So you want to host your own networking event? There’s a whole host of benefits to doing so. You get to influence the invite list, theme and the outcome of the effort. But before you get the message out, you might want to consider some of the essential components so that everything runs smoothly and you have a successful event:
Define The Purpose
First things first, you need to define the purpose of your event. This can be based off who you’re trying to target and the message you want to get across. What do you want the attendees to take away from your event and how will the experience differ to other networking meet-ups? Think about what sector you have expertise in or if there’s a target demographic you can tailor the event to.
Calculate Your Budget
If it’s your first event, the budget might be fairly small, but it’s always worth getting in contact with various spaces to see how you can work together. But keep in mind that while it can be tempting to go with a free venue, the pull of a more interesting location can lead to increased attendance and enjoyment.
Perfect The Location
If you give people the opportunity to sign up to a networking event somewhere interesting or relevant to your theme, this can increase number of sign-ups. While the concept you’re offering might be fresh and exciting, people will be drawn to the location. It’s vital to consider the access of the location too, is it close to transport links and easy to find? You want your sign-ups to become attendees, and not get lost on the way!
Deciding On A Date
While it’s near impossible to select a time and date that suits all, it’s important to look to your target demographic when narrowing down the selection. For example, a younger audience may prefer an evening event early on in the week, so it doesn’t clash with other arrangements. Or if it’s targeted at a more senior level, a breakfast meet-up might be more suitable.
Don’t Forget To Promote
So you’ve crafted the perfect networking opportunity, but people still need to hear about it in order to attend. There’s a wide variety of methods you can use to spread the word, starting with social media, especially LinkedIn and Twitter, where you could use hashtags relevant to your theme.
Using a site like Eventbrite is useful for tracking sign-ups, whether you do or don’t charge. You can send reminders to attendees and craft follow up emails that will allow them to continue to engage with your event.
Finish With The Follow Up
Following up is an extremely important part of running any event. While the attendees might have had a great time and made useful connections, tying up loose ends is essential. You can offer information on future events and relevant articles, this is a great way to build and develop relationships, so your guests will come back time and time again! The benefit of being the organiser means that you have the full guest-list at your disposable, so it’s important to follow up any business relationships or opportunities. Creating an online community, such as a group on LinkedIn, is a good way to encourage post-event interaction between attendees, and leaves a positive long-lasting impression of the event.
If you follow these steps, you’ll be well prepared to delivering a successful and engaging event. At Avenue HQ we love hosting events and promoting collaborative networking opportunities. Get in touch to find out how we could work together.
We are also host to a new and exciting networking event in Leeds, Brekking Boundaries, it’s a great opportunity to network and meet new faces across a wide range of businesses and sectors. The next session will take place on Wednesday 10th July, so if you want to secure your space, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org