Networking events are a key element to business success. Not only are they a great way for your company to market itself, they also provide a fantastic opportunity for brand positioning, expanding business contacts, future mergers, and personal marketing. For businesses looking to gain more social capital, a networking event is the perfect place to start.
How to start planning:
- First off, you have to start planning months in advance. Due to size and number of attendees, you need to start planning your networking event at least 6 months ahead. Secure your date and venue, then send out your invitation several months ahead so that people can mark your event in their calendars and you can get organized.
- Market and promote your event. If you want a big turnout, which you should, you have to start marketing your event to the public. This requires a heavy concentration on social media. Promote your event on your Facebook/Twitter accounts and send out emails to your email list.
- Pick the right location. Because this is a networking event, you’re going to be inviting a lot of people from a lot of different places. This means you want to pick a very central and easily accessible location. Make sure you pick a location with nearby parking accommodations and hotels so that your guests can have a stress-free experience.
- Don’t forget the finishing touches. Plan entertainment and catering that will easily blend into the backdrop. Yes these things are important, but they shouldn’t take away and distract from the purpose of the actual event.
- Final goodbyes. When your guests leave, make sure they have something to take with them. Provide them with thank-you goodie bags, filled with your business card and company information- making the networking a success.