You’ve been in this situation before: You’re a business owner and you need to get your employees, clients, or associates together for a networking event. You could just go to the local bar or restaurant and order food, but that’s not going to be very memorable for your guests. Instead, why not think of some more creative ways to help people socialize? After all, just because they’re meeting as part of the business doesn’t mean they can’t have fun while doing it! Here are some ideas for turning an ordinary event into something special:
Choose a Venue
When choosing a venue, you need to think about where it will be most comfortable for everyone. You also want it to be easy for people to get there and back home again.
If you’re having the event at someone’s house, make sure they have enough room in their kitchen and dining room if they need it–and make sure you let them know how many people are coming! If you’re hiring out some sort of space like an auditorium or hotel conference room, check out how much space is available before booking anything too large; spaces that can hold 200+ people are often expensive because they require more equipment than smaller ones do (elevators & ADA compliance). Also consider whether there might be other activities going on nearby during your time slot–if so, consider scheduling things earlier or later than usual so as not to disrupt anyone else’s business/fun time!
Finally: don’t forget about the food! Good food can make all the difference when planning events like this one…so don’t skimp here either!
Plan the Menu
The next step is to decide on a venue and a theme. This will help you narrow down your food and drink options, as well as their prices. Your venue should be large enough to accommodate all of your guests comfortably without feeling cramped or crowded, but not so large that it feels empty. If it’s possible for you to choose both the venue and theme together (e.g., renting out an entire restaurant), then do so!
Once you’ve got those two decisions made, think about what kinds of food and drink options would go best with them–and how much they should cost per person. For example: if everyone is going to be sitting around talking business over lunch, maybe sandwiches would make more sense than steaks; or if everyone’s going hiking after work drinks at sunset by the lakefront (wink wink), maybe bottles of water make more sense than champagne flutes filled with gin cocktails? It all depends on what kind of networking event this is supposed to be!
Think About Your Venue’s Wi-Fi.
When you’re planning your event, one of the most important things to consider is the venue’s Wi-Fi. If you want people to be able to connect with each other and share ideas, then having an accessible and reliable network is essential. Your guests should be able to use their devices freely without worrying about any connectivity issues.
If possible, make sure that there are multiple access points throughout your venue so that no matter where people are sitting or standing, they’ll have good reception on their devices without having to move around too much (or even leave their seats!).
A good drink price is important for your networking event. It allows people to relax, mingle and have a good time without worrying about their wallets. Make sure that your drink prices are reasonable and don’t overprice drinks.
If you are serving alcohol at your event, it’s important that you have a bartender on hand who knows how much each person should be having in order for everyone to have fun but also stay safe.
Create an Activity
If you’re hosting a networking event, it’s important to come up with activities for your guests. Below are some ideas for activities that will help get people talking and make the event more memorable:
- Icebreaker games (e.g., “Name three things you have in common with the person next to you”)
- Group discussion topics (e.g., “What are three challenges facing small businesses today?”)
If there is no activity planned but people want one, here are some ways you can encourage participation:
- Ask people what they would like to do as an activity at the beginning or end of your meeting. This way everyone has an opportunity to voice their opinion and feel included in planning the evening’s events!
Hand Out Swag Bags
A swag bag is a great way to get your company’s name out there. It’s also an effective way to give away promotional items that people will actually use and appreciate, like pens, keychains, and mugs. It can be as simple as putting together a goodie bag with some promotional material inside it or you can go all out with the following ideas:
- Include business cards or flyers
- Give away promotional items such as t-shirts or hats
- Include an edible item such as candy or cookies (make sure they’re not messy!)
- Include activity books for children who attend the event
Figure Out How to Include More Introverts
Introverts are often misunderstood. They don’t just want to be left alone, they can be social and thrive in groups. The key is figuring out what your introvert needs so that you can include them in your event planning process.
If an introvert is interested in attending your networking event, they may need time to warm up before engaging with others–so give them space! Introverts might not want or feel comfortable being the center of attention during an entire event; they might prefer a smaller group size or quieter environment where they don’t feel like everyone’s eyes are on them all day long (or even just for one hour).
Use an Event Networking Platform
An event networking platform is a tool that allows you to connect with other attendees before, during, and after your event. You can use this tool to find people who have similar interests and work in the same industry as you do.
You may be thinking “How will this help me?”. Well, using an event networking platform like Eventtia will give you access to more than just a list of names and email addresses! It also gives users access to tools like:
- A calendar view so they can see what events are going on when they are available (and which ones they’d like)
- An activity feed where users can post updates about themselves or share links related to their industry/interests/etc.
The key to successful event networking is planning. You need to make sure that you have a great venue, food and drink options, activities for people to participate in, and swag bags filled with goodies for everyone who attends. The last thing you want is for your guests to leave feeling disappointed or overwhelmed by all of the noise! If this sounds like something you could use some help with then check out our platform today!
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