There is great advantage to hosting private networking events for you and your business network. You want to make sure to make the most of these events so here I am sharing 5 tips to make sure you are successful.
1. Find a good location. You want to have a place to host your guest, this can be a restaurant with a private room, your home or another location where mingling can happen.
2. Make a list of the network members whom you want to invite. I try to make sure that I am putting the right people in the room so that I can introduce them to one another. I use Evite to send my invitations, this is an on-line invitation that takes your RSVP’s, allows you to read comments and send thank you notes.
3. Food – this up to you. What type of event are you having, a private sit down dinner for your guest, or a more casual networking event with finger foods and drinks. Make sure you know your budget, as these events do not have to be expensive. They can be as simple as cheese & crackers with some wine and soft drinks.
4. Connecting your business members, make sure that you are connecting members to one another. You are the host and you know who is in the room. If you are hosting a great event there will be new people as well as some whom already know each other. One of the things that I often do is tell my guest that their entry requires that they bring someone to the event that I have not met. This allows new people to be in the room and I have the opportunity to meet some new people as well.
5. Make your event regular and by invitation only. Soon you will have a buzz of people who will want to attend your events. My events are once per quarter with the last event of the year being a private Christmas Party. The purpose of the events that we host are to keep in front of our clients, introduce them to one another, and introduce new people into the group.
Give some thought to whom you would like to have in the room. The graduates of our Referral Institute Programs are always invited, then we give thought to whom else we should invite. Sometimes we will ask that attendees bring their best customer, bring someone from their network who has never attended before, their boss, or someone that I the hostess, has never met before. Having a good mix of people who know each other and people who don’t makes for a great networking event.
These events will keep you in touch with your network, keep your network in touch with each other, and allow the network to meet new people whom they may be able to do business with. So, this year, plan some private networking events for yourself and your network!