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Networking event strategies: 6 tips for event success


This guide outlines the tactics you should use to ensure a successful networking event.

Networking is a key aspect of being a successful entrepreneur, but there’s a difference between being a guest and hosting your own networking event. You will have a lot of work to do and it may feel overwhelming if you’re new to the scene.

Networking event tips

Here are six tips to read before getting started.

Set a Goal and Budget

All networking events have an underlying motive. Before you can start planning, decide on the purpose of your networking event. Are you looking for business owners with a wider audience? Do you need a new partner to fulfill manufacturing or logistics? Or are you looking to attract new clients?

Every networking event will have some cost attached to it, so make sure you have the available funds. You can either use funds from your business or seek external sponsorship, which many notable keynote speakers are willing to do. If there’s no way to break your initial budget, you can consider adding a VIP ticket option to access certain exclusive events.

Choose a Format

With a clear goal in sight and a budget to go along with it, move your attention to choosing a format for your networking event. For example, will your event be exclusively physical or will you allow virtual guests to attend?

The type of guests there will determine the elements of the format. For example, if all the people in attendance are strangers, it’s a good idea to start the event with several icebreakers. You can run icebreakers for hybrid audiences, but they’re best suited to face-to-face events because of the added body language element.

Think Smartly About the Guest List

Your guest list will be intrinsically linked to your goals and the content of the networking event, which is why you need to get this right. The first question to ask is will the event be open or invite only?

If your networking event is open to anyone, you’ll have to spend time and money on marketing – and you can’t guarantee the type of attendees you’ll attract. As a worst-case scenario, you may struggle to build a suitable guest list.

Choosing an invite-only guest list gives you more control, which may be the best option for a debut networking event. A great way to maintain control while expanding your own network is to allow each guest to bring a plus one.

Decide on a Venue

If you’ve chosen to host your networking event in person, you’ll need to choose a venue that will suit all visitors. It must be close enough to all guests, easy to find, and comfortable, which means making sure it can accommodate everyone on the guest list. Large networking events can be hosted in community halls, which will come at a lower cost. Whereas, smaller events can be held at a more intimate venue like Opal 28.

Create a Program

To attract guests to your event, you need to have an interesting lineup of activities and speakers. Go back to your guest list and find out what the hot topics of conversation are right now. For example, in many industries, artificial intelligence and blockchain are at the center of business growth. Find a unique angle to present to your guests and leave them thinking about it when they leave.

Follow Up After

You may feel like you’ve hosted the best networking event in the world, but you’ll only know for sure by speaking to your guests. If you collected contact information during check-in, send surveys to find out what they enjoyed and what changes you can make for the future.

Final words

Get your first networking event right and you’ll earn respect in the business community, but get it wrong and you’ll be a laughing stock. Follow the tips outlined above to make sure you follow the right path.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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