Last Updated on October 7, 2021
Networking conferences are the perfect place to meet new friends, associates, and business partners. They’re also a great way to enhance your reputation as an event planner; attendees who picked up new partnerships at one of your events are far likelier to remember your brand and attend events hosted by that brand in the future. Furthermore, your conferences can be used to expand your own network of vendors and partners, as well – always a plus.
Although all events facilitate interaction in one way or another, networking events are specifically designed to help the guests meet new people. With that in mind, there are details you’ll need to take into account along with all the basics of event planning.
Here are five key components of any great networking event:
Even a conference dedicated entirely to networking needs at least a few speakers – and hiring a few great keynote speakers does two things for your event. First, a lively keynote keeps your attendees interested and making them more likely to engage. Second, targeted keynotes inspire conversation between guests, making it easier for them to meet with and talk to one another.
Networking conferences present a unique opportunity in terms of vendors. Your conference presents a valuable opportunity for brands targeting your audience – vendor booths create a more interactive environment. Vendors may be interest in attracting more customers, employees, or partners. Their involvement in your event is a win-win for everyone.
Given that this event is all about communication, you want to create environments that facilitate interaction. This includes setting up designated ‘hangout spots’ where your attendees can take a load off and have a chat. Create seating clusters throughout your show floor for this purpose.
It should go without saying that you need a reliable, strong Wi-Fi connection at your event. This will allow attendees to access information such as brand websites, email accounts, and social media while on the floor. Making real-time connections, gathering contact information and being able to view profiles and company sites is key to a networking event. Your guests will be disappointed if there is no Internet connection.
Food and Drink
Naturally, you’ll offer your attendees food and drinks. Again, you want to create an environment that facilitates conversation. Snack breaks, lunch service and happy hours bring everyone together in a one place. You might consider having “Table Topics” where each table casually discusses a different micro-topic over lunch. Round tables or picnic style meals forces even the shyest to sit with others.
Your job is to create a comfortable environment that encourages communication and helps individuals make personal connections. These are just a few basic ideas about how to better build a successful networking event.
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