Our guest author for this post is Lynzie Adams, a freelance copywriter. She writes on multiple topics (including event management and marketing) and has had guest posts published across the web on sites like blogsession.co.uk and listingthings.co.uk. She lives with her husband and two children.
Holding business networking events has a host of benefits both for yourself and your attendees:
- The opportunity to meet new potential clients and suppliers
- The opportunity to share knowledge and information about your industry
- Potential for people talking about your event through social channels and their blogs which could result in some great brand mentions for you and maybe inbound links to your websites
But an event is only as successful as its attendees and who you’ll get present depends very much on how you promote and manage it.
Making people aware of your event is your first challenge.
- Start with an email shot, sending info about your event to:
- Your existing clients
- Your existing prospects
- Your existing suppliers
- Competitors (where relevant)
- Other businesses in your local area, where you have contact details
- Move on to listing your event in your local business press and industry press
- List on social network event listings facilities, such as Facebook Events and Google Plus Events
- List your event on Eventbrite – this is a global listings website with millions of monthly visits and is a great place to list your event
- If you have any high profile attendees or speakers, ask them to promote it to their own audiences online
There are three elements to this you need to consider; before, during and after.
- Beforehand, a clear and easy registration system, either through your own online event management software or Eventbrite’s own registrant system. Eventbrite also has a mobile app that enables users to keep their event tickets on their mobile devices and lets them check in. You’ll need to ensure, whichever way you do it, that your users know where, when and what they’ll need to bring!
- During the event, make sure everyone has name badges and that if there’s any formal talks, someone is leading them. Ensure everyone has the opportunity to get everyone else’s contact details – vital for business networking. Make sure you deliver on the promises you promote. If you mentioned catering, ensure there’s catering!
- After the event – you should have all contact details from registration. Contact everyone to thank them for their attendance and encourage anyone who found the event useful to share it on social media or their own blogs. Email those who did not attend to summarise the event, any useful information for them etc. This could just encourage them to turn up next time!
Hosting an event is hard work! But done right, you can build a reputation for yourself and make some valuable contacts in the process.
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