When planning a networking event, your goal is simple: boost engagement and help your guests get the most out of the event! There are many things to consider when planning a networking event and several mistakes to avoid. Practical tasks, including the organization of food, drinks, and marquee hire, are easy.
What can be difficult is creating the right atmosphere for your guests to get the most out of your event. Read on to find seven key tips for planning a successful networking event that will leave your guests mingling and connecting.
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1. Make registration easy and in advance
Using a premade registration app or other online networking tool is important to allow your attendees to register easily. Registration in advance allows you to estimate the attendance ahead of time and prompts your attendees’ early commitment. Being able to estimate your attendance before the event day is also important to stick to a budget and finalize catering, seating, and other necessary services for the event.
2. Choose a suitable venue
Before looking for possible event venues, it is important to consider the facilities you will need to accommodate your planned event and how many guests you expect to attend. Visiting the venues in person ensures that you can accurately evaluate the premises and the amenities offered. Hiring a marquee is another popular choice employed by event planners for networking events.
For a networking event to be truly successful, you need to get the word out. However, it is important for networking events to advertise to those within the targeted industry selectively. Social media, emails, and LinkedIn are great ways to find your target attendees and entice them toward your networking opportunity.
Nearly 70% of event professionals adopt mobile apps for their events. Mobile apps allow you to engage with your attendees before the event by sending announcements and event timetables. After the event, your attendees can use mobile apps to exchange business cards and stay in touch. Networking events are all about business connections, so it is important to utilize technology throughout the event planning process.
An event timetable can also help you finalize the number of activities and speakers that are required. One of the worst things that can happen is for people to leave early. Having an exciting event timetable ensures that your event is engaging throughout. You can also add some incentives to keep attendees until the end, such as having a prize drawn at the end of the evening.
6. Recruit volunteers
Organize volunteers to be anchors for your event. Their job is to get everyone talking. Finding volunteers who are great connectors and taking an interest in others is a great way to bring your guests together and ensure that everybody is talking and connecting.
7. Make on-site check-in smooth
Even if you are not charging for the event, it is a great idea to have your attendees check-in. This way, you can track how many people actually attend, follow up on their experience and announce future events through their supplied contact details. Have plenty of pens and name tags available, and make sure the person-welcoming attendees are friendly and professional.
Creating an atmosphere that facilitates networking will keep your guests coming back to your next events. Providing a fun and comfortable environment for mingling is vital to ensuring the success of your networking event. Happy planning!
Bio: Laura Costello is in her final year of a Bachelor of Law/International Relations at Latrobe University. She is passionate about the law, the power of social media, and the ability to translate her knowledge of both common and complex topics to readers across various mediums in a way that is easy to understand.