One of the biggest challenges any new entrepreneur faces is being judged by the more seasoned business owners out there. Even getting a 5 minute call on the phone can be more difficult than trying to persuade a lion to swim in the sea. So, that’s why it’s a good idea to host your own networking event.
It might sound crazy and unachievable, but when you’re trying to build a name for yourself and some credibility in your sector, a networking event is the perfect opportunity to get everyone that’s important in your industry together. It’s a fast, fun and simple way of moving your social status from naive entrepreneur to a business leader that people listen to. You’ll be responsible for a cracking event that brought incredible entrepreneurs together to talk business, which is something only leaders can pull off. Plus, you’ll get a ton of exposure from the back of it, which is a win for your business.
Here’s some tricks to help you pull off your very own networking event:
Get early registrations
You’ll be inviting pretty much everyone in your industry that you can think of, but the truth is not everyone will be able to make it. By using a registration app you’ll be able to get a good idea of the number of people coming, meaning you can cater and plan even easier. Plus, they’ll get a reminder closer to the date, which means those that register are more likely to show up.
Choose an amazing venue
The venue you choose will make a difference, so take your time with this one. You’ll need to rent a space that’s easily accessible and has plenty of parking. An upscale hotel is always a great place to start, especially if you have guests making a long journey to attend. They can check in, attend your amazing networking event, and not have to worry about the journey home (especially if they’ve enjoyed a few drinks in the process).
Have guests check in
Whether or not you’re charging people to enter your event is up to you, but you should have your guests check in. While it’s useful for counting the number of attendees, you can also pick up email addresses and phone numbers to follow up with people after the event is finished. Once they know it’s you that planned and hosted the whole thing, you’re more likely going to be able to get that call you wanted.
Speak to everyone
Yes, absolutely everyone. Make yourself known. Welcome them to your event, buy cards and hand them out, and make sure they don’t forget who you are in a hurry. Ask questions and genuinely listen. People are more likely to remember you if you create genuine conversation.
Finally, while you’re speaking to people, take a mental note of what they do and introduce them to other people they may get on with or could do business with. By creating these connections people will remember you, thank you, and certainly think of you when it comes to their next big business idea.