How To Host A Successful Corporate Networking Event
Every small business needs a bit of self-promotion. Even if you are on your way to building a strong online presence, people will still be curious about who stands behind a brand and would want to meet you in person and discuss your products. This encounter in the physical world gives them an opportunity for closer examination and consequently creates a stronger bond towards your brand.
Corporate events can also be a perfect chance for networking and finding a partner or a supplier, depending on your needs and aims. Also, adding your employees to the guest list will show both them and other guests your appreciation and respect. If you give everyone a night to remember, you will most definitely build connections and enhance the reputation of your business. So, without further ado here are a few guidelines on how to host a successful corporate event.
Create A Buzz
Organizing a corporate event is somewhat like organizing a birthday party when you were at primary school – if no ‘cool kids’ appear, it is not going to be fun, or in this case, relevant. So, what common sense says is that you need to promote the event in order for the right people to come. For example, you can send an email invite, or include the event description in your upcoming Newsletter.
Perhaps the most effective manner to pique people’s interest is via social media marketing. There are a lot of ways you can go about it, but, for instance, you can start with teasing people that something big is about to go down and that would get them guessing, asking around and wishing to learn more. Once you decide on sending invitations, it would be useful to ask them to RSVP so you would have an idea about the number of people who would be attending.
Pick The Venue And The Menu
Finding the right venue for your event can be a complex project since there are a lot of things to consider. This is where knowing the number of attendees comes in handy, so you know the size of the space you need. Also, it is crucial that the venue has enough parking space for your guests and that it is at a reasonable distance from their homes. This can be a bit tricky if you are living in a big city, such as New York, for example, but if you reserve a space on time, you will find a location which suits most.
Although people are not there for the food and drinks, being a good host requires setting aside time to plan the menu. Living in a big city is actually beneficial in this department since you can always rely on good catering in NYC which can turn food preparation into art and cocktail mixing into science. You also need to be well-prepared and ask for catering to have food for vegans as well, so as to cater to everyone’s needs.
Set The Right Atmosphere
For the networking event to be a success, the guests need to mingle. In order for them to feel relaxed enough to move around and meet other people, you need to set the right tone. One of the first things that come to mind is the organization of the interior. If the tables are difficult to maneuver around, people are most likely to stay seated. It is essential to have free space and you can achieve that by instead of offering a classic dinner seating arrangement, you can place smaller high tables and bar chairs.
Another important aspect of setting the right atmosphere is music. Complete silence will not do you any good, and neither will loud club music. You need to find the middle ground so that people feel comfortable chatting without having to yell in order to be heard. Besides the question of music taste, you have the choice between recorded and live music, but in this regard, you might consider consulting with your budget before you decide on a playlist or hire a band.
Networking events are essential to strengthening existing business relationships and creating new ones. Organizing them will perhaps strain your budget to some extent but the prospective rewards can be much more valuable. So, grab a cup of coffee, create a guest list and devise an engaging strategy to create a buzz around your event. To knock your guests off their feet, carefully plan the venue’s organization, the choice of food and music. And most importantly – it is your night, so don’t forget to have fun!