From Zoom to F2F – tips to get readjusted
Since the pandemic began, Zoom and other online networking has become the norm. According to Forbes, virtual events saw an increase of 1000% since the rise of Covid. Here’s how to go from Zoom to F2F – tips to get readjusted.
But now the country is opening up again, face to face (or F2F) networking is making a comeback. For some business owners, it’s been over a year since they networked face to face. And for others, Zoom networking is the only way they’ve done it altogether.
We’re covering some top tips to get readjusted into the world of F2F networking.
Factor in your commute
We’ve all gotten used to the sofa to desk commute. A couple of paces travelling and you’re good to go. Factoring in time for your commute is a habit we’ve all gotten out of since lockdown, but it’s time to add it back into the itinerary.
Showing up late to your F2F meeting won’t make a good impression, especially if you’re meeting someone for the first time. Make sure you factor in your commute time, costs and practicalities. Whether that’s re-familiarising yourself with your bus route, or making sure there’s parking available nearby, staying ahead means being on the ball even before the meeting starts.
Be aware of body language
Faces on a screen have been the norm for a while. Now we’re meeting face to face again, body language is much more noticeable. For example, folding your arms and avoiding eye contact will certainly make you appear closed and inaccessible. You want to come across as friendly, approachable and engaged, so make sure your body language is reflecting that.
In many ways, the pandemic has changed the way we do things. And we’re still learning to adapt in a post-covid world. Although England’s Step 4 out of lockdown has lifted most social distancing and other covid restrictions, a lot of people are still staying cautious (for example wearing masks, meeting outside, staying socially distanced).
It’s important to talk about what you’re both comfortable with before you meet, so that everyone feels safe.
Turn off devices
We’ve spent months relying on our devices to meet and network, but now it’s time to turn them off! You don’t want your phone buzzing in the middle of a meeting, or your laptop chiming in with email alerts every five minutes. Make sure you put all your devices on silent, or turn them off if you can. That will minimise the risk of being disturbed or distracted during the meeting.
It might sound obvious, but it’s worth keeping in mind. Online networking events often held smaller breakout rooms to get to know people on a deeper level. But in an F2F meeting, it’s up to you to make the first move!
Try not to stick to one person if you’re attending a larger group. The more people you can introduce yourself to, the more opportunities to connect, learn and grow. Of course, we’re not suggesting a simple hello and goodbye to get through everyone – it’s just about using the opportunity to make a handful of meaningful connections. 10 minutes per person is a good reference point (although if you’ve got a really good connection going, don’t cut it off mid-flow!)
Ready to zoom off Zoom?
It takes time to adjust, and we’re in the long game. Which is why we’re still hosting online networking events. But if you’d like to find out more about F2F meetings with In Business, get in touch with us today and we’d be happy to chat more.