While certain websites have co-opted the term 'social networking,'
there's still a big opportunity in booking some real-life face time.
Holding networking events can be a terrific way to provide value to
the members of your professional association or other membership organization. By helping strengthen their ties to other members,
you strengthen their ties to the association as a whole. Here are some ideas for
sprucing up your next mixer:
- Post the names and titles of guests on your website.
Ask your guests when they RSVP if they'd be willing to have their name
on a list that could be seen by other attendees. This can create
interest when guests see that there are specific people they would like
to meet. Ideally your event registration software can do this directly, or else you can generate a list and post it online manually.
- Pair-up people who have not yet met and encourage them to chat.
You could create a randomized list ahead of time, or by having everyone
put their business card in a hat and drawing names on the spot.
- Offer incentives to those who bring a friend.
Finding new faces is critical to the success of a networking
get-together. To extend your reach, why not offer prizes or other
incentives to those who bring along a friend?
- Create a signature cocktail.
A fun way to get people intrigued about your event is to offer a unique
drink that they will remember and talk about. Ideally, try and find a
way to link it to your brand. At our recent Wild Apricot party here in
Toronto, I wanted to create a recipe that used apricot brandy (for
obvious reasons) and also Russian vodka (because our founders are
Russian and a lot of our team works in Moscow) so I came up with the
- 1 part apricot brandy liqueur
- 1 part vodka
- 1 part orange juice
- a squeeze of lime
- Mix ingredients in a shaker with cracked ice, shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Enjoy!
Got your own great ideas for making an association networking event one to remember? Please share them in the comments!
Originally posted by Jay Moonah