Regardless of the industry that you want to bring your business in, you need to talk to people. That’s actually a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you perceive things. In business, this is called networking. Without this, it would really be hard to attain success.
Networking as a Tool
In a nutshell, this is a mutual collaboration among like-minded people. Usually, the people who will be attending networking events have common goals. One of the main goals is getting connections who can be potential clients or customers. You can do this by telling them about your business. If they are interested to work with you in the future, they can do so. That’s how start-ups usually expand.
A good networking ground can help you do the following and even more:
- Personal marketing
- Communication with future mergers
- Contact establishment
- Brand awareness and positioning
Organizing Networking Events
Planning is one of the toughest parts in setting up an event like this. This is the case even if it’s just a simple networking occasion. Here are some great pointers to help you get started on how to prepare for a networking event:
- Invite key people to speak during the event.
You can set up a theme for that matter. It doesn’t have to be a “formal” theme, it just has to be something that the attendees can grasp and treat as takeaways after the event. Ideally, your speaker should be someone who’s already renowned in the industry you’re currently in. Use your mailing lists and corporate network to get you started on the search.
- Hunt for the best venue.
Strike a balance between comfy and formal.it shouldn’t be too formal so as not to intimidate (the newbies in the industry, most especially), but it shouldn’t be too lousy that the venue reminds you of random trashy parties. If the venue does not include some yet, consider renting cool and techy amenities and equipment like couches, interactive TVs, and long chairs. Aside from going for the attendees’ comfort, these things can make for some interesting icebreakers. Also, get in touch with venue catering. In any events, you can never go wrong with good food.
- Design a way to keep all the attendees’ info in one place.
If you’ll go for software use, make sure to back up all related files. Being the event organizer doesn’t mean that you can’t connect with them in the future, yes? It’s best to ask for their contact info as soon as they arrive at the venue for registration.
Seriously, we can’t stress this enough. Think business networking sites, business cards, and flyers. Don’t forget that well-thought-out business logo. If you’re currently in a rut budget-wise, look for interesting alternatives. If you’re into social media platforms, now is the time to wield those promotional videos and content. If all else fails, good ol’ word-of-mouth is your best bet.
- Set up a documentation team.
Depending on the size of the event, go for at least one photographer and one videographer. Your team should not necessarily be the most expensive to capture the important moments. Open opportunities for aspiring professionals to shine by inviting them to snap some photos and record those clips. It’s a win-win situation: You capture the memories and they get additional content for their portfolio. You may even have the files uploaded and/or printed after the event.
- Networking is a great way to bond and keep in touch with people who may have same interests and business goals as you. Seize this chance to forge strong friendships with other people.
- Organizing a networking event takes a lot of work. Plan ahead so you can have everything ready on the day.
- Enjoy the day and don’t forget to mingle with the attendees so you will learn how to network.
Also published on Medium.