Anyone who’s been in business for a while knows it’s about more than selling units. Instead, businesses thrive on relationships. To build a robust network, you have to set aside time to grow those relationships.
In short, you need to plan at least one networking function each year. Doing so allows people to develop industry partnerships, prospective clients, and in-house teamwork.
The question is, how do you conduct a networking function? What kinds of events can you put together to accomplish these goals?
If you’re wondering about this, you’ve come to the right place! In this guide, we’ll explore some networking ideas to help you out. Let’s jump right in!
1. Speed Networking Function
Speed networking eliminates the need for people to approach random strangers. Instead, you’ll utilize a matching program that that pairs professionals with one another. This technology also allows people to select the types of people they’d like to meet.
How does that work, exactly? This technology starts with customizable matching categories. You can create categories that best fit your attendees.
These categories could consist of job titles, areas of expertise, or industry interests. This way, your attendees can find ways to talk with the people most relevant to their interests.
2. Cocktail Events
Cocktail events are often the gold standard of networking events. It’s a much-beloved format that many conferences use as a welcome reception.
These are low-stress, friendly environments for people to chat over drinks. Fortunately, they’re also easy to plan for the most part. You can also have fun with events like this, giving them more exotic locations.
For example, some people may hold a cocktail event in a party boat New Orleans setting. Others, however, may stick with a conference center.
There are drawbacks to this approach, however. Since cocktail events are less structured, people can choose to stick with those they already know. It can be challenging to get people to build new relationships.
3. Coffee Breaks
Conferences can be tiring occasions. As people run back and forth between panels, they sometimes want a break.
Because of this, it’s often wise to schedule a coffee break into the conference. Like cocktail events, these are an informal, casual way to chat with people.
Sometimes it’s easier for new professionals to network in coffee breaks. If they leave a presentation together, they can grab a cup of coffee and chat about the panel.
However, this is not a guarantee. So, it’s often best to pair a coffee break with a more structured networking session.
This way, people get to relax and unwind with a hot drink. However, once they refresh themselves, they can engage with new people in a less stressful activity.
Start Planning Your Networking Function
A networking function is an excellent way to build industry partnerships. All you have to do is plan the appropriate event to introduce people to new professionals.
One of the best ways to do this is through speed networking. However, more laid-back events also take the stress out of situations and pair well with other events. So, choose the best event for your purposes!
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