One of the toughest challenges for any young entrepreneur is being taken seriously by the more seasoned, wrinkled and steadfast business leaders out there. Even getting a five-minute phone call to chat about your ideas can be harder than trying to get a permit for volcano bungee jumping. That’s why you should consider throwing your own networking event.
We know this sounds utterly bonkers, but hear us out. When trying to build up your credibility, your connections, and your authority, nothing quite compares to hosting your own event. Nothing. It’s the simplest way to transform yourself from young pretender to business leader. Think about it. You’ll be playing cupid. You’ll be responsible for bringing entrepreneurs together to talk business, which is something only leaders are able to do. Not to mention the exposure you’ll get off the back of it.
The trick is pulling off a truly great event, and here’s how:
- Get Early Registrations
Nothing is worse than having a blind guess at how many people might turn up to your event, which is why you should make registering for your event super simple. Yup. We’re talking about using a pre-made registration app. You’ll get a better idea and early commitment, while they’ll get a reminder. Simple.
- Venues Are Everything
The space you choose is everything. First things first, you need to make sure it is easy to find, up-scale and has plenty of parking. Once you’ve done that, you need to give it the wow-factor. Now, from what we’ve seen recently, there are some top reasons to choose an inflatable structure for your next event, not least of which is the unique setting, the chance to brand it and plonk it somewhere magical. Otherwise, a good option is a nice hotel, one that will give you their space for free in return for a tidy bar bill.
- Check-In Is Smooth
Whether you are charging an attendance fee or not, you should have your guests check in. It’s not just about counting numbers, it’s getting email addresses so you can follow up on contacts, play matchmaker long after the event has finished and let them know of any future events. The trick is not making it any more complicated than it needs to be. Have someone on the door to take their name and email address. If they give it, great. If they don’t, let it slide.
- Introduce Yourself
Yup, we mean to every single person. Welcome them to your event, find out what they do, focus on who they are and how they got into the business, not what you do. As Dale Carnegie explains, the best conversationalists are the ones who ask questions and listen. But do it with genuine interest. Do this and you will be remembered for a very long time.
- Play Matchmaker
While you are meeting people, pay special attention to what they do, that way you will be able to create opportunities to play matchmaker, introduce people to one another and create connections that people will cherish. If you meet a product designer, introducer her to the patent attorney. If you meet a creative copywriter, walk them over to the brand owner.