Unmissable features for Virtual Events: Network Café

Unmissable features for Virtual Events: Network Café

Virtual Event Feature spotlight – Networking Café

Virtual Event platforms and technology have become more and more sophisticated in recent times, and here at Procreation we are pioneers in this field so we’re always moving things forward.

We create and handcraft the very best experiences for our clients and with that comes a string of excellent features that can be used within a virtual or hybrid event. 

Here we’re putting a spotlight on the Network Café feature that is available on our platform and to all of our customers.  It’s a powerful and easy to use tool that increases and enhances networking capabilities, and is an excellent way to add further engagement opportunities during your virtual and hybrid events.  Read on to find out how it works.

What is the Network Café?

With our Network Café, attendees  can meet up with people they want to talk to, share information, and discover new connections.  And your cafe can be built in a way that is totally tailored to your audience’s needs, and works within the parameters and structure of your event.

Network Cafe

How does the Network Café work?

Here are a few details on the ins and outs of the Network Café including things you can do with it and how it works in practice…

  • Themes and topics

Assign themes and topics to specific tables so that attendees can see what is being discussed, in detail, and join a table that’s relevant (or interesting) to them.

  • Multiple cafes

We know that every virtual event or virtual experience is unique – as it would be if it were in person.  Therefore, multiple cafes can be created across a single ‘experience’ or event to cater for the most complex set-ups.  This includes various content tracks, topics and discussion areas and physical ‘zones’ within a virtual venue or environment.

  • Optimum size

In our experience we’d say no more than 8-10 people per table is ideal to encourage interaction.  Our tip?  Think of this as you would a live event.  If you think it would work in person, then these numbers will almost certainly work well online too.  Remember, small groups and conversation are key when it comes to networking so be sure not to overcrowd a networking table.  We would say that it’s better to have smaller numbers across several tables and with high quality conversation rather than a crowded table that perhaps doesn’t allow those who want to talk, to do just that.  The beauty of the Network Café is that the flexibility of the set up is totally open so you can decide how it works best for you, your audience and the style of your Virtual Event.

  • Attendees choose for themselves

Attendees choose which table to join and will enter into a group video meeting on their chosen table.  This may sound simple when it’s put into layman’s terms (and it is!) and the joy of this set up is that it’s easy to use, accessible to all and really does encourage attendees to get involved with topics and people that inspire them.  The engagement results speak for themselves.

  • Assign facilitators

In order to keep discussions focussed, it’s important (as you would do in real life), to assign a facilitator to keep things on track.  Depending on the nature of your event, facilitators can glean some excellent insight when they are able to be involved in the discussion first hand.

  • Text chat

Cafes and tables all have separate text chat. This means that conversation and interaction can happen on every level and can be kept private if required.

  • Time of the essence? No problem

If your event has a timed element to it, the Network Café can be set to a specific time limit.  Speed networking is a commonly used practice at many business events and has been for several years.  It can not only be fun, but it is often a highly productive form of networking when the ice must be broken quickly!

  • Keep in touch with all tables

With our Network Café, there is the ability to ensure that all tables remain in touch; with each other or indeed with a central source such as the conference producers and hosts.  Global notifications are easy to create and push out across all tables to ensure key messages such as time keeping, or something else logistical, is managed centrally and the event remains on time and on track.

  • Send invitations

You can easily invite contacts you are keen to connect with to join you in the café.  It’s really simple to use and, because of this, it gets used well!  Many of the teams who have used this excellent feature have said that it breaks down many of the existing barriers of traditional networking and that it’s something they’d like to do more of moving forward.

virtual networking

Why should I consider this feature?

The Network Cafe is an intuitive and great way to strike up conversations with people you want to connect with, or about topics you want to learn more about. Feedback from our clients say this is better than face-to-face as it is a more structured way to find and collaborate with like minded people outside of more formal breakout sessions, roundtables or masterclasses.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this article on our Virtual Event Feature Spotlight – Networking Cafe. Want to know more?  Contact one of our team today to arrange a chat – we’d love to show you just how the Network Café works and how it could be integrated to make your next project a huge success.

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Gen Z in the workplace: what you need to know

Gen Z in the workplace: what you need to know

Gen Z – the next generation of workers

Gen Z is the next generation of workers and leaders, and they are already making their mark on the workplace. Data shows that by 2025, Gen-Z workers will make up 27% of the workforce. Gen Z (also known as “iGen”) have grown up with technology and it has shaped their lives in many ways – from what they buy to how they communicate with people. Their use of computers, tablets, smartphones and other devices means that they expect everything to be fast, easy-to-use, visually appealing and social by nature. The same can be said for how they want to work. Let’s take a look at some key characteristics that set Gen Z apart from previous generations.

