As an entrepreneur or business high flyer, you will undoubtedly have an in-depth knowledge of the importance of networking. After all, who you know is often more valuable than what you know. The trouble is, you are also likely to be aware that networking events can be something of a drag.
Hundreds, maybe thousands, of people just like you, frantically trying to palm off business cards to disinterested others – sound familiar? Most people would rather be at home or back at work getting their jobs done than the hobnobbing, desperation, and the false promise of networking events.
However, there is one simple way you can change the way you feel about these business networking shindigs – hold your own. Now, there is a lot of organisation involved, but if you pull it off, there are some amazing benefits, primarily the fact you will be networking on your terms, not someone else’s.
With this in mind, here are a few ideas on how – and why – you should go about planning an event that will turn you into a connector, an authority in your field, and someone who everyone will want to know.
Form your guest list
First of all, make sure you establish a solid guest list for your event. It’s not a dinner party you are planning, so you need to think carefully about the type of people that you invite. You want a mix of individuals that might need the help of other attendees, that could potentially work with each other, and at the same time have some common ground. Don’t forget that as this is a networking event, it is not about your business making sales – it’s purely about highlighting your industry authority, getting your name out there, and building new relationships.
The venue you choose can often be the making or breaking of your event. Choose something as upscale as your budget will allow, of course, but you should also be careful to find a location that has ample parking and is easy to find, preferably near an excellent transport link. The goal should be to find somewhere that guests can access quickly, and that minimizes any possible travel problem.
You’ll also need plenty of equipment. According to cdsaudiovisual.com.au, it’s advisable to choose a hiring company that specializes in providing AV solutions for business events, as there is a lot that could go wrong. Ultimately, if your mics aren’t working, your lights are faulty, and your video screens don’t display your speaker’s work, your event will be classed as a total failure.
All networking events benefit from having a focus for the evening, and guest speakers are an excellent way to keep things on topic. As pointed out over at icmi.com.au, guest speakers can offer a broad range of inspiration, from keynote presentations to motivational talks. As long as the subject matter is relevant to your audience, it can be a great way to help your event stand out. Enjoy your event!