How to create a successful networking event

How to create a successful networking event

What is Speed Networking?

Speed Networking (Business Speed Dating) is an extremely time-saving and effective way of making professional contacts. The purpose of speed networking is to encourage participants to make as many connections as possible.

The idea of Speed Networking originated at the beginning of 2000’s by Tom Jaffee who brought the concept of speed dating into the world of corporate. However, the main difference between speed dating and speed networking lies in the purpose of meeting each other. While in speed dating, each individual intends to end up with one suitable connection, during speed networking the goal is to make as many relevant connections as possible.

How Speed Networking Helps

Establishing professional connections is extremely important for people wishing to grow their business in today’s world. It is, therefore, no surprise to see many networking events taking place. Such events significantly help individuals that otherwise feel too shy to create valuable connections. During a speed networking event, all the participants have gathered together for a predefined purpose. Therefore, starting a professional conversation without pleasantries is not regarded as something out of the ordinary.

For the participants, speed networking events bring about many benefits. To effectively manage your career, you must have ample professional connections. However, regardless of the immense availability of various social media platforms, there is still a need for meeting people face-to-face to create really meaningful connections.

A speed networking event gives a person access to numerous individuals in different fields. Professionals easily exchange contact information during these events and sometimes set up future meetings as well. This opens doors to potential growth opportunities and valuable partnerships. Since all the participants are attending the event due to the sole purpose of making connections, there is no need for small talk. Getting straight to business after the meeting is the norm during such events, which professionals appreciate highly.

How to Organize & Manage a Speed Networking Event

If you are thinking about arranging a successful speed networking event, you must first educate yourself. Organizers use different methods when planning their speed networking event. There are three models for organizing speed networking events. These include:

    Round Robin
    In such a model, interactions take place with a predefined sequence that makes you meet a variety of people. The meetings start with a buzzer, and during this first round, participants exchange essential information. Once the first round is complete, the host starts the second round. The average maximum number of contacts a participant makes during an hour-long round robin session is 10. However, it is not necessary that all the participants you meet come from a relevant background.

How to run round robin event using MixerSeater

  • Station Based
    During such a speed networking model, the meetings between different participants are set before the event. This becomes possible through the information shared in the questionnaire filled by participants beforehand. Participants also identify which professionals they would like to meet at the speed networking. The average maximum number of contacts a participant makes during an hour-long station based session is 10.
  • Group-Based
    Out of all the three models, a group based model is the most effective. A technologically advanced tool, such as MixerSeater, generates an optimal seating system. Each table may consist of 4-10 chairs, and the participants at every table have a set amount of time to introduce themselves. Since the tool generates a seating plan that encourages the creation of valuable connections, the probability of achieving success during such events is very high.

    How to create a successful networking event

    Common Problems Faced During Speed Networking Events

    How to create a successful networking event

    Tips to Use When Arranging a Speed Networking Event

    How to create a successful networking event

    Bottom Line

    Without having a clearly outlined goal in mind, you cannot expect yourself to achieve success. There is a lot of planning that goes into organizing a speed networking event. Hence, you should start the preparations as early as possible. As mentioned in this article, it is the most effective when you follow a group based model for your speed networking event. Moreover, it is also important to make sure that the participants have ample opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals. To do this, you will need the help of different technological tools like MixerSeater and registration software solutions.

    When you plan a business networking event, you are suddenly transformed into a business leader in the community. You are responsible for bringing entrepreneurs together to give advice and ideas from their experiences. Your one and only motivation as a business networking event planner is to organize an event that creates an impact on your clients. However, how can you plan a successful networking event? Here are 6 tips on how to do it.

    1. Event topic ideas

    Find out what people are most fascinated about today, so do your research and ask around, join event groups and read the latest business news. If the topic is wide, make a series of events about that one particular topic, but always bring in new ideas and speakers.

    For instance, a conference is an excellent opportunity to network with like-minded people. To know beforehand what are the most suitable and recommended topics to use during your event, we suggest an event interaction and networking app, called Worksup. This web-based application includes an overview of each speaker and topic, as well as the possibility to carry out interactive polls, group work, tasks, and Q&A before, during, and after the event.

    Worksup enhances networking

    2. Great venue

    Make sure the venue is up-scale, easy to find, and has plenty of parking. Minimize any possible frustrations that might come from getting to the event, or you will make a bad impression of your event even before it has started. So, choose your venue wisely and make sure people have plenty of space to move around and feel comfortable.

    Venue view of the event

    3. Make networking more efficient with cutting edge technology

    In a 2015 Benchmark Study researchers were able to quantify how event planners are using and will use event mobile apps in the near future. The report provides an in-depth look at why 3 out of 4 planners are using event apps at their events today. Here are 3 of the key findings:

    1. Planners are realizing instant cost savings with mobile apps – as much as 84% savings on printing alone.
    2. Mobile app budgets are growing, for example, the average increase was 21% in 2015.
    3. 88% of planners say that in 2016 apps were critical to their participants’ event experiences.

    You can also assume that they will use mobile event apps on their smartphones and tablets to make event planning more efficient and resolve many of the challenges they currently face. For example, the Worksup interaction and networking app is also great for networking. It provides features to match with like-minded people and helps to arrange meetings all in one platform.

    Worksup virtual event platform, agenda view

    4. Make on-site check-in quick and easy

    It’s a good idea to have participants check in because you want to be able to track how many people attended, and if you ask for their email address, you can follow up and announce future events and newsletters. Keep in mind that if someone does not want to give you their email, then let it be and stay friendly. Have plenty of pens and name tags available, and make sure the person checking participants in is friendly and professional.

    5. Meet, greet, and connect

    Make sure you introduce yourself to every person who attends. Welcome them, and focus on talking about what they do, not what you particularly do. Take a genuine interest in them and their business and constantly look for opportunities to connect people who would benefit from meeting each other. If you meet a startup enthusiast, introduce him to the investor you just met. Keep track of these connections, and follow up next time you see them. Also, encourage them to use mobile event apps like Worksup for connecting, because this is one way how people can connect, even the shy ones. In addition to this, you can plan a group work for attendees which will give a great opportunity to connect within their own group but also to other groups.

    6. Feedback

    Follow up with your participants. Ask how they liked the event, and get ideas from them about how it could be better. One way is to use Worksup for feedback and later reports analysis. So, let them rate speakers, like topics, or make your attendees a feedback poll, so you would know how you would plan the next one better. If you follow this formula, you will see your events grow, and success is waiting for you at your door.

    Virtual event platform Worksup, performer view


    Networking is becoming more and more important for the event professionals industry. Traditional face-to-face networking still has a significant role for event managers, but as the event industry becomes more global, we are looking towards technology to bring like-minded professionals together to share resources and ideas. Mobile event apps are already an essential tool for speakers, organizers, suppliers, and attendees around the world, so choose the best one in the market.

    Too many event planners believe that planning and running successful networking events require rivers of alcohol, tasty canapes, and icebreaker games. It seems like the “standard protocol” of designing networking events or sessions demands no effort. Just provide your attendees the occasion and the space to network, and they’ll just go with the flow, right?

    If you truly believe that, then it’s no wonder why your networking events fail to generate a real pool of opportunities.

    The truth is that during most networking events, attendees can’t find the right people to connect with, resulting in many stressful or awkward situations and lost of time and money attending events that bring no value to their businesses, projects, or careers.

    Subsequently, this negatively affects your image as an event professional. A failed networking experience means a failed event.

    Most probably, you don’t want this to happen.

    You want to plan successful networking events, add incredible value to your attendees, and help them build meaningful contacts that will boost their professional life.

    How can you do it?

    Planning and running successful networking events is more about following a well-designed system than “throwing a party.”

    When setting up your next networking event or session, you need to take into account a few simple, yet specific steps:

    Step 1. Identify your attendees’ networking goals

    According to Derek Coburn, the author of Networking Is Not Working, “The most basic problem with traditional networking events is that they are mixing bowls for professionals who are there for different reasons. Everyone there is focused on his or her own personal agenda, whether it’s signing a new client, creating awareness for their business, or connecting with someone in the hopes of developing a mutually beneficial relationship. Everyone is playing a different game, which is why there are usually no clear winners.”

    People don’t come to your event just to meet new people and see what will happen. Most of them attend having clear goals. That’s why the key to successful networking events is to know what your attendees are looking for and what they can offer in return.

    Step 2. Design a quality control system

    The quality of your networking event or session depends on the quality of your guests. How can you be sure that your attendees can offer value if you have no idea who they are? To run successful networking events, you need a quality control system. It’s your responsibility as an event planner to know who’s coming to network, what they can bring to the table, and what can you offer them in exchange.

    Step 3. Prepare your attendees before the event

    Surprises are not always welcome. Give your attendees instant access to the guest list and provide them a space for initial communication. Encourage your participants to decide whom they want to talk to during the event, and help them properly prepare for the networking session.

    Step 4. Set up clear parameters to run successful networking events

    The craziest thing is to believe that if you supply your guests with rivers of champagne, they’ll have fun, interact, and generate powerful professional prospects. Don’t forget that talking to strangers may be highly stressful for the attendees, and alcohol won’t change that. Be sure to set up a psychologically safe and comfortable environment by guiding your guests through the entire networking process.

    Step 5. Allow your guests to build meaningful prospects

    Your number one responsibility is to connect the people who truly need to be connected. Don’t settle for senseless interactions between participants who can’t add value to each other. Before the event, provide your attendees with the guest list of those who are planning to attend and let them choose (and schedule meetings) with whom they want to interact. Give them the guarantee that they can reach certain people and have a meaningful conversation with them.

    Call to action

    Planning and running successful networking events is easier than you think. Forget about traditional networking events or session setups, and follow a well-designed system that will help you add incredible value to your attendees’ professional life.

    How to create a successful networking eventYou know that attending networking events is important for the growth of your business, but are you getting the most out of them?

    Many entrepreneurs go armed with a bunch of business cards and a goal of getting them into the hands of as many people as possible. That strategy doesn’t work.

