Hosting a successful networking event is an effective way for businesses to stay relevant and gain a competitive edge. Networking events must be planned to allow event holders ample time to send out invites, recruit connectors, secure refreshments, and organize an exciting itinerary. A networking event should also have a solid purpose to ensure that the target audience is reached. Do you want to connect with peers or industry experts? With the right people, place, and activities, a networking event can provide your company with the exposure it needs to grow and thrive.
1. Develop a Clear Agenda
With a concise purpose in mind, prepare a list of activities and topics that you would like to cover during the event. Participants should have a clear understanding of what they can expect if they attend, including what will be talked about, who will present information, the duration of the event, and the expected number of guests. An agenda is especially critical if you plan on hosting an online networking event.
Craft a pre-defined structure for the networking event to prevent confusion. Will the event be an open forum or will you have a Q&A session? If you’re hosting an online event, consider how you will prevent attendees from talking over one another. Having a facilitator take the lead is key. For large events, attendees should be kept muted until it is their turn to speak. A comment section will allow guests to speak among themselves.
2. Recruit a Friendly Team
Having the right people at your networking event can make a huge difference in its level of success. First, you’ll need an experienced event planner to pull the entire event together. Responsibilities of an event planner include meeting with clients to discuss their needs, partnering with caterers and vendors, overseeing set up, staying on budget, and presenting post-event reports.
A great event host is also critical. An event host will assist with the planning and organization of activities, greet and direct guests to their seats, and address any questions or concerns. Most of their time is spent making guests feel comfortable at the event. They may also facilitate activities and programs, supervise staff, and initiate presentations.
Connectors are also an important part of a networking event team. Connectors should be well-versed in the industry and have the people skills needed to actively participate with others and encourage guests to mix and mingle.
3. Establish a Realistic Budget
Even the most frugal business owners will find that they need to spend money when hosting any type of networking event. In addition to offering refreshments, a business may need to pay for a venue, expert speakers, marketing materials, and other expenses that come from hosting an event. To prevent the event from draining your finances, it’s essential to set a realistic budget before the event and do your best to stick to it.
Although you may not be hosting a networking event to turn a profit, you may need to charge guests a reasonable entry fee. Offering a limited number of tickets can make an event appear more exclusive, encouraging more people to attend. It can also reduce the number of no-shows. There are also other ways to raise money during an event, such as through raffles, auctions, games, or the selling of company merchandise.
4. Properly Promote the Event
While you may have an outstanding agenda and a terrific team to pull off the event, it will only be successful if people know about it. Proper marketing is crucial when it comes to hosting a networking event, especially if you are a startup business that is not yet well-known in the community. Hiring a professional marketer is the best option, but there are ways to market your own event.
Start by setting up an event page on leading online event management websites, such as Eventbrite. Your event should also have its own listing in search engines when a person searches for the event. Publish information about the event on all your company’s social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. Continue to promote the event online right up until event day.
People get busy so be sure to send regular reminders through email. Get people excited about the event and encourage them to talk to other people about the event. Remember, word-of-mouth continues to be one of the most effective forms of marketing.
5. Choose Your Venue Wisely
Choosing a venue that has ample space and professional amenities is essential for a standout networking event. With seven locations throughout Atlanta, Roam is the ideal venue to host professional networking events. Our meeting room rentals in Atlanta are suitable for long-lasting events and can comfortably accommodate up to 250 people. To ensure a truly stress-free experience, the Roam team handles setup, cleanup, technology, and catering, to allow businesses to focus on hosting an exceptional event.
The meeting room rentals at Roam have everything you need to host a professional networking event. You’ll discover a customizable room setup and seating arrangements, whiteboard walls, business-class Wi-Fi, podium, microphone, Apple TV, and all the equipment needed for A/V and HD display. Enjoy assistance from a personal Meeting Coordinator who will help you with the event from start to finish.
You can also enjoy a variety of curated menus from Roam’s preferred vendors, including packaged and boxed selections for a safe and delicious catering experience. There is no food and beverage minimum, and bar services are available.
Host Your Networking Event at Roam
Roam is a leader in providing professional, collaborative workspace rentals to businesses of all sizes. They offer month-to-month memberships, as well as office space rentals for businesses with between 2 and 15 employees. A coworking space in Atlanta can help entrepreneurs grow their businesses and meet like-minded professionals. It is also the perfect location for networking events where business leaders can make meaningful connections and boost their careers. To book a room or schedule a tour, contact Roam today.