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Even if you’ve only been in the business world for five minutes, you’ll know how important networking events are. They’re the perfect opportunity to impress potential clients, advertise your company, and gain respect from industry leaders. But, hosting a networking event isn’t as easy as it sounds. There are so many things to take into consideration, making it easy to slip up and fall. While they probably won’t damage your business completely, you could lose out on the potential of new clients or collaborations. With that in mind, let’s look at some things to avoid when it comes to hosting a networking event.
The second you decide to host a networking event is the right time to start planning it. One of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to networking events is underestimating how much work goes into putting together and pulling off a successful evening. There are going to be many elements of your event that need to be booked well in advance such as the catering or even making sure you’ve got a funktion one speaker system in place for entertainment. Last minute decisions simply aren’t an option here, so make sure you plan well in advance.
If you’ve ever attended and enjoyed a networking event, there’s a good chance that the venue wasn’t just an empty hall room with no redeeming qualities. While a large room can be dressed to impress, picking the wrong venue could damage your reputation. Sit back and think about other memorable events you’ve attended – where were they? There’s a good chance they were in an upscale hotel or a well known office block. So, that’s why it’s important for you to make sure you pick a venue that people aren’t going to forget any time soon. Also, think about location, parking and accessibility; it will work in your favour.
While it might be abundantly clear that the event is hosted by you, it’s still important to make sure that you stand shines bright. Don’t hold back on the expense when it comes to marketing your stand. That might mean bringing in professionals to help you showcase your brand. Make sure that everyone at your event knows who you are and what you’ve got to offer them.
Entrepreneurs attend events to meet like minded people. But, it shouldn’t always be just about business. You’ll need to have activities lined up for your guests to enjoy. The last thing you want or need is for your guest to be stood around bored at your event. So, make sure that there is entertainment, activities, or even challenges for them to take part in. If you really wanted to take things up a notch, consider hosting your event somewhere with activities. For example, why not host your event at the Crystal Maze locations and divide people into teams for a fun-filled evening that could lead to some serious business opportunities?
It doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie to your industry or you’ve been there for decades, you simply can’t assume that people will show up. You’ll need to put some effort into making sure that people know about your event leading up to it. Try and plan your event at least three months in advance and make sure you promote your event online, with personal invitations, and by word of mouth. This gives people the time to adjust their calendars and RSVP to your event. Even if you’re a mogul in your industry, you can’t assume that people will drop everything to attend your event. To help with catering and to keep on top of numbers, request confirmation from your guests so that you can adjust things accordingly.
Finally, hosting a networking event isn’t easy, even if you’ve done it hundreds of times. You need to make sure that you’ve got plenty of help at hand. Whether that’s hiring waiters to make sure everyone always has a full glass or making sure that there are always clean plates at hand, you need to make sure you’ve got enough people. Many event organisers hire temporary workers to make sure that nothing is ever missed when it comes to keeping your guests satisfied. Not only does it help make sure nobody goes without anything they need, but it also allows you to sit back and enjoy the event that you’ve carefully put together.