4 Fabulous Ideas for Your Association Networking Event

Events July 14, 2010

Lori Halley

By Lori Halley

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:  

  1. Image by StuartWebster, used under Creative Commons.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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. 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 WildApricot 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 'Fuzzy Apritini':
    • 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!


Additional Resources:

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Benchmarks & Insights for Growing Revenue and Constituents

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  • rohini:

    it was realy wonderful blog..!

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