Search ‘networking at events’ and all sort of listicles pop up on how to ace, survive, ‘kill it’, or navigate the next networking event.
But is it important for your event to work as a platform for attendees to find new, relevant connections?
According to the The Event Tech Bible, making new connections is one of the biggest motivators for attending events. But with event attendance growing each year, networking becomes more and more difficult.
As an event organizer, is it worth it to sink time and money into effective networking for your event?
“That event was awesome!”
Fear-of-missing-out is a real thing, and attendees of an event are the best marketers for the next one. They’ll rave about how Tim Cook inspired them, how Arianna Huffington laughed at their lame joke, and slam a tower of business cards on the break room table, purple with pride while their co-workers are staring at them green with envy.
However, there are good events, and there are great events. Your event might have the best speakers in the world, delicious food and an elegant setting.
But people want connections. They want to meet their future business partners, their first investor or their next global sales manager. If they just wanted to see the show, well, that’s what livestreams are for.
Great events are an experience, a once in a lifetime opportunity, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-me sensation. Something that makes people sit up a bit straighter and declare, “Oh, man, you should have been there.”
Let them talk
Encouraging chatter is one way of calculating your ROI, and that starts online, well before the event begins. People should continue that chatter throughout the event, but also in person. You use technology to let them talk before and after the event, so why not during?
Technology makes facilitating networking a breeze. You can track all sorts of data about your attendees, like preferences and activity.
It doesn’t have to be a pain to use either. Just inform your attendees about the online platform, set up an area for networking, and your attendees use that platform to meet the right people.
Best of all, they’ll praise you and your event for making networking simple.
Networking is a valuable skill, but not everyone is equally skilled. And you can bet we’ll try to shift the blame away from ourselves.
“Man, I would have gotten so many leads, but the networking and whatever at the event was just so bad... that I didn’t meet anyone.”
Is that the feedback you want others to hear about your event?
You strive to bring value with each part of your event, from the venue to the speakers to the food. You should also strive for easy, effective networking. Your attendees will love you for it.
Interested in implementing facilitated networking at your next event?