Expert Answers to Biz Questions
Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.
Tips for Entrepreneurs: How to Host Your Own Networking Event
As an entrepreneur, you know just how important it is to get out there and network. Whether you are seeking B2B sales or customer relationships, networking is how you build the largest list of contacts in the shortest amount of time. What better way could there be to gather as many possible people together in the same room and at the same time as through a networking event? If you are waiting to find one in your industry, it may be a while. Why not host your own networking event? Here are some tips for entrepreneurs that should make it easy to host a successful event.
Defining Your Market Is of Utmost Importance
The first thing you need to do is to define your market. The type of event you host as well as the location and venue are going to depend on who you are trying to reach. Are you seeking B2B relationships or are you reaching out to consumers? This is the first step to take in order for all the other tips to fit together nicely for a successful event.
What Kind of Event Would You Like to Host?
There are almost as many types of events as the day is long. Based on the audience you are trying to reach, what kind of event would work best for you? Would you like to host a dinner affair with a few keynote speakers or perhaps you’d like an event structured more along the lines of a workshop? Perhaps you had something of a larger scale in mind where other businesses could set up displays. Until you have taken these two vital steps, there is no way to move on to the other tips that follow.
Think Outside the Box
Think back to all the networking events you have attended in your professional and personal life. Those which come to mind first must have done something to make them so memorable. Perhaps it was something as simple as the entertainment or it could be those amazing giveaways that you still treasure. Remember, you don’t have to spend a small fortune on ‘gifts’ for attendees. For example, instead of those typical name badges handed out at the registration table, perhaps a lapel pin can help you stand out! By all means, let them write their names on badges but let these be fastened on with a unique lapel pin, custom made just for you.
Working Within Your Budget
Of course, you knew right up front how much money you had to work with or whether you’d need to take a small business loan to host an event of the caliber you had in mind. Unfortunately, too many entrepreneurs aren’t able to stay within the strict confines of their budget. This is where you might need to get a little creative. Remember that advice on how important it is to think outside the block? It might come in handy when trying to work within a limited budget.
Getting Help Within Your Industry
Some entrepreneurs reach out to other businesses within their industry to see if they’d like to be a sponsor for their event. Of course, you wouldn’t invite other businesses in direct competition with you, but you could always invite businesses within the same industry. For example, you are a new print business reaching out to local businesses for their marketing needs. You could always ask local photographers or marketing companies to co-host your event. Not only would this increase your budget but it would give you further reach as well because they would be drawing people to the event as well!
Your Key Takeaway
The point is that a successful networking event should be something out of the ordinary; something your market hasn’t seen before. If you want to host the perfect networking event, remember that the best way to build a brand is to give people something to remember. That’s the best tip. Step outside the box and make a statement. That, in a nutshell, is the key to hosting a successful networking event.
Copyright 1995-2018, Idea Cafe Inc. Downloads are for personal use only, not for resale to others, and may not be reprinted in any form without written permission from Idea Cafe Inc.
DISCLAIMER: We hope whatever you find on this site is helpful, but be cautioned that it may not apply to your own situation, or be totally current at any given time. Idea Cafe Inc. and all of its current and past experts, sponsors, advertisers, agents, contractors and advisors disclaim all warranties with regard to anything found anywhere on this family of websites, quoted from, or sent from Idea Cafe. and its related sites, publications and companies. We also take no responsibility for comments published by others on these pages. TRADEMARKS: The following are Registered Trademarks or Servicemarks of DevStart, Inc.: Idea Cafe®, Online Coffee Break®, The Small Business Gathering Place®, Take out Info®, Biz Bar & Grill®, Complaint-O-Meter®, A Fun Approach to Serious Business, CyberSchmooz, and BizCafe.