A networking event provides professionals and business owners an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and forge long-term partnerships. Whether it’s a trade show or a conference, a networking event can bring value not just to the participants but also to the organizers.
If your company is handling the event, there is a lot of work that goes into planning the activities and setting up the venue. When done right, your event can help everyone involved build bridges as well as become more aware of your organization. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when organizing a networking event.
Determine the format
Networking events come in various forms. Apart from conferences, you can also invite industry leaders for a panel discussion. You can also host a luncheon or a local meetup at a bar or cafe. Whichever format you choose, it’s important to know what other goals you need to accomplish through the event.
Do you want participants to sign up for a masterclass course? Do you want them to invest in a product concept? Once you have identified all your objectives, you can easily pick an appropriate networking format.
Choose a good venue
When it comes to planning an event, picking a great venue should be your top priority. That’s because you need to secure an environment that can help you achieve your goals. Since your main goal is to provide participants with an opportunity to build valuable connections, you need a venue that can make this possible.
For instance, if the event is going to be a casual meetup over good food, look for a dining establishment that offers an intimate atmosphere perfect for conversations. As you pick a venue, consider the number of participants and the equipment you need for the event. You have the option to buy or rent audio equipment, decorations, and booths. If the event takes place outdoors, reach out to suppliers like Economy Tent International for durable tents that are easy to assemble.
Come up with a program
A successful event is a well-organized one, so make sure to come up with a program. Include the activities you want your participants to expect on top of building connections. Aside from letting the event flow smoothly, a well-structured program can also motivate participants to be there. You just need to allocate the right amount of time for each component of the event.
Market the event
Unless the networking event is exclusive to certain individuals, you may want to run a promotional campaign months before the schedule. For this, you can build a social media page and invite potential participants to follow. You can then publish content to build excitement. These may include profiles of the speakers and a sneak-peek into the venue of the event. It’s also important to build a landing page where people can sign up for the event. From there, send email content that encourages them to invite people from their networks.
If you are planning a networking event that does more than bring people together, consider these tips and give your participants valuable time.