Digital transformation

Generation Z are considered the most entrepreneurial generation yet

Gen Z (or those born between 1995 and 2010) are hailed as the most entrepreneurial generation yet. They’re also the most diverse and connected generation in history. Gen Z has been described as “digital natives,” meaning they never knew a world without technology (they were born into it). And because of that, Gen Z is the most digitally savvy generation to date.

This group grew up during a time of massive global change—a time when people around the world were becoming more connected than ever before thanks to technology like smartphones and social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter. Thanks to these factors, Generation Z has a unique perspective on life: they know nothing but being connected 24/7; they believe that everyone deserves equal rights; they expect everything from their employers (and bosses).

“When it comes to certain values, attitudes and expectations, there may be some significant differences in how members of different generations approach their lives, especially in the space of work.”

Forbes, 2021

They will bring strong digital skills to the workplace

You’ll notice that the landscape of Gen Z workers is already different from that of previous generations. Because they’ve grown up with digital skills, Gen Z will bring a certain level of digital fluency to their new jobs.  Gen Z is a highly savvy workforce.  When starting their first job, almost every Gen Zer will be skilled and knowledgeable in the digital space.  They will be accomplished at social media and easily able to learn sophisticated programs that they’ll need to do their job.

To illustrate how important digital skills are for today’s workplace, here are some examples:

  • Writing code for web applications or mobile apps
  • Designing websites and landing pages using HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript
  • Creating graphic design images using Adobe Photoshop or InDesign
  • Developing computer programs (web apps) by writing in C++/JavaScript/PHP

It’s therefore vital for employers to have up to date workplace technology that supports this skillset or it’s likely they’ll be disappointed.

Generation Z

What does Gen Z want from work?

Gen Z want autonomy, project-based work and flexible hours

  • They’re more likely to work for themselves than previous generations.
  • They’re more likely to take on freelance work
  • They’re more likely to be self-employed
  • They’re more likely to start their own businesses
  • They’re also more likely to work remotely
  • According to McCrindle Gen Z’s are expected to work 18 jobs across 6 careers and live in 15 homes in their lifetime
  • A study found that 58% of Gen Z workers were willing to work nights and weekends if it meant achieving a higher salary.

They expect their work to be purposeful and meaningful

While Gen Zers may have grown up in a digital age, they still want a real-world job that has meaning. A recent study by Gallup found that 70% of college students said they would rather work for a small business than a large corporation because of the opportunity to make an impact on society. It’s also important for them to see how their work impacts others—62% said being able to do so was important. They want it all: flexibility, creativity license, purposeful careers with lots of opportunities for growth and fostering relationships with co-workers who feel like family members.

They need a strong employer brand

A strong employer brand is essential to Gen Z’s success. This means not only knowing what you are looking for and posting job openings, but also showing that you care about your employees and understand their needs and cater for these.

Gen Z employees want regular feedback and development opportunities

They need to know how they are doing, and what they need to do to improve. When it comes to feedback, 60% of Gen Z workers want direct, frequent communications and check-ins with their supervisors for performance evaluation.  They also want to know how their performance is measured, so that they can track their progress over time. This all adds up to a desire for regular conversations around career growth and development plans.

How employers can adapt for Gen Z

Companies need to provide a good experience for Gen Z or risk losing out on talent and innovation.  Whether you’re an employee or a company looking to hire new talent, there are key things you need to know in order to attract and retain Gen Z:

An experience worth sharing on social media

According to LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, “Gen Z needs to see their career as something worth sharing on social media.” Understand that this generation of workers grew up using social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram (two sites where employers can post jobs) so it’s imperative as an employer or employee that you create content that will resonate with them!


It’s important that your workplace offers flexible work environments so that employees can balance both personal time with work obligations whenever necessary (especially since half of all millennials have children).   According to recent research by Rainmaker Thinking, over 46% of Gen Z won’t take a job without flexibility.

Facilitate collaboration

Workplaces should also offer collaborative spaces where teams can meet online face-to-face instead of relying solely upon e-mail correspondence between colleagues who may live far apart geographically speaking; this helps promote team building activities by providing opportunities for one another outside of normal working hours which ultimately improves productivity levels within departments around campus too!  Being set up for hybrid working is a must.

In summary

Companies need to be prepared for the challenges and opportunities that Gen Z brings to the table. They will bring a fresh perspective and different expectations from previous generations, so it’s important that businesses are ready for them. The good news is that using means like Virtual Events, Hybrid Events, Virtual Experience Centers and collaborative online workspaces, there is still time for companies large and small to prepare for this generation takeover!  Through continuous education, training programs, collaborative online workspaces and career development opportunities, employees can evolve with the company as needs change over time.

Contact Procreation today to discuss how our market leading collaborative workplace solutions can help your organisation engage with Gen Z and the future workforce.

Book a time with one of our team to discuss your next project

More insights from the Procreation blog