One of the best ways to ensure a networking event is great is to host is yourself. In this video tutorial, Dorie walks you step by step through how to host your own networking event, which is much easier than you might think and can lead to some great connections.
- It may sound intimidating to host your own networking event. But in many cases it's actually easier than attending other people's or organisations' events that are poorly planned. Here's how you can do it the right way. First, start by determining what type of event to hold. Ask yourself, what type of event do you enjoy. It could be a large gathering but I'd suggest starting small to test the waters. Think back on networking events that you've attended in the past that you particularly enjoyed. What were they like? Why did you like them? You can think broadly about events you think would be fun and that others might like too.
Anything from dinner party at your house, if you like to cook, to a gathering at a restaurant, to a group outing, to a sports match, to a boat cruise, to a bike ride, to a tea party. The key is to pick a venue where you'll have fun and can share that with other like-minded people. Next, decide how to choose your attendees. Think about at least three and no more than 10 people that you'd like to bring together. Ideally, the group should have a common strand so it will be easy for them to find things to talk about.
Perhaps it's people who work at your company or people in the financial services industry, or people who are fellow supporters of your favorite charity. As you get more advanced in your hosting skills, you can begin to bring together more collected groups. But to start out, think about similarities and who you think would enjoy coming together. If you want, you can team up with a trusted colleague and each take responsibility for inviting half the guests. This can be a great alternative but make sure you're on the same page first about who you'd like to attend and how the event should be run.
Last, determine how to structure the event. Depending on the type of event, there are a variety of ways you can structure things. But there is one critical key you always need to follow. Make sure to welcome people when they arrive and immediately introduce them to others if they don't know anyone there. Then at some point, hopefully early on during the night, make sure there is a time when everyone in the group introduces themselves. This enables people to know who is in the room and get a sense of who they'd like to talk further with. This makes the rest of the evening much more comfortable for everyone because they're not fishing for small talk or trying to figure out what they might possibly have in common with someone.
Not that many people feel comfortable hosting their own events, but it is easier than you might think, and the rewards, in terms of connections and people's overall appreciation, are substantial.
- Prioritizing contacts
- Building meaningful connections
- Managing your time
- Hosting networking events
- Networking on social media