    If you’re not sure how to make your networking events more productive and useful, here are three surefire ways:

    1. Make a Goal

    A networking event is a business meeting, right? And you wouldn’t go into a business meeting without a goal in mind. For a typical business meeting, your goal might be to close a sale. Except networking is a different kind of business meeting. It’s not about making sales. Think about it. Have you ever wanted to buy something from someone the first time you met them? Unlikely. You may have heard of the Marketing Rule of 7. It states that, on average, a potential buyer needs seven interactions with your brand before making a purchase.

    In fact, your best goals for networking events are to make new or strengthen existing connections. Here are some examples:

    • Meet three people in complementary businesses — you may be able to share ideas and refer business to each other

    • Meet a well-respected expert in your industry — you may be able to further the connection by meeting and discussing ways to collaborate on projects

    • Reconnect with folks you haven’t seen in a while — to keep up friendships and remind each other about your businesses

    2. Check Your Outfit and Body Language

    Certain industries, and the events associated with them, might have a typical dress code (you may see more suits and conservative outfits with attorneys than with those in the fashion industry). If you’re not sure, contact the event organizer and ask for the dress code, or what attendees typically wear. Otherwise, do your best to look professional and approachable, and make sure you’re comfortable with whatever you wear.

    Your body language needs to be friendly too. Vanessa Van Edwards, author of Captivate: The Science of Succeeding With People, offers some tips:

    • Keep hands visible
    • Roll your shoulders down and back so you seem relaxed
    • Smile when you see someone you know or want to meet
    • Make eye contact when you walk towards them or when you say hello

    3. Plan Your Conversations

    Once you’re in front of each other, you need to get the conversation started. I was surprised to learn that, according to Van Edwards, research shows that the most effective conversation starter is, “Hello, how are you?” I’m pretty sure anyone can do that!

    Here’s mine: What’s one reason you’ve been successful?

    Some of Van Edwards’ favorite conversation starters include:

    • What was the highlight of your day today?
    • Working on anything exciting lately?
    • Tell me about you

    Note: During these conversations, do more listening than talking. Dale Carnegie tells a story in How to Win Friends and Influence People about a time when he spent hours listening to a botanist at a dinner party, and only said a few words himself. At the end of the night, the botanist told the host that Carnegie was a “most interesting conversationalist.”

    Bottom line: Being a good listener is important to making great conversation and strong connections.

    Looking for more networking tips? Check out the Smart Hustle podcast where I interviewed Adrian Miller, of Adrian’s Network, on the Ins and Outs of Business Networking.

    Moving Forward

    I hope these tips will help you feel excited about your next networking opportunity. Who knows what opportunities will open up for you!

    How to create a successful networking eventAbout the Author: Ramon Ray is an entrepreneur who started four companies (and sold two), a best-seller author (his latest book is “Celebrity CEO”), a keynote speaker, the founder of Smart Hustle Media, and Entrepreneur in Residence at Alice.

    Establishing your business and keeping it in the forefront by staying relevant through professional networking events is vital to the success of any business. We’ve got the tips you need to host successful networking events.

    How to create a successful networking event

    We’ve got the tips you need to host successful professional networking events.

    Plan Ahead of Time

    Networking events need to be planned in advance so business professionals have enough time to put them on their calendars. Set dates for networking events at least eight weeks in advance. Consider using a registration app with email reminders to get commitments from attendees, so they can easily add the event to their calendars.

    Greet Guests

    Make your networking event welcoming for all who attend. Designate volunteers willing to act as hosts to greet guests, and make sure they fill out name tags.

    Recruit Connectors

    There will always be some participants at a networking event off in a corner standing alone. Solve this problem by finding volunteers well-versed in your business community to act as connectors, who work to introduce those not actively participating with others. Connectors can encourage guests to mingle and mix.

    How to create a successful networking event

    If your event needs a little boost, consider holding a networking exercise or “ice breaker” games.

    Encourage Participation at Professional Networking Events

    Make sure you ask attendees to participate. If you’re giving away door prizes or other offerings in drawings, ask those who are coming to donate door prizes. Perhaps their companies will donate services as free prizes. You can also encourage guests to bring information about their company’s products and services.

    Keep the Floor Open

    Professional networking events are about walking, talking, moving and mixing. Don’t litter your venue space with chairs, which people will gravitate to for the duration of the event. Keep chairs to a minimum, and create an open space that encourages movement and mingling.

    Warm Up the Room; Break the Ice

    If your event needs a little boost, consider holding a networking exercise or “ice breaker” games. Consider asking each guest to meet three new people, and ask them to find out what they do. Find an interesting fact about those people. This helps people to open up and feel comfortable networking with each other.

    Keep Public Speaking to a Minimum

    Other than a brief welcoming speech, let the networking event be what it’s meant to be. Speeches detract from the event’s purpose, which is to let people mingle and network with colleagues.

    How to create a successful networking event

    Make sure you have enough space for people to mingle at your professional networking events.

    Food and Beverages

    A good networking event has great appetizers, as well as both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink options. A sit-down dinner tends to stop conversations and disrupt networking. Consider providing light hors d’oeuvres that are easy to hold and eat. You want bite-sized portions, so your guests won’t worry about making messes while they are eating. Waiters should frequently be in the area when food is served to take napkins and empty drink glasses from participants who should stay focused on the networking at hand.

    Follow Up With Participants

    Is your goal to continue to hold networking events and grow them? Then you’ll want to follow up with participants via emails or comment cards to see what they liked about the event and see if they have any suggestions for improvements. If you follow the feedback, you should see your professional networking events grow both in popularity and size.

    Pick an Event Venue with Enough Space

    Hosting your networking events at a venue with enough space is vital. Make sure you have enough space for people to mingle without feeling cramped or claustrophobic.

    Centrally located near Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, The Roberts Centre is an ideal venue to host professional networking events. With more than 80,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, The Roberts Centre can accommodate events of any size. Friendly, professional staff are available to assist with event planning, audio visual and catering service needs.

    Request a proposal for your professional networking events today. Contact us at (937) 283-3272 to schedule your event!

    About Roberts Centre

    Roberts Centre is home to the region’s largest convention center, a luxurious Holiday Inn hotel, and Max & Erma’s Restaurant. The flexibility of our space, combined with our location between three major cities in Ohio, makes us the perfect venue for weddings, banquets, meetings, pet shows, and other special events.

    By Michael
    Aldridge – General Manager of Merlin Events

    clients being time poor, they will be very selective with which events they will go to and the day of supplying a glass of wine and
    nibbles in a meeting room of a hotel have long gone for networking events. Here are my top ten ideas for delivering a
    successful networking event:

    1. Choose the right venue – Why
    would your guests want to come?
    Is it topical, engaging and will it
    appeal to your guests? Knowing what your guests like is key. A unique venue
    with a temporary attraction ie the V&A’s recent Hollywood Dress exhibition
    is a great example or Madame Tussauds which always has topical installations
    i.e. One Direction.

    2. How many
    guests will be coming – is the space flexible?
    It can be
    very hard to work out how many guests will come. There are so many factors out
    of your control, however some are not i.e are there any large sporting events
    on? Any strikes likely? Kids off school? Find out if the venue has adaptive spaces so you can ensure you are not losing atmosphere or your guests are not crammed in like sardines in a tin!

    3. Get the times right – Most
    client’s finish work about 5.45pm so start the event as near as possible to
    this. About 6.30pm is a good time and keep it short. Clients are more likely to come if they know
    that the event will be finished by 8.30pm.

    4. It’s all about location,

    – as a Kirsty and Phil would say is everything and it’s the same with a venue.
    If it’s near a tube station with easy access to major train stations clients
    are more likely to come. Ideally stick
    within areas that are well established, the “up & coming” areas may work
    for a young media type group but it will put off some types of clients i.e.
    large corporates.

    5. Perfect the right menu – Most
    clients grab a sandwich at their desk at lunch. If you want to encourage guests
    to stay then offer substantial food that is easily eaten. It should also be easy to eat ideally in one
    mouthful. Read our blog from Food by Dish on how to choose the best networking
    canapés for your event. You also need to communicate what food you are serving on the invitation. You
    need to bribe guests to come!

    6. Offer some unusual drinks – Offer some
    unusual soft drink options not everyone wants to stagger home on a school
    night. However, for the drinkers offer
    something a bit more creative than wine and beer. How about the new Pimms with Blackberry and
    Elderflower, make the drinks part of the event, a talking point not a prop. Read our blog on the best summer cocktails for some inspiration.

    7. Pick the right entertainment
    – Try not to put a compilation CD on, the volume and tempo is NEVER right. Have a lounge DJ who can orchestrate the vibe
    of the party/networking. Top Entertainment agency Sternberg Clarke have also given you the best tips in how to break the ice with entertainment for networking events in our blog

    8. Is it clear your invitation is an invite? Does it
    look appealing? Have you added a start and finish time? Have you stated food and drink are being
    served (ideally stating substantial food).
    The key question is would it make you want to come?

    9. Manage your RSVPs
    – manage the list and connect with guests via LinkedIn. Call guests pre event
    to make sure they are coming. Maybe send
    the menu the day before to entice them and to act as a reminder.

    10. Make sure your networking is up to scratch
    – Do you have the right skills to network?
    Do some research pre event. Have
    a look at the guest list and focus on ten clients maybe have a few opening
    lines. Research the client’s via
    LinkedIn. Keep an eye on our blog the next few days as we will be posting more content on how to become the best networker in town.

    Bonus tip – my pet
    Don’t under any circumstance do “goody bags” if you thinking of putting
    a pen, brochure or pack of mints in them!

    You don’t have to go crazy and put in jewellery, items of designer wear or weekends in luxury hotels but just remember a goody bag is tedious, you spend money on something the client
    will not appreciate. A small box of chocolates or Chocolate Brownies is
    ideal as the client can use them as a bribe as they arrive home to their family or housemates!

    This blog was written on Wednesday 10th July 2013

    Establishing your own business sometimes requires getting people to come to “your cave” to learn more about your products and services. Hosting a business mixer is a great way to do this kind of networking.

    There are many innovative things you can do to ensure your event is both fun and successful. While throwing a successful business mixer isn’t easy, if you remember that your primary purpose is to facilitate networking, you’ll be OK.

