Networking in 2023: maximizing interaction at in-person events 

Explore several trends and tips that will influence how professionals connect and interact at in-person events. 

September 4, 2023

- 3 minutes

When it comes to events, the undeniable benefits of in-person gatherings stand out vividly. The power of human connection nurtured through face-to-face interactions remains unmatched by virtual alternatives. In-person events are dynamic hubs for networking, relationship-building, and collaboration in ways that online experiences cannot replicate. The unique charm of face-to-face interactions offers an excellent chance to create meaningful connections. 

In this blog, we will explore several trends and tips that will influence how professionals connect and interact at in-person events. 

Networking trends 

Purposeful networking 

In-person networking is shifting towards purposeful interactions, leaving behind the days of collecting business cards without thought. Today, professionals prioritize quality over quantity, carefully selecting events that align with their goals and values. This intentional approach fosters deeper connections and collaborations. Networking has evolved from transactions to relationship-building, emphasizing genuine connections rooted in shared values and interests. Rather than handing out business cards, meetings focus on meaningful conversations and lasting relationships. Specialized gatherings and niche events have also gained prominence, uniting like-minded individuals for in-depth discussions and potential collaborations. 

Tailored networking experiences 

Attendees are gaining the ability to customize their networking sessions to suit their unique goals and interests. By specifying preferences, articulating networking objectives, and receiving personalized recommendations through networking platforms, professionals can optimize their time by interacting with individuals pivotal to their professional development. 

A mix of in-person and virtual networking 

The future will see in-person and virtual networking interactions coexisting. Physical meetings will merge with virtual components in hybrid events, enabling professionals to expand their networks beyond geographical boundaries. Virtual networking technologies, live-streamed sessions, and online platforms will allow on-site and distant participants to communicate seamlessly. 

Enhanced audience engagement  

Incorporating gamification elements such as scavenger hunts, quiz games, and collaborative tasks adds a layer of excitement to networking, fostering connections, sparking conversations, and forging deeper relationships. The use of event apps like Canapii takes engagement a step further by enabling networking opportunities before, during, and after the event. Personalized schedules, interactive polls, dynamic Q&A sessions, and seamless social media integration combine to enhance the participant journey. Meanwhile, real-time feedback and data analysis provide event organizers with invaluable insights, empowering them to make continuous improvements. 

Blend tech with tradition 

While in-person networking is rooted in tradition, its adaptation to modern trends is evident in the incorporation of technology. Event apps, digital name badges, and QR codes are just a few instances of how technology is augmenting the networking experience. These innovations allow attendees to digitally access profiles, arrange meetings, and exchange contact information, significantly improving networking efficiency and effectiveness. 

Blend tech with tradition

Sustainability and eco-consciousness 

Sustainability has become a central concern in in-person networking. Events are striving to reduce their environmental impact through eco-friendly practices like digital programs, sustainable catering, and waste reduction measures. Networking with a sustainability focus not only supports environmental goals but also aligns with the values of many professionals. 

Wellness and mindfulness 

The well-being of attendees now occupies a prominent position on the agenda at networking events. Organizers are integrating wellness and mindfulness activities to alleviate stress and elevate the overall experience. Activities like yoga sessions, meditation breaks, and healthy catering choices promote a holistic approach to networking. 

Wellness and mindfulness

Diversity and inclusivity 

In-person networking is also undergoing a transformation towards greater diversity and inclusivity. Event organizers are increasingly committed to fostering welcoming and inclusive environments that embrace individuals from all backgrounds. Diverse networking groups infuse fresh perspectives and opportunities, fostering innovation and collaboration. 

Top tips for successful networking 

In-person networking offers valuable opportunities to meet new people, exchange ideas, and discover potential job or business prospects. It’s also an excellent way to learn from experienced professionals and gain guidance as you navigate your career or business journey. Here are some tips for successful in-person networking: 

Be clear with your goals 

Before attending an event, define your networking objectives with SMART goals. This strategic approach ensures your efforts align with your priorities, fostering meaningful connections and opportunities for personal and professional growth. Assess the value you hope to gain from your connections by identifying skills or knowledge gaps and potential clients or investors. Consider the most fruitful settings for engaging with individuals or groups relevant to your goals. 

Maintain professionalism 

Self-expression is important, but it can coexist with professionalism. Avoid over-identifying yourself with your appearance. Dress appropriately while incorporating your personal style to make a statement about who you are. 

Maintain professionalism

Stay open-minded 

Networking events introduce you to diverse professionals with varying backgrounds, perspectives, and values. Staying open-minded maximizes these encounters, possibly leading to valuable connections and unforeseen opportunities. Embrace new ideas and connections that may diverge from your initial objectives, as they can still yield unexpected benefits. 

Be authentic 

Authenticity is key to building successful work relationships. Display genuine interest in others and their endeavors while maintaining honesty and transparency in your communication. Avoid self-promotion and surface-level interactions. Be authentic, as it builds trust, which is vital for successful partnerships. In networking, refrain from projecting a false image or withholding essential information that could impact the connection’s dynamics. Authenticity and openness should be fundamental in all conversations, including those in new professional relationships. Integrating authenticity into networking also means avoiding excessive self-promotion and one-dimensional discussions focused solely on work-related topics. Allocate time for conversations on non-work matters to create a more social atmosphere. 

Be a good listener 

Instead of focusing on yourself, actively listen and ask engaging questions to show your interest in others. Effective networking is about more than self-promotion. Speak about yourself minimally but be concise and clear when explaining your identity and role. Prioritize demonstrating your curiosity about others. Active listening naturally leads to genuine and engaging questions that spark meaningful conversations. 

Follow up 

The most valuable networking often occurs before or after the main event, offering time for in-depth conversations. Arriving early or staying late can offer distinct advantages. Don’t underestimate the power of follow-ups; a brief message like ‘Nice meeting you’ holds significant value. Utilizing an event app like Canapii can enhance attendees’ post-event connection management, making it more efficient and effective. 

follow up


In-person networking is evolving to foster genuine connections that extend beyond the traditional exchange of business cards. Participants seek more authentic interactions and customized experiences that can result in enduring partnerships. With the advancement of digital technologies, event planners now can harness technology to enhance networking and create events with the potential for significant change. By delivering an exceptional networking experience, organizers can make a lasting impact and assist attendees in forging valuable connections. Give Canapii a try to boost your event’s success! 


Danna Velilla

Marketing & Events Executive

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