In-Person vs Online Event Networking: Which is Better for You?

Networking has become an essential part of personal and professional development. Traditional in-person networking meetings have long been the norm, but as technology has advanced, online alternatives have emerged. Are you confused between In-Person and Online Event Networking? In this article, we’ll look at the advantages and disadvantages of both in-person and online event networking, to help you determine which is ideal for you.

In-Person Event Networking

What is In-Person Event Networking?

In-person event networking is a dynamic and time-honored activity that incorporates the act of engaging with people in a face-to-face situation, generally occurring at conferences, seminars, workshops, and many other physical events. For decades, this conventional and interpersonal style of networking has served as the foundation for developing professional relationships. In-person event networking is more than simply swapping business cards; it is an immersive experience that allows people to meet and interact with like-minded professionals, share insights, and form real relationships. 

This form of networking allows professionals to build true connections, establishing meaningful relationships that frequently last beyond the event itself. The in-person event networking experience is rich in personal relationships, shared learning, and collective passion, all of which contribute to the professional advancement of people and the greater networking community.

Pros of In-person Event Networking:

  • Authentic ties: Meeting people in person creates real interactions and leads to deeper ties. The chance to see and feel the actual person behind the professional veneer aids in the formation of trust and connection.
  • Body Language and Nonverbal Indicators: In-person encounters have the benefit of watching body language and other nonverbal indicators, which improves communication. This additional layer of communication provides for a more in-depth grasp of the individual you’re engaging with.
  • Memorable Experiences: Physical activities frequently produce long-term memories, making it simpler for others to remember you and your company. The common experience of attending an event may serve as a strong foundation for future connections and cooperation.

Cons of In-person Event Networking:

  • Geographical Restrictions: In-person events necessitate travel, restricting attendance to those who can afford the time and expense. This may omit those who may make meaningful contributions but are unable to attend owing to logistical constraints.
  • Time-Consuming: Attending physical events may be time-consuming, with long commutes and negotiating packed locations. The time involved can sometimes outweigh the rewards, particularly for people with demanding schedules.
  • Limited Reach: In-person events may not draw a varied audience, limiting exposure to a certain sector or locale. This constraint may limit the potential to engage with a greater range of experts and viewpoints.
Cons of In-person Event Networking

What is Online Event Networking?

Online event networking has evolved as a transformational technique, altering how professionals meet and collaborate in the digital age. This current strategy entails harnessing virtual platforms like as webinars, virtual networking events, and digital meetings to enhance encounters and develop meaningful connections. One of its primary benefits is that it eliminates geographical borders, allowing users to interact with people from all over the world without the limits of physical proximity. The accessibility and ease of online event networking transform traditional networking dynamics, allowing professionals to engage in valuable talks and collaborations from their homes, avoiding the need for significant travel.

The strategic integration of technology is critical to the success of online event networking since it provides participants with a smooth and immersive experience. Professionals may use digital tools and event networking apps to trade ideas, share knowledge, and develop relationships in real time. This virtual landscape not only expands the reach and inclusiveness of networking possibilities but also adjusts to the changing demands of individuals in today’s fast-paced and networked professional world. 

Pros of Online Event Networking:

  • Global Reach: Online networking events remove geographical restrictions, allowing participants to interact with experts from all over the world. Online events for networking broaden the pool of prospective contacts, creating a more varied and inclusive networking environment.
  • Convenience: Virtual networking events eliminate travel, making it more accessible and handy to a larger audience. Participants can participate from the convenience of their own homes or offices, saving time and resources.
  • Cost-effective: Online networking events are often less expensive, making them an affordable networking choice. Individuals and corporations on a limited budget may benefit most from reduced travel, lodging, and event registration costs.

Cons of Online Event Networking:

  • Lack of Personal Interaction: Online networking events may lack the personal touch of face-to-face contact, thereby impeding the formation of deeper bonds. Building trust and building true rapport can be difficult in a virtual environment.
  • Technological Issues: Poor internet access and technological issues might impede the flow of virtual events. These problems can inhibit communication and reduce the overall efficacy of online networking interactions.

In-Person vs Online Event Networking

CriteriaIn-Person Event NetworkingOnline Event Networking
Interaction QualityHighModerate to High
Geographical ReachLimitedGlobal
CostModerate to HighLow
Personal ConnectionHighModerate
Non-Verbal CuesYes (Body language)Limited (Relies on digital cues)
FlexibilityLimited (Fixed schedule)High (Flexible scheduling options)
Access to Diverse PerspectivesLimitedHigh
Technology DependenceLowHigh
Memory ImpactHigh (Memorable experiences)Moderate (Digital interactions)
Networking FrequencyTypically periodicContinuous
Audience SizeModerate to LargeLarge
Networking PreparationFormal attire, business cardsDigital profiles, online presence
Travel Time and ExpensesRequiredEliminated
Networking ToolsPhysical handshakes, business cardsDigital platforms, virtual business cards
Event DurationTypically longerVariable
Engagement DiversityFace-to-face conversationsChat rooms, forums, diverse online tools
Environmental ImpactTravel-related emissionsReduced carbon footprint

Which is Better?

Individual preferences, interests, and circumstances determine whether to network at an event in person or online. If authenticity and personal connections are important, in-person gatherings may be the better option. On the other hand, individuals looking for a bigger reach and more cost-effective options may find online networking events more appropriate. Embracing online event networking brings up a world of opportunity. To improve your virtual networking experience, look into event networking apps that provide the greatest virtual professional networking, and different virtual networking options. Actively participating in online groups and being up to date on future virtual networking events will help you get the most benefits from this modern networking strategy.

Read More:-  Networking Tips for Introverts at Virtual and Hybrid Events


Finally, both in-person and online event networking offer distinct advantages and disadvantages. The ideal option is dependent on your requirements and preferences. With the appropriate approach, both strategies may considerably benefit your personal and professional development. Accept the variety of networking options accessible, and keep in mind that a hybrid strategy that combines in-person and online tactics may yield the most thorough results. Whether you’re shaking hands at a conference or swapping virtual business cards in a webinar, networking is a strong technique for creating relationships and furthering your career.

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