How to Plan A Networking Event: Tips for a Productive and Fun Experience

Last updated: July 20, 2023 Networking events don’t have to be lame. With a bit of planning and creativity, you can host a productive and fun networking event that leaves a lasting impression on your...

Last updated: July 20, 2023

Networking events don’t have to be lame. With a bit of planning and creativity, you can host a productive and fun networking event that leaves a lasting impression on your attendees. In this article, we'll explore some valuable tips to make your networking event a success.

Give Yourself at Least 3 Weeks for the Event Runway

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Nobody likes attending an event with very few attendees. To ensure a good turnout, give yourself at least three weeks to invite colleagues and promote your networking event. By allowing enough time to line up your RSVPs, you can significantly increase the success of your event.

Ideas to Promote and Invite New People

  • Visit Facebook or LinkedIn groups that pertain to your event’s niche. Let them know you’re planning an event and looking for feedback and attendees.
  • Look for Meetup groups in your town, especially for new residents.
  • Explore various strategies and ideas to meet new people effectively.

Focus on a Narrow Niche

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"The riches are in the niches!" Instead of inviting a general group of professionals, focus on creating an event exclusively for a specific niche. For example, host an event only for orthodontists rather than a broader group of dentists. This way, attendees will find it easier to relate to one another, and you'll be seen as a super connector.

Help Everyone Meet with Icebreakers

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Icebreakers are a fantastic way to facilitate introductions and create a welcoming atmosphere. Consider incorporating icebreakers into your event to help attendees connect more easily. There are various resources available that provide ideas and guidance on how to incorporate icebreakers effectively.

Be A Connector

Your role at the networking event is to facilitate connections and introductions. Take the initiative to start conversations and introduce people to one another. By merging conversations, bridging groups, and introducing new arrivals, you become the central source of connections, making your event more engaging and memorable.

Recruit Anchors to Engage People

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Anchors are essential to the success of your networking event. These individuals are outgoing, comfortable, and casual, acting as a core group at the event. They can help you by introducing themselves to new people, making new friends, and engaging attendees who may feel less comfortable. Delegating certain duties to anchors, such as managing name tags, getting drinks, or taking pictures, gives them a sense of responsibility and involvement.

Collect RSVPs and Interact Digitally

Interaction with attendees through various digital platforms can enhance your event experience. Utilize event management platforms that allow you to collect RSVPs, send private messages, conduct polls, display schedules, and make announcements. These features not only spice up your event but also keep attendees engaged and informed.

Follow Up With Your Guests

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Sending a thank you message the day after your networking event is a great way to show appreciation to your attendees. Thank them for attending and share the group photo and any other pictures taken during the event. Additionally, consider asking if they would like to be invited to future events and request feedback to improve future networking experiences.

Conclusion

When hosting a networking event, don't settle for the ordinary. By incorporating structured elements, such as giving yourself ample time for preparations, focusing on a niche, using icebreakers, and being a connector, you can elevate your event above the rest. Remember, building relationships is key, and by hosting small gatherings, you can create big connections. For more networking advice and tips on hosting successful events, check out the book The 2-Hour Cocktail Party.

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