If you can’t find the perfect networking event to attend, why not host your own? Organizing these types of professional meetings can be a great way to generate new leads and expand your industry database. Not only that, but it can help you make a name for yourself in business and make an unforgettable impression on potential customers.

1. Define your goal

The first step in coming up with great networking event ideas is to determine your end goal. Maybe you want to create a group for people working in your specific industry or a network for entrepreneurs or small business owners? Or maybe you just want to offer networking events for people who are new to the area to make friends?

When thinking about your networking event proposal, it helps to define the type of people you want to bring and what you want them to get out of your networking event. This is how you “sell” it. For example, if you are organizing an event for media professionals, you could say that it is “an opportunity for journalists, editors and publicists to expand their contact books, collaborate on stories and discover professional opportunities.”

2. Determine your format

Virtual networking events have become extremely popular in recent years. This is mainly due to the recent times, but online events also offer greater reach and easier accessibility for visitors. There is also a recent increase in “hybrid” events, where participants can choose to attend face-to-face or online.

In terms of content, networking can be structured or a little more free and casual. If the participants already know each other, the conversation can proceed freely. But if you’re getting a new group together, they might need some help in the form of ice-breaking sessions. Think, for example, of a speed networking event, where each participant makes a short introduction to someone else. It also works well in a virtual format. For face-to-face networking events, consider activities that can facilitate conversation, such as a cooking class or a walk. A master class or seminar by a well-known industry professional can also provide an additional incentive for participants.

3. Describe your budget

Most networking events will involve some kind of cost, whether it’s a fee for a guest speaker or just snacks and refreshments. Once you have determined the purpose and format of your event, you will be better able to rent it. Then it’s time to decide how you are going to cover the costs. This can be done by powered for tickets. Do not be afraid to Joys a reasonable fee for participation, as this will instill a sense of value in those present and, most likely, will improve participation.

You can also choose to use your company’s marketing budget or look for outside sponsorship. Sponsors can pay to present or organize an exhibition at your event, which can be a great way to cover costs. However, it is important to make sure that the sponsor is relevant to your audience.

4. Choose a location

If you’re hosting a face-to-face networking event rather than online, consider how to make your event as recent time-safe as possible. For example, if you expect a lot of hands to shake, consider installing hand sanitizer stations at entrances and exits and at tables. Make sure that the location you have chosen has enough space for visitors to keep their distance if necessary, and think about how to handle crowded areas such as the toilet or the bar.

Networking events such as common rooms or private rooms in pubs can be great low-cost options, or you can choose a more unique venue for an unforgettable wow factor. Think of museums, racetracks and art galleries. You can negotiate with venue managers by focusing on the benefits of your visitors coming, which can translate into lower rates for venue rentals. Once your network group is more established, a member may be able to offer their own premises for more regular meetings.

Delegates Networking At Conference Drinks Reception

5. Select a time and day

Although it is almost impossible to choose a working date and time for absolutely everyone, it is worth considering your demographics and seeing if there is an option that suits them best. For example, young professionals can have a drink after work, while parents prefer events earlier in the day or outside the school holidays. Midweek events, before people start thinking about the weekend, can work well. Think about the travel time participants will need to get to and from your event, as this may affect whether or not they attend your event.

Virtual events can help alleviate some of these synchronization difficulties. After all, your visitors don’t have to travel anywhere other than on their computer, which gives you a little more flexibility. You can also record your sessions so that anyone who cannot attend can still benefit from the event, especially if you have invited a guest speaker. These documents can also be reused for promotional purposes in the future.

6. Promote your event

Setting up an event page on Eventbrite simplifies the management of registrations and the promotion of your event. The Eventbrite search list is used by thousands of potential visitors every day and can also be integrated with Facebook to make social media promotion seamless and easy. You can create a highly targeted Facebook campaign at a low cost to spread your message directly to the desired audience. You can also use professional sources such as LinkedIn and the industry press to promote your event everywhere, and our ticketing platform keeps track of all sales to ensure that your event is never crushed. A personalized invitation to a networking event can be a great way to make a memorable impression on all the participants you want to invite.

Eventbrite offers many other tools to make your promotion strategy work lightly. Boost is an all-in-one platform that allows you to create ads for YouTube, Spotify, etc., and send personalized emails so that you can target potential visitors in their mailboxes.

7. Let the conversations flow

The main objective of business networking events is to allow people to discuss and get to know each other, to foster new connections and opportunities for collaboration within their industry. A little planning in advance on your part can ensure that attendees get the most value out of the event. Think about the contacts who could benefit from the meeting and take the time to introduce them at the event itself. You can find out a little more about your visitors by using Eventbrite’s custom questions feature, which allows you to gather additional information during the registration phase.

For example, you can choose to ask for your participant’s job title, employer, and additional interests. With permission, you can then distribute this information as your event approaches, so that attendees can schedule time slots with everyone they want to meet. A networking app can be a great way to help people connect before, during and after your event.

8. Succession

Maximize the impact of your face-to-face or virtual networking event by engaging your visitors in follow-up activities. A Facebook or LinkedIn group can be a great way for participants to share resources, thoughts and plans for future meetings. The development of this type of online community offers a low-commitment opportunity for these relationships to continue to develop between formal events. You can also share all the photos of your events on social networks and use them to promote your meetings to new visitors.

Be sure to send a follow-up email to all your visitors thanking them for coming. Ask for feedback and improvements for next time using Eventbrite’s seamless integration with Survey Monkey, which makes it easy to send surveys after the event. Capitalizing on the momentum of your event and capturing feedback immediately afterwards will help you scale your events to really deliver to attendees.

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