    Here are some tips to help you host an effective, engaging and entertaining event:

    • If you have a large enough office, hold your gathering there to give your business exposure.
    • Don’t try to distract from the purpose of the event — networking — by dominating the event with speeches or presentations.
    • Plan the mixer no less than eight weeks in advance. Invite many guests and get people to donate door prizes.
    • Encourage all your guests to bring information on their products or services. Have one or more large tables set aside with a sign for this purpose.
    • Designate several “visitor hosts” to greet guests as they arrive and make sure they fill out nametags.
    • Have just a few chairs available to keep people moving and mingling.
    • Conduct a short networking exercise. For example, have each guest meet three people he or she hasn’t met before or ask guests to find someone in a similar line of business.
    • Have a “Meet Your (Business) Match” mixer with designated areas for specific business professions such as finance, real estate and health care. Another idea: Have everyone pick a card out of a hat with the name of one half of a famous duo on it so that guests keep meeting people until they run into their “partner.”
    • At the end of the mixer, spend no more than 10 minutes making announcements and giving door prizes.

    Always remember that the primary purpose as the host of a mixer is to facilitate networking. Focus on that, and, you’ll be on track for a successful event.

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    G. William Kazimer writes on January 15, 2016

    If you’re like a lot of new entrepreneurs I’ve talked with, you probably hate networking events. You don’t like how fake they feel and how forced your interactions with other people can seem. Sometimes you wonder if it’s even worth going to these events, or if you’d be better off just staying home.

    Well, honestly, these events are really only worthwhile if you know how to make them work for you. Before you take that as an official blessing to blow off your next networking event, I’m not saying they aren’t worthwhile.

    I’m saying that you have to make them worthwhile, and here’s how.

    1. Give Yourself Time to Get Ready
    First of all, in most cases you’ll have to sign up for the event ahead of time, and you’ll have a few days, weeks or even months to clear your schedule and make time to get ready, to get there on time and prepared. Give yourself enough time not only to find the right clothes for the occasion, but also to mentally prepare yourself for meeting and talking with other people in your field.

    2. Practice Talking to Strangers
    Leading up to the event, and as you get ready on the day of the event, practice introducing yourself and talking with potential business partners and investors. You can do this by striking up conversations with people you meet randomly throughout your day. You can do it by practicing in front of the mirror at home, too. Don’t underestimate the value of this, and don’t write it off as silly. It’s important insight into seeing yourself the way others see you. And the more you practice, the less nervous you’ll be when it counts.

    3. Dress for Your Brand
    They say you should dress for the job you want, not the one you have, and that’s absolutely true. Whether it’s right or not, people judge us according to how we look. Choose the clothes you wear to networking events carefully, and when you look in the mirror, ask yourself, “Is this how a representative of my brand should look?” If the answer is, “No,” then it’s time to reassess your wardrobe and what’s missing in your look. Investing in even just a few choice pieces, especially really good shoes, can make all the difference.

    4. Walk Up and Say Hello
    Now, when you get to the event, you aren’t going to do yourself any favors by being a wallflower. The best approach to networking is to walk in and say “Hello!” to other people. If there is someone in particular you want to speak to, don’t be rude and don’t interrupt them, but don’t be afraid to approach them, either. If not, just introduce yourself to the first person you meet, tell them who you are and what you do, and get to know them.

    5. Ask Questions and Show Sincere Interest
    As you talk with other attendees, don’t just talk about yourself. Instead, ask questions about them and what they do. First of all, this makes you seem more genuine and sincere, and second, it can help you learn about the person you’re speaking with and whether or not the two of you should keep in touch.

    6. Suggest Helpful Resources and Connections
    If you feel like you can gain something from a relationship with someone you’re speaking with, show them how they can gain, as well. Suggest helpful resources and connections you have, and you’ll show them that you can be a valuable asset to have around.

    7. Offer to Stay in Touch
    If you want to keep in touch with someone, don’t wait for them to offer their card. Instead, offer yours or give them your phone number or email address. Then suggest a means to follow up and stay in touch, and you’ll be a step ahead of the game.

    8. Take Notes
    Finally, before you leave, make sure that you take a few notes on the conversations you just had. You can type these in with their contact info in your phone or tablet, or just jot them down on their business cards, but make sure that you write down a couple of details that you can use when you contact them again. This will not only help you remember who each one is in the future, but it will help them remember you, and feel like they really connected with you as a person.

    There you go — eight easy steps to getting the most out of your networking events. Good luck!

    10 Advantages of Business Networking

    How to create a successful networking event

    How to create a successful networking event

    Susan Heathfield is an HR and management consultant with an MS degree. She has decades of experience writing about human resources.

    Are you interested in becoming better at business networking? Networking is meeting an extended group of people to form mutually beneficial relationships that provide assistance and support to each other over time.

    Most professionals don’t do enough networking, and their worst business networking mistake is that they don’t build a professional network until they really need one – and that’s a bit late.

    Harvey Mackay, who is a well-known, irreverent speaker and the author of Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty, tells you that networking is a full-time job no matter your career or business. And, his most significant tip is that you want to have a professional business network established long before you need a network.

    Business Networking and You

    You can become a magnet which attracts people and resources if you invest the time and energy necessary to develop a strong network of contacts. Business networking requires a leap for many professionals. Depending on your personality, meeting strangers and greeting people that you hardly know can be stressful and even – scary.

    Walking into a group of strangers, extending your hand and introducing yourself can be daunting for many. Others love the experience of meeting new people and plunge into business networking events with elan and skill. No matter where you fall on this continuum, you can improve your networking skill and comfort. It’s worth it for your career and for the opportunity to give and receive assistance.

    The 10 Advantages of Business Networking

    You can effectively network and, in the process, create these results.

    • Build a network of partners to keep an open eye and ear for new opportunities for you, and vice versa, you for them. Networking is only effective when it is mutually beneficial.
    • Reach targeted individuals for your business or career in two ways: directly or indirectly through your contacts. Expand your network through colleagues with a reach that you cannot develop by yourself.
    • Build visibility within your industry or profession by raising your profile. Go to every social and business gathering that you possibly can.
    • Build visibility within your community to assist your organization to develop a reputation as an employer of choice. It will help you recruit and retain great employees. Your community will look upon you as the face of your business.
    • Build a strong network with coworkers within your organization to accomplish work more successfully by utilizing your network of mutually beneficial relationships.
    • Create a diverse network of people with whom you can share ideas and gain information. Nothing is as effective as bouncing ideas back and forth with another professional whom you admire.
    • Aim for a diverse group of people from whom you can learn. Other business people and professionals have much to teach and share when an individual is open to learning and change ideas.
    • You will contribute to charitable and community causes. Many business networking events involve fundraising or volunteering. For people who are shy when meeting new people, these are often the most comfortable events to attend. Everyone is attending for the same reason, and the event’s sole focus is not business networking. It’s an ancillary benefit of doing good.
    • Develop an online network of colleagues with whom you can share all of the advantages cited in the first nine advantages. While worldwide is not local, it is the new networking. It is also easier for people who may be uncomfortable in a face-to-face setting. Just don’t use it as a substitute for business networking in person.
    • You will actually make friends. The people you meet when business networking have a lot in common with you. Pursue relationships with them for not just business advantages, but to share common interests and fun.
    • Develop an online network of colleagues with whom you can share all of the advantages cited in the first nine. While worldwide is not local, it is the new networking. Networking has never been easier than now when you can almost instantaneously begin to build a far-flung network of professional people on online social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
      It is also easier for people who may be uncomfortable in a face-to-face setting. Don’t use online business networking as a substitute for business networking in person.

    The Secret to Successful Business Networking

    Are you interested in the most important secret about successful business networking? Always remember that the most successful, effective business networking is not all about you and what the contact can do for you.

    Successful business networking is about what you can do for them. And, you need to trust that, in some way, someday, maybe in the most unexpected, unpredictable way, what goes around comes around. It never fails.

    Most importantly, if you focus on this secret as you approach your business networking opportunities, you will calm your butterflies and shine as you interact with new acquaintances. Removing the focus from you—how you feel, how you look, what the contact will think of you—is the most powerful networking secret I can share with you. Make business networking all about them, and you will benefit beyond your wildest dreams.

    This article was co-authored by Shannon O’Brien, MA, EdM. Shannon O’Brien is the Founder and Principal Advisor of Whole U. (a career and life strategy consultancy based in Boston, MA). Through advising, workshops and e-learning Whole U. empowers people to pursue their life’s work and live a balanced, purposeful life. Shannon has been ranked as the #1 Career Coach and #1 Life Coach in Boston, MA by Yelp reviewers. She has been featured on, Boldfacers, and the UR Business Network. She received a Master’s of Technology, Innovation, & Education from Harvard University.

    This article has been viewed 75,941 times.

    While making business small-talk may seem nerve-wracking at first, we’re here to help you feel comfortable chatting it up in any setting. Keep reading for tips on how to introduce yourself, strike up a conversation, and make meaningful connections while you’re networking!

    How to create a successful networking event

    Shannon O’Brien, MA, EdM
    Life & Career Coach Expert Interview. 10 December 2019. Go ahead and initiate with a hello! Even if you recognize, or slightly know someone, re-introduce yourself. Be aware of how he introduces himself (you may know him as Charles, but maybe he goes by Chuck) and use his name throughout your interaction. This will help you remember it in the long run and also establish a personal connection. By taking ownership and initiating a conversation, you will feel more in control to drive the direction of the exchange.

    How to create a successful networking event

    How to create a successful networking event

    How to create a successful networking event

    Shannon O’Brien, MA, EdM
    Life & Career Coach Expert Interview. 10 December 2019. As long as you stay on a subject you are both familiar with – like your specific field or the day’s event – you’ll be able to communicate easily. Why were you in the setting you’re in? Did you find today’s seminar helpful? Wasn’t the memo this week interesting? Avoid controversial topics like politics, religion, personal relationships and family issues and stick to what you both know is applicable.

    February 22, 2021

    Copy to Clipboard

    Making connections with other professionals is an important part of growing your career. Knowing people in your field or industry could help you get job referrals or other opportunities. The first step toward meeting other professionals is attending networking events. In this article, we discuss 10 types of networking events that could advance your career.

