If you hold a successful networking event, it can be one of the most valuable investments your business can make all year. Not only will you meet new contacts that you can do business with, but you’re also promoting your business in an extremely positive light. If you plan your event carefully, it’ll show people that your business has a keen eye for detail. If you provide them with high-quality food, drink and entertainment, it’ll show them that you have high standards. Most importantly, if it goes without a hitch it shows your business can be relied on and entrusted with a client’s money. All of these are qualities that every client is looking for before they sign a big contract. To make sure your event goes well, here are three common mistakes you should avoid making.
Don’t pay over the odds
There are lots of expensive purchase to make when it comes to holding an event. Whether it’s hiring the venue, buying in food and drink or even booking entertainment, the cost of even the smallest events can soon add up. You might think these costs are unavoidable. There’s no point paying lower prices for lower quality products and services as it could damage the reputation of your brand and the productivity of your event. By shopping around, you could find products of equal or even better value for a smaller price. Make sure you get multiple quotes from multiple suppliers for every service you need, even if the first price you receive may seem small.
One of the best examples of this is when it come to selling tickets. It’s important to get this process right to make sure you can recoup the cost of holding the event. Some popular ways of allowing people to book tickets, such as setting up an Eventbrite WordPress might seem affordable and convenient, but there are other services out there with bigger benefits. What many people don’t realise when they’re booking tickets through the popular platform is that Eventbrite take a percentage of every ticket sale. If you’re holding a big event, this will end up massively reducing your chances of making a profit or breaking even. Instead, use platforms like Event Espresso that have a simpler pricing plan that lets you create and sell multiple ticket types at no additional charge.
Choose the right location
One of the most important decisions you’ll need to make when planning your event is where to hold it. If the location is too far away or doesn’t give the impression that it’ll be an enjoyable event, you’ll find that people won’t want to book to attend no matter what other benefits it may offer.
Firstly, you’ll want somewhere that is practical for your requirements. Do you need a stage to present from, or a big screen to show graphics or videos? Do you require seating, or would you rather have an open space where people can wander around and speak to each other? Would your benefit from other facilities like a café, restaurant or bar on site? Answer all of these questions before going to view any venue.
Secondly, think about where you want the location of your event to be. If you’re trying to attract people from a certain area, it would be wise to hold an event close to that area. If you’re trying to attract people from around the country, choose a location that has good links to public transport so people can easily travel there. If you choose somewhere in the centre of the country, nobody will be put off attending by having to travel across the whole country. If you’re looking to encourage people to attend your event for several days, consider setting it at a popular tourist destination. That way people will be more tempted to make it into a mini-vacation and book a hotel to stay over in.
Get people talking
Once you’ve organized your event and got people to attend, it’s important to remember why everyone is there. If you’re holding a networking event, you can’t just get people into the same room and expect them to chat to each other. You need to organize some activities to get people talking to each other. One of the best activities to get people talking to each other is to get them to play people bingo. At the start of your first day, give everyone a bingo sheet with lots of different features that might apply to your attendees. These can be anything from “find someone who speaks a second language” to “find someone who has climbed a mountain”. Your attendees will then have to talk to each other to find people who has experienced all of these things so they can tick them off their list. While you might think this isn’t relevant information to discover about someone, it’s a great way for people to open up and be willing to discuss other topics. It’s also a really fun game to get everyone in a good mood at the start of your event.