Networking. Just thinking about it makes people nervous. Meeting someone new, shaking hands, pitching yourself or your concept, asking questions, all of this on constant repeat mode can be nerve-wracking and exhausting at the same time. One of the best things you can do for any successful networking is to prep yourself before time.
Here are 6 ways to create potential networking moments at events,
1. Choose a networking style
How to choose networking style matters. Be it a creative styled seating arrangement or purposeful agendas it takes more than that for people to start talking. You can either create a single seat arrangement-based on particular time where people can switch seats accordingly. Or you can either create round table groups of 5 to 8 people wherein you all can discuss different aspects of the industry. It will help people open up more.
2. Prepare name tags
Having name tags makes networking only easier. It helps you remember people’s names with uncanny resemblances. Also, it’s convenient. Either have the old school way of paper tags or print out the name and create a tag and keep it on your table. Either way it acts as a great networking booster.
3. Schedule events accordingly
If you want your event to be convenient enough for all the attendees, create the event at all times .i.e. Morning, Afternoon and Evening. Keeping the same event at these particular times throughout the day makes it easier to gain footfalls for the same. And with events like these, more the attendees, better the quality connections.
4. Create a networking space
Executing a networking event works fine until you need to add the extra element to the already existing established event. Creating a space for events like these adds more value to the event. Providing a special VIP area or lounge seating arrangements or a meet & greet bar section gives the participants more opportunity to rub elbows with the presenters. So try and create an ultimate networking space.
5. Hire staff to mix and mingle
There are people in the world who are good at conversing with strangers and have the ability to hold interesting conversations. Find these people and have them mix and mingle with your guests. They can talk to them, promote your ideas and then introduce you to them. This helps reduce anxiety and awkwardness.
6. Schedule activities for engagement
Scheduling activities for people who find themselves freeze up or worrying about how they haven’t met enough people solves all of these problems. Silent auctions and adult bingo tournaments require attendees to focus more on the activity than themselves. This way it helps people represent their interests better and gives them something to talk about.
At the end of the day, networking events are all about helping people bond over a shared interest or activity. How you create that bond is up to you. The way you arrange your seating, what activities you choose to do, and how you engage with attendees at the event creates a holistic experience that will help networking with people from different backgrounds even more.