Networking events are a great way to meet and interact with the people in your community. You can host an event for any number of reasons. It could be businesspeople wanting to meet others who can enhance their careers, singles seeking a date, or simply a group of professionals who work in the same industry. No matter the reason, all networking events have the same goal—to make connections with interesting new people who you might not have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. In order to accomplish this goal, one must first go through a series of steps to create a phenomenal networking event! Learn our best networking event planning tips in today’s post.
Before you can begin planning any details, you need to figure out what the focus of the event is and the type of people you will be inviting for the expressed purpose. How many people do you plan on attending and what type of atmosphere do you want to provide your attendees? The environment must be conducive to the focus of the gathering. Would it be best to put the participants in a large circle, at separate tables or in an open space with freedom to roam around? Once you know how you want the event to be set up, it is much easier to plan the details. To get some ideas for types of places you might like to hold the function, browse some of the event venues that Snappening has to offer!
Pick a networking event date
The larger the event, the further in advance you should notify the guests. This ensures that more people will be able to fit it into their schedules. When selecting the date, also be mindful of other community activities that may pull interest and availability, as well as the specific networking event times. Time selections may vary depending on the specific type of networking event.
Pick a networking event venue
There is a plethora of different types of places where you could host the networking event! You could spring for the usual restaurant, pub, or coffee house, or you could also try something different like the local library or a downtown facility. It’s always a good idea to check out thevenue ahead of time to make sure that they have everything you need, such as open networking space, appropriate tables, chairs, facilities and, if needed, WiFi. To expedite your planning, consider contacting multiple event venues at one time to cast a wide net of options, save time in selecting dates and times and help you maintain your budget.
Spread the word about your networking event
The most convenient way to reach an abundance of people at once is through the Internet. It is very easy to simply create an event and invite whichever people you would like to join. If you see somebody who appears a bit “lost,” go up to him or her and strike up a conversation. Ask them about themselves and what they do. Then you can try introducing them to another person nearby and repeat the process at other locations around the room. It’s best to have your own “elevator pitch” well memorized in advance and be most fluid as the networking event host.
Become a great networker – follow up after the event
Save the list of names from the invitations and send all of the attendees an email a couple of days later thanking them for their time. If you personally made any new connections while you were there, call them and let them know that you enjoyed meeting them and would like to meet them again. This is a great way to expand your arsenal of business associates!
Networking Event Tip: Gather some feedback from participants via an online survey in order to gain some insight and deepen your prospect of good conversation starters with multiple guests.
Need help planning the networking event? Consider hiring a professional event planner to make your life easier! Let us know some of your favorite networking event ideas on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!