How to Run an Alumni Virtual Speed Networking Session on Zoom


The increase in virtual events has its positives and negatives: on one hand, virtual event attendance becomes accessible from anywhere; on the other hand, it can make it more difficult to connect with others on a meaningful level. 

Whether you’re a fan of virtual events or not, it can be a low-fuss, low-cost way to bring people together around a common theme. 

Higher education can especially benefit from the rise in virtual event platforms. 

Instead of holding several in-person networking events around the country, alumni program directors can cut back on costs by facilitating virtual networking events for alumni– something that provides a way to connect alumni no matter where they’ve relocated to.

Read on for the best way to run a virtual speed networking event for alumni.

  1. Download a Zoom App that enables speed networking within your Zoom meeting.

Throwing alumni into a massive Zoom session isn’t going to lead to productive connections. Instead, use a Zoom App that enables you to match participants for timed, back-to-back speed networking sessions. 

Twine for Zoom is an extension that supercharges your Breakout Room experiences & makes setup 10x easier. With the Zoom App, users can: 

  • 🪢 Automatically sort participants into roulette style Breakout Rooms for timed, back-to-back small group or 1:1 conversations
  • 👀 Set custom sorting rules for Breakout Rooms based on any variable you choose; match current students with alumni, job seekers with recruiters, students with research assistants…etc. 
  • 🗺️ Create themed tables in Map Mode; participants can hop in and out of Breakout Rooms as they please & choose with whom they’d like to connect.
  • 💬 Message across Breakout Rooms, with individuals, or with the whole group; return to your messages even once the meeting has ended.
  • 💥Click through icebreakers while in a Breakout Room to get the conversation flowing.
  • 🧑‍🤝‍🧑Use pre-set templates such as “Speed Networking” or “Mentor/Mentee” for one-click setup

  1. Schedule a Zoom Meeting or Zoom Event and send out the invitation link. 

If you want your attendees to register ahead of time, you can create a Zoom Event. Otherwise, you can just send out a regular meeting invitation.  

  1. Run the speed networking event with just a few clicks. 

Invite: invite your meeting participants. (Participants struggling to download the app due to IT restrictions? No worries– as long as the host has the app, all meeting attendees can still participate!)

Select: Select one of our premade templates (ie. Speed Networking) or choose your own matchmaking mode. 

Set: Answer a couple of quick questions about conversation length & pairing rules, and you’re ready to go!  When creating your matchmaking rules, you can choose to match alumni with current students, industries with industries, recruiters with undergrads… etc. 

Sit back & relax: When you start matchmaking, participants will automatically be sorted into timed, back-to-back conversations based on the variables you have set. 

Running a virtual networking session for alumni is a great way to cut back on travel costs, in-person setup, and venue booking. It also enables more alumni to connect from around the world, and create a stronger community of graduates.

Try twine for Zoom for free.

Written by Lawrence Coburn, CEO and Co-Founder
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