The Power of Hosting Your Own Networking Events
Raise your hand if you would rather go home with a pizza than spend your Tuesday evening thrusting business cards at every person you meet!
As appealing as the life of a hermit sounds, if you want your business to grow or you’re looking to move up the proverbial ladder - you need people. It’s the number one rule of success in business (and life).
But, there’s an easy way to flip the script so you can meet people on your own terms: host your own event. By being the host, you’ll take the driver’s seat of expanding your network, establishing yourself as a connector, and strengthening your business relationships all in one night.
Say goodbye to constantly checking your phone in the corner, here are three benefits of hosting your own event and how you can successfully pull one off on your own.
The Benefits of Hosting Your Own Networking Event
Become a Connector
To benefit from the power of networking, people first need to know you exist. By hosting your own event you not only get your name out there but you establish yourself as a connector.
As you meet and greet everyone at your event, think about those guests that would benefit from meeting each other. For example, introduce your graphic designer friend to your someone who is looking to update their website.
By helping to form these valuable relationships, you create reasons for people to know your name and establish a strong personal brand.
Take Control Over The Setting
One of the major benefits of hosting your own event is that you are in control of everything. You can decide if you want a small intimate wine tasting or drinks at a local bar. If you want to address a particular industry pain point, you can put together a panel of experts to discuss a topic of your choice. And most importantly, you control the guest list.
This means you can filter out people who would not be beneficial to your attendees, cast a larger net by asking guests to bring a plus one, or use it as an opportunity to invite key players you admire or those you’ve only met online.
As long as your event entices guests to attend, you have the power to create an environment where you feel the most comfortable and in control.
Ideal for Introverts
If you think of yourself as more of a caterpillar than a social butterfly, being a facilitator is the perfect solution. It gives you the power of getting your name out there while at the same time the perfect excuse to disappear when you need a social recharge.
Being a host comes with responsibilities that help introverts manage stress. It is easier to take a break and not feel guilty if you need to help restock the food or keep the order of events running smoothly.
3 Easy Steps for Hosting Your First Networking Event
Ready to host your own event? Here’s three simple steps to make sure it will benefit your guests and your business.
Step 1: The Guest List
You are not throwing a house party. All your guests should have some common ground... besides you. Think about how each invitee could benefit from meeting each other and how you can form deeper relationships with them.
Remember, networking is never about your business. It is about forming mutually beneficial relationships that will help you both achieve your career goals.
Step 2: The Location is Everything
The location can make or break any event. Choose a central location that is easy to get to for everyone. No one is going to attend if they have to sit in rush-hour traffic or travel an hour out of their way.
If you do not have the cash flow to hire out a private room at a location, make sure you select a bar or restaurant that has enough space to accommodate your event. And contrary to popular belief, packing people in like sardines is not going to force them to network.
Step 3: Personalized Invitations
Whether you have created a Facebook event or are using Eventbrite to capture RSVP's, a personalised touch is what will get people at your event.
Take the time to send out a personal invite, whether it is a short and sweet email or catching up with them for coffee. By taking this approach, you can answer any questions by the invitee and sway any "maybes" to a yes by communicating the benefits the event will have on their career.
Networking can sometimes be daunting but making it a priority can really benefit your career and your business. Hopefully, these tips have given you the courage to host your own event and take your networking efforts to the next level.
Guest post written by Networking For Nice People Club member, Shawn Parrotte. Shawn is the Marketing Manager of Designli, a software development agency specializing in delivering certainty to the world of custom mobile and web applications. In his spare time, Shawn teaches music and loves to dabble in photography.