Event management of networking events that may look like lavishly-funded business parties, but in reality, networking events are essential Networking marketing galas. Thus, any event manager needs to know how to organize one whale of a party – er, one fantastic business networking event.
Networking events are a key element to business success. They provide ample opportunity for brand positioning, contact establishment, future mergers, and Networking marketing. There is strength in numbers. All companies have a vested interest in securing the support of a business friend (formally labeled as b2b [business to business] commerce). For aspiring businesspersons seeking some social capital, a networking conference is the prime spot to be.
HOW TO PLAN A NETWORKING EVENT?
Due to the variety of size of attendees, a networking event needs to be planned at least 12 months in advance. In fact, the first invitation should be sent six months before the advent, which means the venue, accommodations, employment, entertainment and other essentials must be provided for by then. Networking events are best planned around weekends – because of weekday work schedules and hotel weekend discounts – and not in juxtaposition to similar occasions.
Note: the event manager should quickly determine maximum budget boundaries and operate strictly within that range.
The success of a business networking event, to a large degree, depends on the rate of attendance. Marketing is vital. Due to low return rates of direct mail, concentrate on social media marketing and that perennial favorite, e-mail. The requests should show the invitees why it is in their absolute best interest to attend.
When searching for a venue, select a location that is easily accessible, has nearby parking, and is near accommodations. The housing (required for traveling attendees) need not be four- or five-star resorts, but requires commodities like WiFi, free breakfast, etc. Both the venue and housing selections should be selected with one theme in mind: comfort.
How to pay for this gala? Sponsors. With the inbred marketing opportunities at business networking events, sponsors will jump at the opportunity to subsidize. In return for their financial assistance, allow them to set up shop at the event.
Rental equipment is relatively straightforward: audiovisual equipment, lighting, sound, linens,tables and chairs.
Entertainment and catering should subside into the backdrop, blending rather than interrupting. Likewise, catering should not emulate college buffets.
When guests arrive, they are to be verbally welcomed and given a welcome kit. Hopefully, when they leave, they will be chock-full of another’s business cards. Networking complete.