Networking events are a great way to expand your professional network, learn from others and find new business opportunities. Changes in business practices, technological advancements and changes within the industry of business networking events are currently dictating what the future of networking events will look like. Let’s take a look at some trends you will be seeing a lot more of in the near future.

1. Merging Online and Offline

The lines between our online and offline lives are constantly being blurred, business networking events are no exception. Most people find out about networking events online, however, the real networking still happens offline, according to a study based on business events involving over 1000 senior marketers. It was found that 84% believed there is more value in offline events than online events. Apps like Presso understand this and take things to the next level in order to facilitate the merging of these two worlds through its innovative platform. You can now see every attendee, message them beforehand and be notified of important happenings at the event - essentially allowing you to optimise your networking experience as much as possible. This approach to networking events really represents the future of this industry, a fully optimised experience.

2. More Casual

Millennials are becoming the largest demographic in the workforce today, they will make up three-quarters of the workforce by 2025. Millennials are known for taking a much less formal approach to business. This could be due to the fact that this generation grew up in an era where tech entrepreneurs were building multi-million dollar businesses wearing sneakers and hoodies. Regardless of where this comes from, one thing’s for sure - unless specified, millennials won’t be showing up in three-piece suits to networking events.

3. Tech-enabled

In the future, you can expect to see networking events using advanced technology such as artificial intelligence (AI), smart wearables, and virtual reality. With AI enabled facial recognition software it will be possible to know exactly when attendees arrive, who they are and why they are attending. With smart wearables, it will only take a handshake to connect with someone digitally and receive all the relevant business information you will need straight to your smart device. Lastly, virtual reality is already being used to allow people to meet, converse and create relationships all from the comfort of their homes. However, the possibilities of virtual reality go much deeper than simply being able to meet in a virtual space. Companies and entrepreneurs will be able to showcase their products and services by inviting you into a digital world which fully demonstrates what they are offering. This will take experience marketing to a whole new level.

Therefore, the future of networking will be optimised to ensure everyone is where they want to be and don’t miss out on any important happenings within the events. Moreover, networking events will also be more casual as we see a rise in millennials and generation Z joining the workforce. Lastly, we will see business networking become increasingly tech-enabled as technological advancements will continue to have a strong impact on all aspects of networking events.