Microsoft’s Local Channel Partner Connector (LINC) Event was a 2-day virtual event on Social27 Virtual Event Platform. LINC started as a series of in-person events that provided valuable ways for attendees to connect with peers, Microsoft partners, and more – all while keeping attendees up to date with the latest devices and services solutions at Microsoft. The event was delivered on Social27 Virtual Event Platform. LINC included 15 speaker sessions, 456 attendees, and 16 noteworthy speakers.

Days of event: 2 days

Number of registered attendees: 966

Number of attendees at event: 456

Number of Sessions: 15

Networking at an Event

Networking at events can often seem overwhelming. How do you meet with everyone that’s relevant to you, your organization, or the goals of why you attended an event in the first place?

Thankfully, with the rise of virtual event technology, attendees are now able to network in new and innovative ways online that don’t sacrifice the liveliness and networking opportunities that in-person events provide. And with advancements of features on virtual event platform’s like recommendation engines attendees can easily network with relevant attendees, speakers, and content at the click of a button.

And with a newer virtual event such as Microsoft’s Local Channel Partner Connector (LINC), Microsoft wanted to utilize this technology to better support their attendees and their desire to connect with other attendees that were most relevant to them.

Goals of the Virtual Event

Because of this, Microsoft wanted Local Channel Partner Connector (LINC) to be a virtual space where attendees could:

  • Engage with sessions to stay up to date with Microsoft devices and solutions
  • Find new solutions online to support their business
  • Source, mingle, and meet with new Microsoft partners

With the help of Social27 Virtual Event Platform, Microsoft allowed attendees network with other attendees in a new, virtual environment through features such as the Attendee Directory, One-on-One meetings, and gamification – providing their attendees with numerous opportunities ignite conversations, and their own businesses.

Connecting Attendees to the Right People

Microsoft’s Local Channel Partner Connector (LINC) started as a series of in-person events. LINC was created for attendees to network and source new partners, while also staying up to date with the latest devices and services solutions at Microsoft. Even when hosted in a virtual space, LINC provided valuable ways for attendees and partners to make meaningful connections.

Social27 Virtual Event Platform provided Microsoft with an environment where attendees could freely network with Microsoft partners, peers, and event speakers in multiple online methods. Attendees were able to engage in event sessions to learn more about partner programs, connect in the Networking Lounge via the Attendee Directory, meet with peers in Roundtables, and much more.

Microsoft was also able to collaborate on new features on Social27 Virtual Event Platform, such as One-on-One meetings, that enabled the Microsoft community to network and source new partners online. These new features allowed attendees to better accelerate networking and their business as if they were face to face – while also allowing Microsoft to achieve their event goals.

For our live, in-person events in the past, we had several regional events hosted at different dates and times. But when we added a virtual component to our event [on Social27 Virtual Event Platform], we were able to reach a wider audience and bring everyone together collectively on the platform.” – Ting Cheng, Senior Marketing Manager, Microsoft

Virtual Event Networking and Usage

  • Connections made: There were over a thousand connections made between attendees, speakers, and booth representatives at the event.
  • One-on-One Meetings: There were hundreds of One-on-One meetings held during the 2-day event.
  • Points and Badges earned: Attendees earned a total of 94,459 Points and 1,572 Badges for these various interactions while on the platform.

The platform’s features allowed attendees to network at every step of the event. Over the 2-day event period, the 456 attendees racked thousands of Points and Badges. Gamification also helped to enhance attendees experience online, to attract their attention, and drive their business by engaging on the platform such as visiting the Networking Lounge, hosting a Roundtable meeting, connecting with other attendees, and other actions.

With networking backed by gamification, participants could win prizes for earning the most Points and Badges – helping not only incentivize interactions between attendees but making the event experience more fun and interactive for everyone.

Let’s take a look at how networking was facilitated on Social27 Virtual Event Platform through the Attendee Directory.

The Attendee Directory

Attendees can find others to network and interact with using the Attendee Directory on the Networking Lounge page. They can search for peers or speakers in the Attendee Directory by relevance (based on what Areas of Interest they choose when entering the event), alphabetically, or through the search bar. Once they find an attendee to connect with, they can click the ‘connect’ button to chat or schedule a Roundtable or click the ‘schedule a meeting’ button to have a One-on-One call directly with that attendee.

Because attendees could easily search and schedule meetings with each other through the Attendee Directory, there were hundreds of One-on-Ones scheduled, along with hundreds of connections made on the platform at LINC.

Attendees could use the Attendee Directory to search for attendees by their role in the Microsoft ecosystem, such as LDP Partners, Microsoft Distributors, Retailers, Silicon Partners, other Alliance Partners, and more. Attendees could also search for other attendees by their place of work – helping them narrow their search further to find the most relevant attendees by clearly identifying partner types, or further describing their business to other attendees. Attendees could then be better aligned before starting the meeting – allowing them best to make use of their time during the event.

“Virtual events are an amazing addition to an in-person experience because they don’t just allow attendees to consume content online, they allow them to consume it exactly how they feel most comfortable. And if it’s not easy for attendees to travel, or if they just don’t feel the need to travel to an event, they can just hop on a virtual event platform [like Social27] and instantly get connected with relevant peers and speakers.” – Ting Cheng, Senior Marketing Manager, Microsoft

Outcomes of the Virtual Event

Because LINC was so successful, LINC has become an on-going virtual series where attendees can use Social27 Virtual Event Platform as a centralized location to schedule meetings with Microsoft Partners, Distributors, and more – providing a space where attendees can continuously network and engage with each other throughout the year.

That way, Microsoft is able to not only deliver valuable content to attendees at LINC, but also allow attendees to connect with whomever, however they wanted. With features like One-on-One’s, the Attendee Directory, and more, attendees can continue to find the most pertinent people to network with, in modes that feel most comfortable to them.

Paired with Social27 Virtual Event Platform, LINC is able to help attendees create new revenue streams and identify new business opportunities for themselves – all while in an interactive, virtual format.

In the future, our events can be so much better and more impactful by combining in-person and online aspects. Having this virtual component will definitely help to make a bigger impact for our attendees and for our organization. Social27 [Virtual Event Platform] is a great tool to do that.” – Ting Cheng, Senior Marketing Manager, Microsoft

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