Professional networking dramatically changed in 2020. In a few short months, the vast majority of companies moved to fully remote models, and opportunities for face-to-face interactions slowed to a halt. As a result, networking moved online, facilitated by social media platforms and video conferencing software.
It's no surprise that businesses adapted – prior to the pandemic, 85% of senior leaders believed that in-person events were essential to their companies' success.
In 2021, a hybrid approach to networking will emerge. Many events and conferences will remain virtual. In fact, a survey of 400 event and marketing professionals revealed that 93% of organizers plan to invest in virtual events in the future. As the year progresses, however, face-to-face interactions will regain popularity.
To provide insight into the state of networking in 2021, we've compiled a list of noteworthy statics on face-to-face and virtual networking.
In-Person Networking Statistics for 2021
It's hard to replace the value of in-person networking. Fortunately, we can expect in-person networking to reemerge in 2021. The statistics below demonstrate the value of networking, and indicate that some professionals might be missing out.
- 25% of business professionals don’t network at all
- 68% of junior level professionals value networking face-to-face above online
- 41% of professional would like to do more networking but don’t feel they have enough time
- 28% of professional have found or been referred to a new role through a network connection
- 24% of women and 20% of men agreed there was a need for women-only networking
- 51% of professional are without LinkedIn profiles and only 1% have profiles with more than 500 connections
Julia Hobsbawm, founder of Editorial Intelligence created the following infographic to visualize these statistics from her research.
Virtual Networking Statistics for 2021
In 2020, virtual networking shifted from an afterthought to the norm. The statistics below highlight key learnings that will help individuals network virtually in 2021.
- The best time to run a webinar is 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST) as it avoids most conflicts on the U.S. coasts (source)
- Over half (68.8%) of event marketers believe it is more difficult to provide networking opportunities when hosting a virtual event (source)
- 32% of respondents who chose not to run a virtual event did so because “We don’t have the technological infrastructure to run them properly.” (source)
- 63% of people say that the ideal time for a virtual round table discussion is between 60 and 90 minutes. (source)
- 70% of event organizers say that good microphones are critical to a successful event. Microphones are more important than a camera in which marketers ranked at 60% importance. (source)
- The average no-show percentage of virtual events is 35%. This is slightly higher than in-person events. (source)
- The biggest annoyance of virtual events is a bad connection. The second-largest frustration comes from bad microphones. (source)