Regardless of the industry in which your particular business operates, networking events (be that attending or hosting them) is one of the most invaluable ways of growing and expanding your business model and ensuring you stay ahead, or at the very least alongside, the competition.
With that being said, continue reading for some useful tips and advice when organizing a corporate networking event.
Define Your Purpose
Although initially, this may seem altogether basic and obvious, your purpose in creating and hosting this networking event in the first place needs to be central to every subsequent design decision you make.
Essentially, the more niche the networking event you host, the more productive connections you and your business associates or employees are likely to make. Clearly marketing the event with the purpose at the forefront will also ensure that the attendees are all of a similar mindset and therefore are more likely to be open to collaboration and communication.
Professional networking events can afford your business new clients, new customers, and new collaborations between otherwise would-be competitors. They also allow you access to new and upcoming talent that you would not ordinarily come into contact with.
Formal or More Informal?
Next, consider, it is equally as important to ascertain what kind of feel, tone, and vibe you are looking to create on the day of your event.
Perhaps you prefer a considerably more formal evening, with people dressed in requested attire and a structured timetable of talks and a specified time for mingling. Alternatively, maybe you lean towards a more informal setup. For example, if the people attending your networking event are already in some way familiar with each other, perhaps a more casual meeting in a hired room of a large restaurant would be more appropriate than hiring a hotel function room for the night.
Outsource The Bar
Rather than planning and organizing your own alcoholic and, naturally, non-alcoholic options for refreshment for your networking event, it is strongly advisable to hire the professional services of professional event bartenders who can supply everything you need to ensure the event runs smoothly.
In terms of food, it would be sensible to perhaps order in from outside caterers smaller, nibbly bits that can be grazed upon throughout the entirety of the evening yet do not inhibit conversation and allow people to mingle freely.
Choose The Date & Time Wisely
When choosing what you would deem to be the right date and time for your private networking event, it is important to consider the overall demographic of the majority of your attendees.
If most of the guests work in exactly the same type of industry as yourself and your colleagues, it would naturally be sensible to arrange an evening event, perhaps on a Friday night. Additionally, planning an event on a weekend or during the school holidays will obviously be a problem for some people who otherwise would have loved to have attended.