At Stingray Branding, we know how important it is for businesses both big and small to have opportunities to network with other companies. But not all networking events are created equal. Some events are more successful than others often leaving the organizers scratching their heads as to why the event wasn’t more successful.
Here are a few tips that will help make your networking event more appealing to all those involved.
1) Have a self-explanatory name
Every day in Charleston there are tons of events for business and fun. But without the right title, it’s tough for your audience to identify the events they are looking to attend. The more specific, the better. If you are looking to target small business owners just think about your market, are they going to be more likely to click an event titled “Charleston Networking.”
Maybe you have a better chance of getting clicks if you target entrepreneurs with a title like “Networking for Charleston Small Business Owners.” You could make the title even better if the conference is industry specific.
2) Publish a dedicated landing page
Your event needs a page on your website or at the very least a paragraph or two on the home page.
After your customer first clicks to learn about your event you have a maximum of 10 seconds to convince them that the event is worth their time.
Make sure your web page is clear about who is hosting the event, where you are holding the event, the reason you are holding the event, who you hope attends the event (the targeted audience), and finally the date and time of the event.
3) Social Media Connectivity
Give your clients the tools they need to like, share, tweet, snap, and pin your event! If a user wants to add the event to their Google Calendar, make sure that functionality is there. Give users an option to see who is confirmed for the event on various social media and publish the event on their profiles. Make sure if the user wants other users to know about your event, they don’t have to take an extra step to share it.
4) Connect with Everyone
Once you have people at your event, make the best of the time you have them there.
When you meet and greet everyone look for ways to connect the different conference attendees with each other. When the creators of a startup in need of technical talent arrive, introduce them to the programmers, you just met. Don’t forget to tell the writer you met about the book publisher who is networking with others.
Also, make sure you keep track of these connections and follow up with each of the people the next time you see them. Ask them if they benefited from the networking connection if that relationship didn’t work out see how you can assist them with making new connections.
5) Don’t Let Them Forget You
Don’t get trapped by the old saying out of sight out of mind. No matter how well your event goes after some time those who attended are likely to forget much of what occurred unless you follow up with the event attendees in some way.
If you have the resources setting up a regular (monthly or quarterly) event will keep you in the mind of those you want to connect with.
But you can also maintain interest on a small budget! Make sure to convey your appreciation by sending thank you cards and/or sending regular email correspondence. Something like a weekly mailing list with a discussion question is a great idea for a business on a budget.