According to EventMB’s 2021 Global Event Trends Report, sustainability is a growing concern in the events industry, making virtual options increasingly relevant.

There you have it! No need to feel bad if you can’t make it to the event physically. Just chime in virtually and reap the benefits of advanced technology. 

Let’s unlock success in the virtual age of international business events

Embracing the virtual advantage can be a game-changer in today’s world of cutting-edge, high-tech events. Whether you’re physically present or joining virtually, building your personal brand, networking strategically, and leveraging digital tools will set you apart and ensure you thrive in events like Digital X. So, let’s make the most of these opportunities to learn, connect, and grow our businesses, whether in person or from the comfort of our screens. Happy thriving!