One of the best ways to meet people in your industry is through socializing events. Attending such events will provide you with an opportunity to mingle with seasoned business owners and learn about how they adapt to the demands of your market.
But unfortunately, events like these aren’t held too often because there might be no need to. In this case, you can create your own event where you can offer the benefits of a social event both to you and other amateurs in the industry. Here’s how you can start planning your first event:
Determine a Reason for the Gathering
Networking is something that a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners do under the guise of social events. Some people might not attend an event purely for building a network, but entrepreneurs will be inclined to go to an event with a relevant cause that they can support or learn from.
This is because the culture of networking is something that is implied; it’s not a blatant act in most industries. You can hold an event relevant to the nature of your business and society so that you can hit two birds with one stone.
Along with determining the cause to gather, you’ll have to pick a time and date. This can be a strategic move that can encourage your guests to attend your event. Be careful not to schedule your event on a holiday when people are on vacation or a weekday when people need to go to work the day after.
Begin Planning the Logistics
Once you have set your goals for the event, you can begin planning the logistical aspects with your ad hoc team. This can include everything from locating an event space and creating a seating plan to the design you’re putting in the venue.
Logistics is a big aspect of planning a social event because it determines your guests’ willingness to attend the event. Venues that are too far and inaccessible can be a hassle, so your guests may choose to forego attendance. On the other hand, a venue that is both accessible to commuters and people with cars can be encouraging.
One of the best places for events of this nature is a hotel ballroom or lobby, where your guests can be comfortable and safe. If you choose to go with a hotel, you can directly take your refreshments from their kitchens.
The only thing you’ll have to worry about is where to rent party materials to decorate the venue. The amount of decorations you’ll need depends highly on the nature of your event, so you should consider this aspect in planning too.
Send Out Invites Early
The success of an event is directly affected by the number of guests that will attend it. This is especially important because the nature of your event is to grow your network, so your guests’ attendance is vital to make that happen.
Find out which people are influential in your industry and try your best to reach out to them. Invite everyone who you think can help you make a mark in your industry. These can be anyone from influencers, seasoned business owners, or successful entrepreneurs.
To ensure that they are aware of your event, you need to send out your invites early. The preferred length from receiving the invite to the main event is three to four weeks. And you need to settle your logistics before sending out your invites to ensure that your event is set in stone.
Make Sure Everything’s Set for D-day
If you’re not used to holding corporate social events like this, you need to start with a lengthy checklist. List down all the important aspects of your event, such as the budget you’re using to fund your event, the program you’re going to use, and the attendance of your guests.
You can only hope that everything goes according to your plan, but it won’t always come out perfectly. The only thing you can do is to smooth out the process so that you’ll have fewer creases to iron out on the event itself. This can be a little easier if you have someone else you can depend on to handle the details.
Prepare Contingency Plans
You can’t stop accidents or mishaps from completely happening, but you can prepare for them as much as you can. Even when they don’t happen, you will be more assured if you have back-up plans to support your event if your original plans falter.
A big part of event planning is preparing contingency plans that you can use if something comes up. When you have contingencies in place, you can be more comfortable socializing and building your network in the event itself.
The important thing is that you’re not the only one who knows these contingencies. Delegate the tasks of handling the event to your employees to focus more on creating relationships with the influential people in your industry.
Holding an event to introduce your business to the industry you’re beginning in can be a great way to publicize your brand. It can also provide you with an avenue to communicate with the right people and establish connections that can help you grow in the field.