As an event coordinator, it’s your job to help business owners connect with like-minded individuals. How you accomplish that task depends on you and your approach, but it’s something that you really need to focus on accomplishing. When you can successfully encourage networking, you’ll help your attendees feel productive and positive about your events. You’ll keep everyone entertained and you’ll increase the demand for your future events. Good networking opportunities are key to successful events, and if you’re good at making them happen, you shouldn’t have any trouble being successful in the future.
Here’s an overview of how encouraging networking at your events will benefit your company, as well as some brief tips on how to achieve that goal. Being successful as an event coordinator requires understanding on how to promote networking amongst your visitors.
Help Forge New Business Relationships
The main benefit of networking at events is that it helps create new business relationships between attendees, which can make their companies more successful. Businesses experience networking success from one event meetup are much more likely to attend another event from the same organizer. By doing a fantastic job and encouraging professional networking, you’ll have dedicated customers that keep coming back for more.
New Relationships Encourage Increased Follow up
Another major benefit of the relationships formed from event networking is the encouragement to attend your future events. Your events will become a mutual meeting ground for these companies, and they’ll serve as marketers for your big meetup, leaving you with less to worry about.
Networking and Engagement Make Events Seem More Valuable
If you’ve ever been to a meetup or event put together by another organization, you’re judging the quality of the event the entire time that you are there. Things like food quality, decoration and speakers make a difference, but not nearly as much as how successful you are with interacting with other attendees.
By fostering that environment for interaction and networking, you immediately give your events a high quality and professional feel. You can spend less on decoration, on speakers and on food, as long as you create these successful networking opportunities.
It Eases Anxious Attendees
Let’s face it – not everyone is a social butterfly that looks forward to walking up to and starting conversations with complete strangers. Most event attendees want to network and make new relationships, In fact, that’s the main reason that they are attending an event 99% of the time! Unfortunately, many events leave attendees to take on the task on their own.
Take steps to make interactions natural, or at least, encourage people to talk to one another. You’ll help ease the more anxious attendees. Going the extra mile will result in more attendees coming back for your events, realizing how much they are more relaxed than the less hands-on events out there.
Less Need to Entertain
Figuring out ways to entertain a huge group of business professionals isn’t an easy – especially when you have to engage every visitor. That’s not something you’ll have to worry about very much if you take the right approach to encouraging networking. When attendees talk to one another, they don’t need much entertainment at all. Sparking more face-to-face conversations will have a major impact on how engaged everyone is. You won’t need to schedule as many speakers, come up with as many special programs and you’ll save a bundle.
A few simple steps you can take to help keep guests entertained is to group them at tables and add quizzes or conversation topics to keep them busy. Figure out ways to reward them for their interactions and you’ll be amazed at how the groups of people respond. Everyone wants to talk to one another. They just need a little nudge to get going! Small steps can lead to a huge chain reaction that results in successful event.
Improved Profit Opportunity
When starting out as an event coordinator, you can’t charge high rates for your events. You’re not tested so companies won’t understand the value that you have to offer just yet. That doesn’t mean that you can’t run a successful business, or charge competitive rates for your events. You just have to build a reputation for yourself.
The best way to do that is by creating events that encourage good marketing habits. Successfully encourage marketing between attendees and they’ll be willing to spend more to attend your events in the future. Build up a big enough name for yourself and you can easily double the price of admission to your events – or more. As your rates go up, so will your profits.
Leverage Success into Larger Events
If you can help business owners connect with one another and network successfully, you can increase demand for your events. It will take some time, but once people realize that your events really work, you’ll get more and more registrations. Start off hosting small events with less than 100 attendees, even if they won’t generate much profits for you yet. As you build up your reputation by helping your attendees be successful, you’ll get more interest in your future events. When you start getting additional registrations, you can rent out larger venues, gather larger numbers of attendees and put on large scale events. Build up a powerful following and you can use that to put on massive events that generate large profits.
Tips to Encourage Networking
Sort Guests into Pre-Determined Groups
The last thing that you want happening is having attendees group with people they know – and for everyone else to be on their own. This happens almost every time if you leave it up to attendees to pick their own seating. People naturally prefer comfort and surround themselves with familiarity.
Prevent this by sitting people before the event begins. Hand out a deck of cards and have people with the same card or the same suit sit together. You can randomly give every attendee a number and set up tables for designated numbers. It doesn’t matter how you do it; it just matters that you do.
When you blend together your attendees, you put everyone on equal footing. Guests will be surrounded by strangers and new relationships will have the opportunity to be formed.
Implement Apps for Networking
A good event networking app is a simple way to encourage attendees to talk to one another. The app should create social-based objectives that get visitors talking to one another – or at the very least standing near one another. Offer real benefits to people to encourage use of the event app, such as discounts or hidden Easter eggs. Then, include at least one feature on the app that encourages networking.
Explain How to Network at an Event
For some people, your event is might be the first one they’ve ever been to. They might not understand networking and are likely to not know how to engage with other people. Take some time at the beginning of your event to give tips on networking. Keep the information light and fun to give attendees that initial push. You’ll get them thinking about talking with others, which might just be what they need to strike up a conversation.
Start a Social Media Group
If you’re out of ideas for event networking, simply start a forum or social media page dedicated to your event! Let every one of your attendees know that it exists and they can visit the site to start talking to one another before the big day even happens. By the time the event is live, people would have connected, and some might have even prepared a list of attendees that they want to talk to. Networking at business events is easier if you have had contact with the person before, and that’s exactly what a social networking page encourages.
Encouraging networking at professional events is one of the most important jobs you have as an event coordinator. It’s not always easy to do, but it’s worth the effort. You’ll make yourself look better, increase your future success and make your business more profitable – all by focusing on networking.