Here, people affiliated to an industry or business gather to meet others with common interests. One tries to meet maximum number of people and get their contact details for a follow up later. The discussions are pretty straight forward as people ask direct questions and express their needs.
I was recently invited to an online writers' networking event, and I decided to participate out of curiosity.
As I logged into the event's website, it immediately connected me to another person for a chatting session and displayed his background details to me. The person was very direct in what he was looking for. After I completed my discussion with him, I clicked the "Next Person" button. As all other people were busy chatting, it took the software engine a few minutes before it could find another person and connect me to that person.
Overall, I found the concept to be a very viable concept as it saves you from traveling for such events. The feeling was almost the same as a real networking event. The experience can be enhanced using video and sound, but perhaps the text chatting is more effective.