    What are networking events?

    Networking events are a chance for groups of professionals to gather together and make connections. Each event you attend may look different. Some are more casual and give people time to converse with one another. Others are more structured and could feature a lecture or presentation. The purpose of these events is for people in an industry to grow their network.

    10 types of networking events

    Here are 10 types of networking events that can help you grow your connections and advance your career:

    Happy hour meetups

    Breakfast or luncheon meetings

    Community service groups

    1. Happy hour meetups

    Happy hour meetups are a casual type of networking event. Usually, the organizers of the event rent out a portion of a bar or restaurant for your group. During the happy hour, everyone is welcome to have a few drinks and appetizers while they converse with other professionals. Since this is a laid-back environment, it’s a low-stakes way to get to know other professionals on a personal level.

    2. Industry-specific seminars

    During an industry-specific seminar, you can learn about different topics that are relevant to your field or industry. Many event organizers plan time before the seminar where you can converse with other professionals. Generally, there will be light snacks and refreshments to enjoy. During the seminar portion, an industry expert teaches the group about a topic. For example, if you’re going to a marketing-specific seminar, you may learn about topics like social media strategies, copywriting techniques or email marketing.

    3. Virtual groups

    There are many industries or job-specific virtual groups you can join for networking purposes. Many of them are on social media websites or online forums. The group may use email newsletters or Slack messages to inform members of different virtual networking events. A common type of virtual meetup is when an industry expert gives an online presentation through video conferencing. An event organizer may also hold a live Q&A where you can message or video chat with other professionals about specific questions you have.

    4. Career fairs

    Career fairs are excellent networking events for people starting their careers. Many colleges and universities hold career fairs throughout the school year for students to attend. During this event, you can meet with representatives from multiple companies. It’s a chance for you to introduce yourself and ask a few questions about their company. Many employers with job openings have booths at career fairs, which is a great opportunity to give representatives your resume so they’re familiar with your name when you apply to a position.

    5. Conferences/trade shows

    Many industries combine conferences and trade shows. Essentially, a trade show is when businesses within a particular industry can present their products and services. Trade shows usually take place at a large expo center where businesses set up company-sponsored booths. People interested in these products or services can talk to representatives at each booth or exhibition, which is a useful way for businesses and their clients to meet face-to-face.

    Some industries add a conference portion to the trade show. During this portion, guests can attend various seminars and keynote speeches that relate to the industry. Many of these presentations count toward continuing education hours. This kind of event also gives professionals a chance to gather in one place and connect with one another.

    6. Breakfast or luncheon meetings

    At a breakfast or luncheon meeting, an event organizer prepares a meal for all attendees to enjoy while they get to know each other. The purpose of these meetings can vary. If you are a part of a group, you may meet to plan projects or discuss important subjects. Other times, the organizer may invite someone to speak at the event. During breakfast or luncheon meetings, you get to converse and connect with fellow professionals.

    7. Community service groups

    Community service groups are where volunteers and donors can interact with one another. If you work for a nonprofit, you may attend an event like this to get to know the people who support your cause. Likewise, volunteering for this kind of event is a great way to meet community members and increase your network of contacts. It’s also a great way to give back to a good cause.

    8. Speed networking

    Speed networking is a way for professionals to rapidly make connections with other professionals. Like speed dating, you meet one-on-one with another professional for a set period of time. During this meeting, you can introduce yourself, ask a few questions and share contact information. Event organizers may even provide you with prompts of what to talk about. After the time is complete, you move on to another person. Many colleges also offer speed networking events where students can briefly meet one-on-one with industry professionals to get career advice and share their resumes.

    9. Workshops

    Workshops are a chance to develop your skills while growing your network. Most workshops focus on a particular topic or skill. During a workshop, you may watch a presentation or do more interactive learning. For example, if you were to go to a team-building workshop, you may participate in different team-building activities. Likewise, a coding workshop could be a chance to work on your coding while getting hands-on help from another professional.

    10. Roundtable discussions

    Roundtable discussions are when a small group of people meets to discuss or debate a particular subject. It’s a great way to share your opinions and thoughts while learning other perspectives. The goal of roundtable discussions is to facilitate respectful conversations. While you are speaking, everyone is focused on what you’re saying. When it’s the next person’s turn, you direct your attention to them. There is often a potion for follow-up questions and closing remarks.

    Internal Networking allows for employees to network within and across departments. This allows new synergies to evolve between staff members that wouldn’t be evident without internal networking. Internal networking can help a company’s team building, mentoring, and creative strategy efforts. It has been shown that companies who promote internal networking have higher retention rates because people feel more connected to each other and the company. Internal networking promotes better relationships and internal resources for your staff, which in turn increases your company’s productivity. New employees reach out to seasoned professionals more and the seasoned professionals help out more out of a sense of service to your company.

    Have a Clear Purpose
    Know the purpose of your internal networking event and let the staff know this purpose. Make sure to think of purposes from the angle of each of your staff members so they will all get something out of the event.

    Set the Scope
    Which people and/or departments will be invited? Do you want a sit down, structured type of networking event or a more freestyle networking with a larger group of staff? Maybe speed networking is in order for people to discover who they want to follow up with later. Is this going to be a regular monthly gathering or a one time gathering?

    Give Staff Enough Notice so that Attendance Doesn’t Suffer
    Send out save the date communications to give people notice and let them know that their attendance is expected.

    Location, Location, Location.
    Make sure the location you pick will work with the goals and scope you have for your Internal Networking event. Don’t wait last minute to reserve the meeting area. Virtual events are also a nice way to bring more people together, especially in a distributed environment.

    Set the Agenda
    Let everyone know what is expected of them and provide an agenda so things don’t get so loose that nothing gets done. Many events have a brief welcome lobby or presentation, and then move into the planned networking event itself.

    Solicit Feedback
    Feedback is always a good thing. It’s how you use the feedback that will truly improve the next event.

    Follow Up
    Explain with follow-up messaging to the attendees that they should all follow up with any leads or connections they made during the event. Tell them to be specific about next steps with their new connections.

    Adapted from an original post on Valet Coffee that can be seen here.

    How to create a successful networking event

    Jose Luis Pelaez Inc / Blend Images / Getty Images

    How to create a successful networking event

    The thought of making a cold call, which is an unsolicited phone call, as part of your career networking strategy makes most people cringe. But you’ve got nothing to lose by being brave and trying to make a few calls. When done carefully and professionally, cold calling can help you to grow your career and get hired for your next job.

    There is no doubt that career networking works. It’s one of the key ways job seekers get hired. Your network of professional contacts, college and university connections, and personal friends and family can help you get your next job.

    It’s not only the people you know well – or at all – who can be instrumental in aiding your job search. Your broader network is important too. What can be difficult is figuring out who to ask for help and how.

    Prepare a Pitch Before You Call

    How you reach out to contacts in your wider network is one of the most important factors impacting the success of your job search. Reaching out to individuals who don’t know you well and capturing their attention can be particularly challenging.

    Preparing a pitch that will encourage the person you’re contacting to meet with you is an important first step.

    You may need to sell them on why they should take the time to help you. You can make it easier for them by asking for just a few minutes of their time and being clear that you’re only requesting advice, not a job.

    Emphasizing a common thread linking you to the contact can make it even more likely that the person will be motivated to speak with you or meet you.

    It can be easy to send an email or LinkedIn message, and that’s a fine first step. However, a phone call isn’t as easily ignored as an email, and it can be a more effective way to begin building a relationship with your contact.

    10 Quick Tips to Make a Cold Call for a Networking Meeting

    1. Make every effort to generate referrals and solid leads. Good prospects include LinkedIn connections, former supervisors and coworkers, college faculty and classmates, family contacts, members of professional groups, fellow parishioners, neighbors, and everyone you can think of who might be able to help.

    2. Send a message in advance to help make your contact more receptive to your call. Send an email or LinkedIn message with some of the information mentioned here. You can include a resume as long as you mention something like “I have attached my resume to make it easier for you to advise me.” Mention that you will call to explore the possibility of arranging an informational consultation. Here’s an example of a letter requesting career advice.

    3. Practice a brief introduction or elevator pitch prior to your call. Begin by mentioning how you identified the person as a potential contact. If you were referred by one of their contacts, you should lead with that information. You might write “I am reaching out to you upon the suggestion of John Smith. John thought that you could provide valuable feedback regarding how best to frame my background for jobs in college admissions.” Review these tips for writing an elevator pitch.

    4. Mention how you are connected. If you haven’t been referred to your contact, part of your leading statement should include a reference to any commonality in your backgrounds. For example, you might mention that you attended the same college, belong to the same professional association, participated in online discussions for the same group, or grew up in the same area.

    5. Your introduction should also include a clear statement regarding what you are requesting from the individual. The type of advice you request might include insights on how to position your background for opportunities in their sector, roles that might be suitable given your skill set, feedback on your resume, or perspective on trends in their field.

    6. Ask for help and advice, not for an interview. With cold contacts, your reason for reaching out to the individual should be for advice and to arrange a consultation. You should never ask a potential networking contact (who doesn’t know you yet) to get you an interview.

    7. Your initial statement should convey three or four assets that make their sector a logical area for you to explore. For example, you might say “I am investigating roles in which I can apply my passion for writing and editing, and my fascination with digital media.”

    9. When logistically possible, ask for the opportunity to meet face-to-face before you end your call. If you represent yourself well at in-person meetings, you’ll be more likely to generate referrals for interviews or further networking opportunities. Suggest a meeting at their workplace so you’ll gain a clearer sense of the work environment. You also might receive introductions to colleagues while you’re there. Here’s how to make your networking meeting a success.

    10. Follow up your call with a thank you communication expressing gratitude for any advice received. Provide any additional information that might help your contact to gain a further appreciation of your background. Include a link to a personal website or LinkedIn profile that contains work samples and recommendations. Review this list of thank you letter examples for a variety of circumstances.

