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networking event

8 Simple Steps to Organize a Networking Event

Are you trying to generate clients for a new business, build brand awareness or simply working to further your career? If so, a networking group may be the answer. Depending on the city you live in, there are likely many networking events that are already going on in your area. That being said, if you are in a niche market or really want to take the reins on building out your networking group, you may want to organize your own event. Here are 8 simple steps to organizing your own event:

  1. Define Your Purpose

When creating a successful networking event it is important to have a tightly themed or niche area of focus. This could be a specific industry or perhaps a specific group such as entrepreneurs or small business owners. For some, a networking event is just an opportunity for people new in the area to meet, connect and possibly share potential business leads.

  1. Define Your Format

Depending on your goals or your specific networking group, you may want to either organize a structured event or a more casual occasion. If the group is small, you may want to consider a more intimate setting that will help everyone get to know each other quickly and comfortably.

  1. Outline Your Budget

Creating a budget for your event is important as it will help you determine what you can afford for the event. Whether you intend to make a profit on the event or paying for it with your company’s marketing budget, you will likely need to spend some money on a venue and refreshments. To help cover costs, you may want to consider finding sponsors or charging and attendance fee.

  1. Choosing a Venue

Depending on your budget you may have to get a bit creative with the venue. You will want to balance price with quality of space. The more creative or desirable the location, the more likely you will see an improved turn out. While a banquet or community hall may seem like the obvious choice, depending on your group size you may be able to find affordable accommodations at a nice restaurant which could improve your turn out.

If you expect a large group, make sure that your venue is large enough and has plenty of parking. You may also want to rent dedicated parking for your event. You may also want to secure customized parking permits to ensure only your guests use the rented space.

  1. Select a Day & Time

This may seem like a no-brainer but the time and day are not always the easiest to figure out. Unfortunately it’s impossible to pick a time and day that will suit everyone but you can think about your target demographic to determine what might work best for them. For example, busy professionals may prefer a breakfast event so it doesn’t impinge on their working day while younger people might not be willing to get up early and may prefer an after work event with dinner and drinks.

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