There are a plethora of fabulous benefits to organizing and subsequently hosting your own business networking event either at your office or in a hired space near to your office location.
Such advantages include the sheer entertainment and fun you and your colleagues and employees are sure to have, the promotion of your company and raising brand awareness and the ability to interact with your closest industry competitors to learn each other’s strengths.
The main benefit of hosting your own networking event, however, is the sheer volume of potential new customers and business opportunities you will be exposing yourself and your business to. So, with that being said, continue reading for a comprehensive guide to organizing a networking event to broaden your business horizons.
Consider The Group Dynamic Carefully
Not only is it important to consider the guest list carefully, it would also be pertinent to apply equal consideration to the company representatives and businesses you invite. Either invite guests who have already attended events together and at the very least have some kind of formal connection, or else endeavor to invite guests that have never met previously.
Essentially, the idea here is to make connections within your specific industry and leaving people out, so to speak, will make for an awkward and disjointed evening.
Promote Your Own Business
In the midst of organizing and hosting the event, it can be quite easy to forget to sell yourself and your brand, if you’re being too distracted with the logistics and the general flow of the evening.
To ensure your company name is ‘out there’ so to speak, a fantastic, cost-effective and true talking point of the evening would be to give every attendee to your networking event a custom magic 8 ball, emblazoned with your company logo and contact information.
Never Neglect Refreshments
Remember that the purpose of this networking event is to promote your business and make new contacts, so refreshments are absolutely necessary- they need to be very much a background addition to the evening.
The best option when considering the types of refreshments for your evening is to offer a welcome drink upon arrival (one alcoholic and one soft drink option) and have a selection of light nibbles on trays, along with extra drinks, which are handed out throughout the evening. Alternatively, holding your networking event at a location whereby they have their own bar is an easy way of ensuring your guests are both fed and watered.
Ensure Different Groups Mingle And nd Communicate
Evidently, networking events’ success depends on how much ‘mingling’ occurs throughout the night and it is your responsibility as host to ensure this happens.
Start by building an online community and preparing your guests prior to the event date, ensure you provide name badges for each attendee, be sure to choose a location that is neither too quiet nor too noisy for comfortable interaction and provide them with a guide to networking.