    How to Cold Call Prospective Employers

    Cold calling isn’t just for networking contacts. Even though it isn’t always easy, cold calling can help get you noticed by employers and aid career networking. With planning and persistence you may be able to engage employers on a more meaningful level than you could using online messaging and email alone.

    At least, your application materials will get a closer look. At best, your willingness to reach out could help you be selected for a job interview. That’s especially the case when you’re seeking a role in which cold calling is required.

    How to create a successful networking event

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    Looking to create a successful marketing event? Whether you’re planning a grand-scale trade show or an intimate networking mixer, there are several key factors that you need to keep in mind in order to ensure its success.

    With careful planning and attention to detail, you can create an engaging and memorable event that will not only draw in potential customers but also position your business as a leader within your industry. Here are some tips for creating a successful marketing event.

    How to create a successful networking event

    Define your goals and objectives

    Before you start planning your event, it’s important to clearly define what you hope to accomplish with it. What do you want attendees to take away from the experience? Are you looking for new leads or sales opportunities? Do you want to build brand awareness or launch a new product? Once you know what your goals are, you can start planning an event that will help you achieve them.

    Create a catchy and attention-grabbing theme

    One of the best ways to create a successful marketing event is by coming up with a catchy and attention-grabbing theme. This can help to draw in potential customers and to let people know that your company or product is worth paying attention to.

    It’s important to keep the theme simple and easy for people to understand, but it should also be engaging enough so that they will want to talk about it with others. You might want to hire promotional models for the event to augment your marketing event manpower. Promotional models can also help with PR functions by helping answer basic questions about your business and referring interested attendees to the right persons. In addition, consider what you think would be the most interesting topic for your target audience and try to include this in your theme.

    Another thing that you can do is make sure that all of the promotional materials for your event are consistent with one another. For example, if you have an advertising campaign running at the same time, try to make sure that the artwork and colors used are similar. This will help to ensure that your event stands out in people’s minds and leaves a lasting impression.

    Of course, you should also think about other ways to promote your marketing events, such as through direct mail or email. Adding an incentive for people who attend can be a great way to encourage them to do so, and it can also help with word-of-mouth advertising too.

    Choose the right venue

    One of the most important aspects of planning a successful marketing event is choosing the right venue. The venue you select for your event can play a big role in its outcome. The venue should be large enough to accommodate your expected number of guests, but not so large that it feels empty. Make sure to pick a location that is convenient for your guests and easy to find and with easy access to public transport and parking. You should also take into account the cost of renting your venue, as well as any other associated costs that may impact your budget for the event. If you’re hosting a large event, consider renting a space at a convention center or hotel. For smaller events, coffee shops, restaurants, and bars can be good options.

    Think about the atmosphere

    When choosing a venue, it’s also important to think about the atmosphere you want to create. If you’re trying to promote a new product or service, you’ll want to choose a location that’s modern and stylish. If you’re launching a new brand, on the other hand, you might want to partner with a more traditional venue. In general, the atmosphere of your event should reflect your brand and corporate values. This will not only help to create a sense of belonging for the guests, but it can also make your marketing event successful by drawing in people who want to be there.

    Keep in mind that atmosphere and marketing go hand in hand. After all, you need to make sure that your events are interesting enough to draw in new members/customers while making sure they feel welcomed once they arrive. This is why creating a great atmosphere at your marketing event is crucial if you want it to succeed!

    Make sure everything is in order

    As mentioned earlier, it’s important to have a clear plan and goal for your event so that everyone involved knows what they need to do. This helps ensure that all the pieces are in place and nothing important will be forgotten or overlooked. Next, make sure that you have the right team in place with the right skills and experience to handle whatever comes up. After all, you want to put your best foot forward when it comes to something like a marketing event – and that means delegating responsibilities to people who can help get things done as efficiently as possible. Make sure that you have plenty of staff on hand to help with set-up, registration, and anything else that might be needed.

    Of course, this also means making sure there’s enough time for everything that needs doing before your event starts – from promotion and marketing to logistics and set-up. By being organized and prepared, you’ll be well on your way to hosting a successful marketing event that meets (and hopefully exceeds) all of your expectations.

    Making sure your event is well-organized may seem like an obvious one, but it’s important to make sure that your event runs smoothly from start to finish. It’s also a good idea to have some contingency plans in place in case something goes wrong – after all, the last thing you want is for your event to be remembered for all the wrong reasons!

    Consider your budget

    Marketing events can be costly, so it’s important to have a clear idea of how much you’re willing to spend before you start planning. Make sure you factor in the cost of venue hire, catering, entertainment, and any promotional materials you’ll need.

    Promote, promote, promote!

    Marketing events can be hard to get people excited about – after all, they’re often held on workdays and in the evenings, when most people would rather be relaxing at home instead of attending an event. But with some clever marketing tactics, you can attract more attendees and build up a buzz around your event before it even starts. Consider leveraging social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to share highlights from previous events and create anticipation among potential attendees. You might also want to consider sending out email invitations or postcards to people on your mailing list.

    By following these tips, you can create a successful marketing event that will help build awareness of your brand and engage with potential customers or clients. In fact, you might even find that hosting an event is one of the best ways to market your business!

    How to create a successful networking event

    How to create a successful networking event

    Hosting a recruitment event is a valuable opportunity to grow your talent pool and make a lasting impression as an employer. Meeting candidates in person also lets you see what’s not on their resume, like their curiosity, their personality or any useful similarities or differences they might be able to contribute to your team.

    To get started, match your hiring needs with the three kinds of recruitment events we’ve described below. We’ve also included some general tips, examples from real companies and a short sample timeline for planning your event. At recruiting events, you should also keep an eye out for people who would be a good match for future jobs, or who might be able to send you candidate referrals.

    How to plan an open house recruiting event:

    An open house is a particularly warm way to introduce your company to your potential hires. Hosting this event after work is a good idea, as is selecting some key team members to mingle with your guests. Your goal is to create a relaxed environment and get useful conversations going, so keep the agenda simple and casual. Networking, food and drinks and maybe a short talk or Q&A. Simple doesn’t have to mean boring. Your attendees will be leaving work to come to your event instead of going straight home. Make the trip worth it.

    We like these examples of recruitment events from Summa, a software company, and Bayada Pediatrics, a home healthcare company. They’ve clearly thought about how to make their open house a valuable experience for their candidates.

    How to create a successful networking event

    How to create a successful networking event

    Source and attract more candidates

    Workable helps you build and promote your brand where your next candidates are. You’re always top of mind, whether they’re actively looking or not.

    How to plan an on-site job fair:

    Businesses like hotels, hospitals, restaurants and retailers have higher employee turnover rates than other industries. They hire frequently, quickly and en masse to make sure they’re always fully staffed. If your company matches this description, you might consider holding a job fair or interview event. Clear and effective communication is critical to the success of these kind of recruitment events. Make sure your promotional materials tell candidates that they should bring their resumes and be prepared for a formal job interview. During the event, share important details about your hiring process with candidates, including how you plan to follow up with people who advance to the next stage.

    These examples from TD Garden, CBH Homes and Lee’s Landing set clear expectations for candidates.

    How to create a successful networking event

    How to create a successful networking event

    How to create a successful networking event

    More recruitment event ideas:

    Stand out in a crowded recruiting landscape using creative recruitment strategies. Rapid7 is recruiting new grads with an interest in sales by courting them with a spin class followed by a meet and greet with their team. CarGurus recently took potential hires to a Celtics game. Organizing a unique recruitment event needn’t require a hefty price tag. Bowling alley? Pizza dinner? Picnic? Anything goes, so long as it catches potential candidates’ attention and positions your company as a great place to work.

    How to create a successful networking event

    There are certain things that you might want to do every time your computer connects to the Internet or when your network connection is dropped; however, you might not always be around to do them.

    Earlier, we showed you how to use Windows Task Scheduler to have your computer automatically wake or sleep at a certain time. Similar to that tip, you can set up Windows to perform tasks when a certain event occurs. One handy use of this feature is to trigger an event whenever your computer connects to the Internet or is disconnected from the Internet. You can use this to automatically send emails, save logs or do some other task when the Internet goes out and then comes back on. The key is to watch for two NetworkProfile event IDs: 10000 (connect) and 10001 (disconnect). Here’s how you use them.

    Trigger an Event When Your Internet Connects or Disconnects with Task Scheduler

    Launch Windows Task Scheduler from All Programs –> Accessories –> System Tools.

    Click Action –> Create Task…

    How to create a successful networking event

    Give your task a name in the General tab, and then click Triggers and then click New.

    How to create a successful networking event

    In the “Begin the task” menu, choose “On an event.” Then, choose:

    Log: Microsoft-Windows-NetworkProfile/Operational
    Source: NetworkProfile
    Event ID: 10000

    The 10000 Event ID is logged when you connect to a network.

    How to create a successful networking event

    Click OK.

    Go to the Conditions tab. Here, you might want to uncheck “Start the task only if the computer is on AC power” (for laptops). You may also want to specify a network using the “Start only if the following network connection is available:” menu. This can be handy if you want to only run the task if you are on your work connection, or if you don’t want to run it while on a public network or something like that.

    Add some actions in the Actions tab and then click OK to finish making your task.

    How to create a successful networking event

    Test it out by disconnecting and then reconnecting your Internet.

    How to create a successful networking event

    To create an event that’s triggered when the network is disconnected, do everything the same except use 10001 for the Event ID.

    Log: Microsoft-Windows-NetworkProfile/Operational
    Source: NetworkProfile
    Event ID: 10001

    How to create a successful networking event

    You’ll also want to make sure that there aren’t any network connection conditions (since you won’t be connected to the Internet when this happens).

    How to create a successful networking event

    Test it out by disconnecting your network.

    How to create a successful networking event

    Obviously, this is just an example of what’s possible using Windows Task Schedule to watch for events and then doing something interesting… Some for good… and some for evil.

    As Strategic Projects Officer, Will Smithard oversees ukactive’s strategic projects function which delivers work across health, major brands and research.

