We like to say that because we’re a small team, it’s easier for us to be nimble; boy are we glad we can be nimble during times like this!
As many of you know, one of our core ways to create community has been our in-person events. So, needless to say, when those weren’t possible anymore, we were nervous. We knew we didn’t want to have a series of Zoom meetings where conversations were one:many, nor did we want to only have 1:1 networking conversations. Not that there’s anything wrong with those approaches, it’s just not how our events typically work or feel. So, then, how could we create that same fun vibe our events have always had, where people could network and connect in small groups, we could still laugh and come together, learn from each other, and offer silly raffle prizes?
Last night, that happened. We were able to remain physically distant but socially connected.
And thanks to Facebook, those who signed up early enough also received wine or cookies!
Here’s how it went down.
First, lots of instructions and communication. We wanted to make sure everyone had all the information they needed prior to the event, and provided ways to contact us if anyone had struggles.
The event began and little avatars started popping into tables where people were able to have small group video conversations. They could also use a chat box to talk to each other, to the entire room, or to an individual participant. We’d named the tables ahead of time, to provide some structure and guidance. While some topics were career-focused, we also left plenty of tables open for conversations about food, TV, games, and more. The tech was pretty seamless, and while not flawless, people were really appreciative of the experience and understanding that this is new.
The content portion started an hour into the networking and we had three womxn speak for 10 minutes on whatever they geek out about. We love having a variety of random topics because everyone can walk away with a little bit of knowledge and, well, if you don’t like the talk, it’s over in 10 minutes! It’s a wonderful way for newer speakers to get some comfortability with public speaking in a safe and welcoming environment too. Our speakers included:
- Gemma Espineira, VP Global Customer Success at Decibel, who spoke about the secret lives of brilliant customer success managers
- Vikki Lampton, Technical Recruiter at Facebook, who spoke on the importance of mentorship
- Becky Davis, Contract Analytics Director, spoke about why MA residents should feel secure during times of high unemployment
We then opened up the event to the raffle prize giveaway. Thanks random.org for making it easy to choose winners virtually!
Finally, we closed with more networking. The time went by so quickly! We managed to get some wonderful feedback both from comments in chat and through our feedback survey. Here’s what people said:
This was the calmest I’ve felt all day.
Very comfortable atmosphere and something I believe we all needed with the world in its current state which is to connect with people in similar situations.
A safe space for women to actually geek out about whatever they want…….how innovative.
This event mimicked real life more than any other virtual networking event I’ve attended so far. I loved that you could move around tables and meet different people.
The structure was well thought out, allowing time for networking, casual conversations, and presentations to learn from. It had a great cadence the whole way through!
The networking part was amazing. It was the first time I had laughed all day….it sounds sad but these are crazy times. I logged off of the event with a big smile on my face.
The friendliness at this SGO event was contagious.
The She Geeks Out community invited first timers in with open arms. I felt so welcomed and appreciated just for participating, even if I wasn’t a part of the same industries as some of the other members. I left feeling empowered and grateful for such a fun & supporting group.
We’d love to see you at a future event, whether it’s in person or virtually. Stay connected with us by signing up for our newsletter. We’ll see you soon!