These days, networking events can feel like more work than fun. If your guests are wandering from table to table and not connecting with anyone, it’s probably because your event isn’t structured properly or because you’re simply failing to facilitate the flow of conversation between them effectively enough. Here are some tips on how to make your networking events stress free through proper planning and hosting.
Hire an Event Planner
This should go without saying, but you don’t want to host a networking event without hiring an event planner. Professionals will make sure your event runs smoothly and that all of your guests have a great time. Hiring an event planner also frees up your time so you can mingle with new connections — and possibly find referrals or job candidates in attendance. It is also important to hire planners who are experienced with this type of specific event; most planners specialize in one type of party (e.g., weddings, galas, conferences). A wedding planner may not be the best choice for your cocktail hour-style networking event!
Make it Small, Intimate and Personal
From a business perspective, larger networking events can be challenging because there are simply more people trying to network with you. It’s much easier for someone to connect with you when they know that you have limited availability. In small groups, it’s easier for everyone involved to get up and walk around; at big parties, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of attendees.
Create Memorable Ambiance
Creating a memorable ambiance at your networking event is as easy as planning ahead. When designing any party, whether it’s a cocktail hour or a formal soiree, you want to make sure that there are plenty of opportunities for guests to mingle. One of the easiest ways to do that is by adding lots of colorful lighting and having a variety of seating options available, including comfortable chairs and couches that fit in with your theme.