    Prior to joining ukactive, Will spent the previous decade in the management consultancy industry and predominately at Deloitte, where he specialised in delivering programme leadership across global major events and in the public and private sectors. He spent almost three years seconded to the London 2012 organising committee, where he was responsible for planning, executive-level stakeholder management and reporting and governance of the Games. He also worked in the Middle East planning and implementing strategic programme management for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

    We met with Will to discuss the considerations involved when planning a large scale fitness event and how gyms and health clubs can successfully run events as part of a national campaign such as National Fitness Day.

    1) What should be considered when planning an event?

    There are a huge number of national programmes out there that are all about inspiring and engaging people to be more physically active, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re absolutely right for every community. It’s not members, it’s the gyms and leisure providers – the people who work within those communities – that really know best. So one piece of advice I have is: don’t necessarily try and retrofit what’s already out there to deliver what you want if it doesn’t quite connect with your environment. You understand the local needs of your audiences, so think about what’s ultimately going to work for them. If there isn’t a service out there already, try and think what can be created. I think the success of National Fitness Day for us is about creating something that’s really fun, that’s at the crux of it; what we don’t want to do is be too dictatorial in terms of getting people active, we want to make sure that people are supported, but in a really fun and engaging way. We also understand that everyone’s different and people’s motivations and barriers around being physically active are very different, so there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach in terms of delivering a big event like National Fitness Day. I think the important thing is to understand the people who you want to inspire and motivate, understand their barriers, their motivations, and try and create something that really focuses on those, supporting people in a very consultative, supportive manner. Not necessarily something that is just ramming home why activity is good for you or the issues that can come from not being active enough, but delivering in a really fun, engaging manner to inspire and motivate people to move a bit more.

    2) How important is it for companies to get involved?

    Well in order to grow it, it’s absolutely essential that the fitness and leisure sector are completely behind the concept of scale, because in order to help it reach scale or grow, it’s totally relying on gym and leisure providers going out and activating National Fitness Day within their communities. This might involve talking to the local public, putting on events and activities that really engage those local people and delivering something very unique, very different, very compelling that helps actually form National Fitness Day itself. So realistically, we can’t actually have National Fitness Day without leisure and gym providers, they’re absolutely essential to the delivery of the programme.

    3) What support does UK Active offer to organisations?

    To us, National Fitness Day is a platform. It’s a platform to be able to put on your own event that connects with your communities. So what we’re looking to do is create a big social movement – so you generate a lot of media interest, you generate a lot of social media content as well and you create something which has a bit of momentum building in to the day itself, which enables members of ours and other people in the community to be able to activate something which therefore uses a lot of that momentum to deliver successful results. So what we do is create the campaign, we create the communications that go around it, and we provide support and tools to anyone to want to activate. It might be in the workplace, we have been working with partners like ASAPP Healthcare, to be able to put on very interesting, unique opportunities for employers to be able to get their employees moving a bit more. Or it might be gyms and leisure centres where we provide things like posters, social media, tweets, even draft press releases to be able to talk to your local stakeholders and to your local communities about actually taking part in the day itself.

    How to create a successful networking event

    By Jonathan McCallum, VP & CSO—GPJ United Kingdom

    For centuries the process of ‘the sale’ has been facilitated by the power of a face-to-face moment. It’s proved a lot harder in a ‘virtual,’ or online environment. Here are 10 ways which may help redress the balance.

    An exit strategy, or process, is a founding principle to contracts, whether that be a flat let, a lease of a car, or even your Netflix contract.

    They are fundamental at in-person live events too, for example, by clearly marking an exit in case of an emergency. It’s not because we want people to leave, it’s so that people know they can, easily, or clearly. The point being it creates an atmosphere of reassurance and commitment. Either consciously or unconsciously. Creating the headspace to focus on more important things.

    Imagine sitting on a plane, not just currently, I mean under normal conditions, with the seat belt lights on, the engines fired up and you begin to rumble down the runway, the air cabin crew shouts over the tannoy – “meh, exits? When do we ever use those?” A sudden anxious feeling ensues.

    Communicating the facilitation and reassurance of an exit can help retention within a networking environment.

    Other principles for success are ones beloved by every planner and strategist from cravat wearing ranconteurs to performance focused Knights of the Realm. Nudge Theory, making small shifts in behaviour and Marginal Gains, positively compounding small improvements.

    The following list is not exhaustive. But following the guidance of the principles above here are ten ways which are sure to contribute towards the success of your networking and sales conversion efforts:

    1. The Approved Departure – A simple nudge. Rather than the blunt, ‘ Jon Smith has left the meeting,’ the wording is changed to a more appropriate and sensitive ‘Thank you, an interesting session, unfortunately I have to leave early. Please do follow up.’ Or words to that effect. Communicated in advance as part of joining instructions it negates a barrier.
    2. The Lobby – Include a concierge-style chat function in the sessions lobby. Allow attendees to ask questions, advice on sessions as they are about to start, to alleviate any last minute reservations. Also use the format to guide matchmaking of prospects and partner opportunities.
    3. The Window Shopper – Being able to have an ‘external’ view to a session, or discussion is an enabler. It allows people to assess the content before joining. You can watch the stream, or view the discussion before joining. As an added effect, live curated pop-up banners which ‘sell’ the content, for example ‘X is discussing how be more effective in the deployment of Y. Overall this approach helps address a behaviour often seen at in-person events. At smaller in-exhibition talks and sessions have you noticed a phenomena where seats in the session are near empty, but you can’t move in the standing room around the edge? People don’t like to commit = exit strategy.
    4. The Fishbowl – A similar approach to the ‘window shopper’, but you immediately join as a viewer. A small moderated group leads the on-camera discussion; you join as an off-camera observer. If you want to join the discussion simply submit a question and the moderator can invite you into the discussion at that moment.
    5. The Clubhouse – Pioneered by the Clubhouse app, hence the credit. An audio-only version of the fishbowl. This could be a ‘that was so last week’ statement by the time anyone reads this, but it seems Clubhouse and their approach is the next big thing for networking and community.
    6. The Follow Up – Another simple nudge. As part of joining instructions, communicate that if you need to leave early there is a ‘leave with a follow up button.’ Allowing you to plan an exit knowing that you have the option of registering to speak with a representative, or receive further information.
    7. The Invited Guest – Key prospects are invited and accompanied to a session, providing them with exclusive post-session access to the speakers/experts.
    8. The Host – Another combination of approaches, except in this method, you allow attendees to nominate a topic, or question for discussion, which they host in their ‘own’ room. A moderator facilitates the room and can match and make recommendations for people to connect based on joining profiles. Similar to an in-person event ‘Braindate.’
    9. The Bonus Session – Reward attendees who attend a set number of targeted sessions with exclusive access to a ‘non-advertised’ session. The potential of the session is promoted, but the content isn’t until you start the journey to qualify. Part gamification, part differentiation. Exclusivity and scarcity are powerful tools to deploy.
    10. The phone call – I did one the other day. I’d forgotten how productive they are. No thinking about, ‘do I wave at the end or not’? ‘Is it just me that’s pixelated’? Etc. Balance is key, give people options, provide a call back function within the experience.

    Overall, my advice is never forget about the core tenets of human behaviour.

    It may not be possible to recreate the exact same experience online. That’s okay, focus on the things you can control and create the best results for the environment you’re using.

    Don’t try and recreate the elements of an in-person event online that will just not be effective. Recognise and respect the differences.

    It’s Hybrid next. I hope your audience segmentation and profiling is up to scratch.

    Six Tips for Successful Networking

    How to create a successful networking event

    Today’s column comes from David Bell, a successful job seeker who used networking to help land a new job in the current economy. I asked him to explain the secret to his success, and he distilled his experience into six key points that can help you build a better network:

      Always remember that you’re asking people for information, not a job

    Networking often goes bad because job seekers try to ask friends and strangers about specific job openings. This puts people in an awkward position – after all, if they don’t know you, they’ll naturally hesitate to recommend you for a job. When you make people uncomfortable by being too pushy online, you destroy any opportunity you might get to meet face-to-face, or find out about new jobs openings in the future.

    Start with people you know, then expand to their acquaintances and finally strangers after the process becomes second nature.

    It’s important to practice on your friend before moving on to people they suggest. Using a referral’s name when you contact someone you don’t know can be very helpful in breaking the ice.

    But you shouldn’t avoid networking with strangers just because you have no automatic “in” with them. As David Bell points out, “Contact to everyone you can, whether it’s by email, social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, or even over the phone. You never know who’ll have the most useful information or take an interest in you. Aside from helping you find a job, it’s a wonderful way to make new friends, especially if you’ve recently moved to a new city.”

    When you reach out to a contact, have in mind what you want to say, but don’t obsess about it.

    While the delay built in to most social network communication makes it easier to “think before you speak,” some contacts you meet will prefer the immediacy of phone calls or instant messaging. In these cases, be prepared to give the name of your referral (if you have one), state why you’re contact them (for information not a job) and ask a short list of questions about your contact’s area of expertise. Putting these thoughts together ahead of time can save you the embarrassment of now knowing what to say.

    However, be careful not to over-prepare, since this can easily turn into an excuse for putting off your first contact. Or worse, you can get so married to a specific script that you blank when a conversation strays to another subject. It’s the same as reciting a memorized poem back in English class – if you’re too rigid, any distraction will cause you to lose your place and screw up.

    Recognize that you’ll have good and bad days.

    People won’t respond to your messages, or decline your requests to chat. A few experiences like this, and you may begin to resist reaching out to key contacts for fear of being rejected. But don’t give up! Persistence and a sense of humor are key to successful networking.

    Maintaining your objectivity when you’re on a job search roller coaster is easier said than done, especially if you are trying to do it alone. A good support system of friends, fellow job seekers, a career counselor, enjoyable activities etc. can be really helpful in smoothing out the unrealistic highs and lows you’re bound to experience.

    And if you find yourself putting off networking because you just hate doing it, try to come up with a plan that will be excuse proof. Promise a friend you will make 10 contacts a week, and give them reports on your progress. Dedicate time just for networking. Tell yourself you will connect with 12 people before you do any other activities. Then reward yourself for sticking to your plan.

    Prepare a specific topic for each discussion.

    Do some research on the company, industry or career of your contact. Put together a list of questions, including some that deal specifically with their background. Ask for advice on your job search, and the names of other professionals who would be beneficial to connect with. Think about ways you might help, like suggesting other contacts they might find useful.

