Women In Business

5 ways to create a great networking event

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As an entrepreneur, you get to mingle with all kinds of weird and wonderful people each day. Often, you will attend networking events in your local area and beyond. And there will be times where you have to host some yourself!

The trouble with hosting networking events is that some people organize lame ones! Sure, they become memorable events. But, for all the wrong reasons! So, what’s the difference between a bad networking event and a kick-ass one?

The registration process

Build it, and they will come, you might think to yourself. The thing is, you need to make the registration process easy. You might host an awesome event, but few will turn up if they can’t even register for it!

One reason networking events flop is that the registration process is complicated. You can use services like Eventbrite to help you make it easy.

The venue

Another essential consideration you need to make is where you host your networking event. You might think that you could save time and money by doing so at your premises. But, what if your location isn’t accessible? Perhaps some people might wish to attend your event by public transport?

And have you thought about how you would cater to disabled attendees? For example, do you have wheelchair-friendly access? Or does everyone need to walk up a flight of stairs?

The welcome

Some of the biggest complaints people have about networking events are the welcome. Sometimes, attendees get greeted by grumpy staff who don’t want to be there! Your networking event is an opportunity to make deals and contacts. Don’t put a wet blanket on the event by having the wrong people welcoming your visitors!

It’s crucial to make the “check-in” experience easy and friendly for attendees. For a start, make sure you’ve got plenty of pens and name tags available. And if people don’t wish to give your staff their contact details, don’t force the issue.

The food

Let’s face it. Part of the reason we attend networking events is that we get free food. And everyone loves free stuff, right? Be sure to take into account everyone’s dietary needs.

Some of your visitors might be vegetarian, for example. Others may have food intolerances that prevent them from eating food with certain ingredients. Celiac disease is one such intolerance. Having a selection of different foods on offer means you can cater to most needs.

The refreshments

Some people will want to wash down their snacks with something to drink. Others may prefer an alcoholic drink to make them feel more relaxed. One way to make your networking event a kick-ass one is by investing in some portable bars. You can have them adorned with your branding on it.

Of course, you need to stock a selection of soda and alcoholic drinks. Don’t forget to make chilled water available to your attendees as well.

The conversation

Last, but not least, make the effort to talk to EVERYONE! Even if you only spend a few minutes with each person, you will make the event more welcoming. Plus, it’s an opportunity for you to make new acquaintances.

About Business Woman Media

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