    If your contact refers you to other people, keep in touch about how the new connections are going.

    Your contact will feel gratified that their contacts were useful, and will admire you for seizing available opportunities.

    With a little practice and perseverance, networking can help you connect with important people and positions much more effectively, and stand out in an increasingly crowded job market.

    As a network marketer, recruitment is one of your most important tasks, and yet it’s the one that hardly anyone seems to be teaching! It can be overwhelming, so here are 10 actionable tips to get you started.

    Tip #1: Cultivate relationships.

    You can only succeed in network marketing if you have a network , so take the time to nurture your personal and professional relationships.

    Keep an open mind and never assume that someone won’t be interested. It’s better to get a “no thank you” than to miss a potential recruit.

    And don’t lead with your pitch. That’s not networking; it’s selling.

    Tip #2: Make use of social media.

    If you’re thinking about how to recruit for network marketing using Facebook, remember the two “A’s”:

    1. Aim to entertain, and
    2. Avoid spamming.

    Don’t saturate your page with posts about your new business. By definition, that’s spam . Instead, spend your time marketing to people who actually want what you’re selling.

    To do this, you have to listen more than you talk. Wait until someone posts something related to your business, then ask if you can send them resources . Then you’re going in with a prospect who’s already warmed to your ideas.

    Tip #3: Listen to your prospects.

    That listen-first approach works for any marketing strategy. Pay attention to your target audience and hear what they’re saying.

    • What problems do they have that your product might solve?
    • What trends are emerging in your industry?
    • Is anyone talking about your brand?

    Then, introduce your business into the conversation, when and where you think it might offer value .

    Tip #4: Do something promotional every day.

    The little things count. Even a phone call, email, or social media comment can strengthen your presence in someone’s social network. Those moments help to build trust and connection.

    Some days, your contact moment could involve introducing someone to your business opportunity or attending a networking event. Just keep moving forward.

    Tip #5: Always have marketing materials with you.

    Whether you present your business opportunity with a printed brochure, business card, or video, make sure you have something to hand out to people . You can even print a card with a URL or have a link to share via text.

    Any medium will do, as long as everyone who expresses interest walks away with your contact information.

    Tip #6: Emphasize the ways you stand out.

    When you’re looking at how to recruit people in network marketing, you need to understand that all businesses—even yours—have competition. To stand out, you have to develop a unique selling proposition that shows potential recruits:

    • How they will benefit
    • What makes your business opportunity unique

    To create this, use what you’ve learned from listening to your market. What problems are others not solving?

    Tip #7: Be positive and energetic. Constantly.

    Enthusiasm is the lifeblood of the direct marketing world. Be fired up about your business opportunity and make sure that your excitement is genuine. Then look for people who are just as excited as you are.

    That’s how to recruit MLM leaders who will grow your business.

    Tip #8: Embrace the power of story.

    Network marketing is all about making connection and stories do that better than almost anything else. They captivate listeners’ attention, and make concepts relatable, believable, and memorable .

    As a network marketer, you have plenty of stories to tell.

    • How did you get recruited?
    • What was your first success?
    • Have you mentored anyone to success?

    Your story doesn’t have to be more than one or two sentences. As long as has a successful ending— “Two years ago, I didn’t have a bank balance, and now I travel the world!”— it will help convince your prospects that they can do what you did.

    Tip #9: Mentor your recruits.

    Studies have shown that mentoring leads to better engagement , collaboration, and loyalty among employees. Be a mentor by getting to know your recruits and figuring out what they need to succeed, then give it to them.

    Tip #10: Follow up with prospects.

    When you’re working on how to recruit prospects for network marketing, think of those individuals as your customers. If someone responds to your pitch with “not right now” or something similar, make a note and follow up later .

    Try to do it when you have a new way of overcoming their objections—like a discount on start-up materials, for example.

    The Takeaway

    Learning how to recruit in network marketing is like developing any other business skill. It takes commitment, focus, and a desire to keep learning.

    Start with these tips and learn what specific action steps work best for your business, then invest your time in those. And don’t forget to share your expertise with your recruits so that they can help you grow!

    Networking can help you generate new sales leads, deepen connections with existing contacts and learn useful information about your markets. So why do so many businesses do it in such an ad-hoc way? Heather White of Smarter Networking explains how strategic networking could give you an edge over the competition

    We train thousands of businesses every year and we always ask our delegates, “Who has a networking strategy?” Most have some sort of marketing or business plan, but less than 20% have a networking strategy.

    Yet ask them how much of their business comes from referrals, word-of-mouth recommendation and direct networking and you will find that typically more than 80% of their business comes from these sources.

    So, if you don’t have a large marketing budget and much of your business comes from these sources, you need a networking strategy.

    Follow the four steps below to develop a practical networking strategy that will work for your business.

    Step 1: Identify why you want to network

    To create a successful networking strategy, you need to be clear about why you want to network in the first place. Use the questions below as a guideline to create a list of priorities and put them in order of importance. Networking can be used to:

    • find new business, contacts or introducers;
    • retain and build on existing relationships;
    • benefit from support, such as a trade body, or to find a sponsor or mentor;
    • improve your career prospects – for example, to find another job within your company or another company;
    • position yourself as an expert within your market;
    • set up a team of experts;
    • increase knowledge of your market, your industry or the factors that influence your customers’ buying decisions;
    • strengthen relationships with colleagues and motivate your team.

    When considering why you want to network, it’s important to establish how much of your networking time and effort you should devote to your different goals. For example, how much of you networking should:

    • focus on finding new contacts, and how much should be spent building relationships with existing contacts;
    • be spent developing internal relationships (colleagues and employees), and how much you should give to external ones (clients and contacts).

    You also need to decide how urgent each of your networking goals are.

    Find new clients

    100% external focus

    Find people who can introduce you to influential contacts and customers (‘introducers’)

    40/60 split between internal and internal

    Increase my profile

    30/70 split between internal and external

    Learn about my market

    20/80 split between internal and external

    Step 2: Work out how many contacts you need

    Every successful person I know has a contact base of people they have known for years. Some they do business with, others are specialists, many are friends and introducers. Whenever you meet an interesting person, it’s worth seeing them as a potential contact for life.

    Some relationships, however, will have a necessarily short span – it may be that they are specific stepping stones towards your medium- and long-term goals. Estimate the number of contacts you will need to achieve your networking goals.

    Find new clients

    Have 15 main clients; ask them for referrals and introductions

    Already know 10 potential clients; develop better relationships

    Already know 3 introducers; ask them for referrals

    Need to increase introducers to 6

    Increase my profile

    Join 2 key membership organisations to meet clients and introducers (5 in each initially)

    Connect with sales staff within organisation (approx 3 key people)

    Learn about my market

    Ask 7 key clients for feedback on my offer

    Speak to 3 existing suppliers, 3 potential suppliers about new products, refinements to existing products

    Research 4 competitors; find out about pricing, marketing strategies, customer base

    Approximately 64 contacts needed to achieve my goals

    Step 3: Identify the people you need to network with

    It would be fair to say that a typical small-business owner/manager would need a network of 60-100 people to achieve their networking goals. It’s critical that you find the right contacts; if you happen to like them too, that’s a bonus.

    There might be several steps involved in tracking down the best contacts for you.

    • Do you know the names of the people you need to develop better relationships with? If you haven’t already met them, can you arrange to meet them?
    • If you don’t know the people you need to know by name, do you know their job titles? For example, Head of Operations or Sales Director.
    • If you want to meet people who can introduce you to their contacts, make a list of those you already know. Who makes the best introducer for you? Classic introducers include accountants, bank managers, non-executive directors, and so on.
    • List the types of business you want to meet or specific company names.
    • List the membership organizations you should join.

    Step 4: Review your networking plan and take action

    Take another look at your networking plan and think about:

    • Your reasons to network. Are they still valid?
    • Your priority areas. Will these get you to your goals quickly?
    • Whether you have a reasonable split between internal and external networking.
    • Whether you have a reasonable split between developing existing contacts and finding new contacts.
    • A deadline for achieving each of your networking goals.

    You are now ready to network!

    How to create a successful networking event

    Heather White

    Heather White, founder of Smarter Networking, has a unique ability to strip down and then build up extremely successful networks.

    How to create a successful networking event

    From Coachella festival booths to pop-up dinners, marketers are taking their campaigns offline and into the physical space. In contrast to digital marketing, experiential events offer brands a channel to build a relationship with their audience by engaging all five senses. The natural foods industry is ripe for experiential marketing given the importance of product trial. According to EventTrack’s 2015 Consumer Report, 83 percent of respondents said that trying a food product was “very influential” or “influential” in their decision to purchase.

    Many brands are going all-in with experiential marketing with influencer events exclusively for Instagrammers, bloggers and other content creators with large followings. With the right people in the room, a 15-person dinner can reach an audience of hundreds of thousands to even millions.

    So how can you design a successful influencer event? Consider the following five tips to ensure a standout experience for your brand and guests.

    Set your goals.

    Write down the reasons why your brand is hosting the influencer event and the goals for the activation. Is it to grow brand awareness through influencers posting on social? Is it to deepen your existing relationships with influencers? Make sure that everyone involved in the event, from the head of marketing to the photographer, is aware of these goals. Every decision should ultimately tie back to these objectives.

    Define success.

    Now that you’ve outlined your goals, how will you measure if you’ve achieved them? What information do you need to know? Do you have the tools in place to collect this data? With our clients, we use a customized mix of quantitative and qualitative data. We define, collect and analyze data based on the brand’s specific goals. Some examples of this data include social media impressions, affiliate codes redeemed and testimonials from influencers. You may also want to consider long-term benefits such as an influencer’s interest in partnering on content, becoming an email affiliate, joining your ambassador program and more.

    Remember, identifying the key metrics and setting up a tracking process is just the beginning. Don’t forget to take the time after the event to analyze and understand its performance. You can’t improve what you don’t measure.

    Invite with intention.

    Influencer events should be treated as an investment, and you should consider all of the ways you can earn a greater return. One place to start is the influencer invite list. No matter who you invite, the cost of the event is the same. Therefore, focus on inviting influencers who are the best fit for your brand, product and goals.

    If your goal is to grow brand awareness on Instagram, then target Instagram influencers who are known to share their favorite brands with followers. And remember, when it comes to followers, bigger isn’t always better. For example, if your brand sells paleo bone broth, then inviting a paleo blogger with 25k followers would be a much better fit than a vegan fashion blogger with 200k followers.

    Think holistically.

    Your influencer event may seem to be just three hours long, but the experience begins well before the official start time. As you design the event, think about how you can create opportunities for influencers to connect with your brand even with just a clever or thoughtful invitation. We often craft physical invite packages featuring a few handmade items that offer a sneak peek into the event. You’ll also want to follow up with photos or an offer afterwards. You’ve done the hard work of getting them to show up—now is the time to build off the momentum.

    Sweat the details.

    It’s not unusual for an influencer to have multiple party invites for the same evening. What’s going to make your event stand out? This is where the details matter. Focus less of your energy on how to get people to post on Instagram, and spend more time creating a memorable experience they can’t help but share. Find creative ways to connect guests to the brand’s mission and values (bonus points if your founder can attend.) From the table decor to the Spotify playlist, there are so many little ways you can highlight your brand’s personality.

    Experiential marketing will continue to grow as an attractive channel to develop and strengthen relationships with influencers, customers and more. To make the most of this opportunity and create an event that truly stands out, brands need to be thoughtful about the design of the overall experience.

    Cynthia Samanian is the founder and CEO of Confetti Kitchen, an experiential events studio for natural food brands. From interactive dinners to cocktail parties, Confetti Kitchen’s one-of-a-kind events showcase brands to influencers, media and more.

    Hear more from Samanian on New Hope Network’s BrandCamp webinar: Partnering with Influencers to Drive Sales. Watch it on demand now.

    Employee resource groups (ERGs) can be a secret weapon for human resources teams. Learn how to maximize the effectiveness of your employee resource group efforts, including how to utilize collaboration among ERGs, gain executive support and strategies to create ERGs that are thriving and self-sufficient.

    Talent is a company’s greatest asset, and offering an inclusive workplace where team members feel empowered to be their authentic selves is a key driver to attracting and retaining talent. Employee resource groups are one way for organizations to build community while amplifying company values like gender equity, diversity and inclusion and social impact initiatives.

    Employee resource groups (ERGs) are workplace networks for team members with shared characteristics, special interests or life experiences. Generally employee-led rather than leadership-run, these voluntary affinity groups support professional development, strengthen business impact internally and externally, and promote commitments to a diverse workplace. Building an ERG program is a positive way for organizations to show an investment in its employees by putting dedicated company resources towards employee education, community building and social impact initiatives.

    Employee Resource Group Examples

    Employee resource groups are generally created by motivated team members who want to build community with a certain special interest group, or when they see a need for company education around a given topic. With that in mind, each company’s ERGs are unique by design, but common resource groups may include:

    • A women’s network
    • A network for people of color
    • An LGBTQ network
    • A working parents support group
    • A sustainability committee
    • A veterans support group
    • A network for people with disabilities
    • A mental health advocacy group
    • A mentorship program
    • A young professionals network
    • A community impact and volunteerism committee

    Benefits of an employee resource group

    Employee resource groups are crucial to a company’s diversity and inclusion strategy . A report from Bentley University finds that nearly 90% of all Fortune 500 companies have ERGs, and an average of 8.5% of employees at U.S. based companies belong to an ERG.

    According to the Society for Human Resource Management , 90% of companies examined helped make new hires more comfortable during the onboarding process , and 70% of organizations relied on ERGs to build a workforce to reflect the demographics of their customer base.

    Establishing ERGs builds employee engagement, and allows companies to create a welcoming and productive work environment. Building camaraderie around shared identities and values, ERGs give employees opportunities to be heard and valued by their peers and executive leadership. ERGs also provide employees with the opportunity to problem-solve, innovate, and showcase their leadership skills, regardless of seniority or managerial status.

    To get your company’s first employee resource group off the ground, follow these four simple steps:

    1. Align the ERG with your company’s mission

    For ERGs to be successful, their purpose should tie into a company’s overall mission and values. Is your organization focused on giving back to your community? Or is your goal to build a more diverse workforce?

    Choose a topic for your first employee resource group that aligns with overall company goals. Consider writing a mission statement for your ERG that touches on your organization’s core values. Showing how your ERG advances the overall company strategy will help earn support from other areas of the company.

    2. Get leadership buy-in

    Executive support for ERGs is essential for success. To gain buy-in, find executive or C-suite sponsors who are personally committed to diversity and inclusion or social impact initiatives. Come with talking points and data that showcase how an employee resource group will make a positive impact on the organization overall. Make sure human resources leaders are especially invested, as you’ll need their support to share ERGs during the new hire onboarding process, and in promotional materials for employee health and wellness programs.

    3. Assemble the ERG team

    Before launching the ERG, establish a communication plan and identify benchmarks for success, including long-term goals and potential challenges. Next, recruit colleagues willing to take on a leadership role, such as committing to a monthly meeting or making time to plan and execute events. Finally, find other like-minded people who are passionate about supporting your ERG but can’t commit to running the group. It’s just as important to have members who are willing to participate and spread the word as it is to have leaders and planners.

    4. Launch the ERG

    A strong communications plan is a major component of an employee resource group’s success strategy. Begin by creating a simple presentation that outlines the ERG’s goals, events, and ideas for the first year. Try not to bite off more than you can chew — if it’s only a few events within the first 12 months, that’s fine. Use the company’s brand standards to create a logo for the ERG that ties it directly to the organization.

    Equipped with your members and materials, generate excitement for the ERG by hosting a company event. Throwing a happy hour is a great way to introduce the ERG’s mission, lay out future events, and grow the group’s core membership.

    How to maximize the effectiveness of an employee resource group

    ERGs can be contagious. Once a company establishes one, others may realize they want to participate or start their own. Making the most out of ERGs requires coordination from team leads and human resources to ensure all groups get the same level of care and treatment.

    Use these tips to boost the impact of your company’s ERGs:

    • Coordinate company-wide ERG initiatives, determining how ERGs will interact and support one another. A rising tide lifts all boats, and a concerted effort to support all ERGs will ensure any and all groups have the resources they need.
    • Consider which ERGs should be added to the company’s portfolio. Keep an open ear for potential groups employees might be interested in assembling.
    • Ensure ERG events don’t compete with one another. Make sure activities hosted by ERGs don’t fall on the same day to prevent having to choose one over the other.

    ERGs provide opportunities to build employee engagement, establish camaraderie amongst coworkers, and build community through shared identities and values. By representing specific communities, educating employees and focusing on social impact, ERGs can significantly boost a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion .

    Learn more about building your own ERG in our webinar, “Employee Resource Groups are the Future: Don’t Get Left Behind.”

    Join over 7,000 professionals who receive bi-weekly recruiting tips.

    Launch, Grow, And Monetize Your Blog And Instagram

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    • posted on August 1, 2019 July 29, 2019
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    Planning A Successful Women’s Event

    We live a more connected life than ever before – but are we really connecting?

    Despite sharing so much of our lives online, women are craving a more authentic interaction, and things like conferences, summits, workshops, and female workspaces are all gaining in popularity for this reason.

    A live in-person event can be a powerful tool for your brand – it is an opportunity to create loyal believers out of your followers.

    Here are 7 tips for creating an amazing event!

    1. Identify the WHY

    The single biggest thing you can do is make sure there is a clear WHY for women to attend your event.

    • What is it that will bring women through the door?
    • What problem are you solving for them, in what way are you helping their lives?

    If you can find a compelling why you will easily connect with your target audience and they will show up with intention.

    2. Attend other events yourself

    You must put yourself in the position of the guest to understand what makes an event impactful. Every event you attend is an opportunity to learn something.

    From the number of speakers to the event agenda to the food and gift bags, everyone does things a little differently.

    Try to expose yourself to many event styles, topics, and formats in order to design your perfect day.

    3. Network like it is your job

    Talk to as many people as possible about your event. You never know who you might meet in line at the grocery store or coffee shop. You are always one conversation away from that perfect speaker, partner or sponsor.

    Have your elevator pitch ready to go you so can easily and naturally promote your event when you are out and about.

    4. Make it easy to be there

    Do your best to eliminate any obstacles your attendees might have that would prevent them from attending.

    • Do they need childcare?
      • Partner with a babysitting app or service.

    Understand your target audience and make sure your event is happening at a time and place that is convenient to their lifestyle.

    • Is there parking?
    • Will there be food?

    All of these details give your guests the message that you understand them.

    5. Go the extra mile

    Details matter and your event is a reflection of your brand. Make sure that every touchpoint you have with your guests gives them joy and shows them a little bit more about your brand personality.

    Surprise your guests with unexpected details that help to create a special atmosphere and make your guests feel appreciated.

    6. Be authentically you

    Don’t try to imitate other events. Your event is a live expression of your company vision and brand values. Women can spot an imposter a mile away.

    Create an event as if you were designing it for yourself. Your speakers and partners should be aligned with your values as well.

    By being true to yourself, you will attract your most relevant audience.

    7. Think of your attendees as Brand Ambassadors

    The women that attend your event are your best form of PR!

    They have already taken the leap to extend the relationship from online to real-life, and this is an opportunity to solidify that relationship. When these women leave your event, they should be inspired to tell others about you!

    A women’s event can be a powerful way to connect with women in your target audience on a deeper level. At these events, women have the ability to look at each other in the eye, to laugh, to smile, to really be seen – and your brand is at the center of it.

    Taking the time to craft a thoughtful, intentional event will leave a lasting impression with your guests!

    Planning A Successful Women’s Event

    Planning A Successful Women’s Event

    Melanie Panchal is a former advertising executive turned purpose-driven entrepreneur. She recently launched The Next Collective – a women’s platform that curates events and experiences helping women to answer the question ‘What’s Next?’. The Next Collective brings women together in inspired settings to discuss career pivot, entrepreneurship and or simply finding more personal purpose.