‘Networking’ is one of the main reasons to attend an event. More and more event professionals are looking for ways to facilitate their visitors in this. The answer: connect your visitors by playing cupid at your events.
Connections are the future
A good network makes all the difference. In this digital era, face-to-face encounters are more important than ever before and more and more discover that events offer a solution. At the same time, the possibility to network can be decisive for your visitor.
Being an event professional, you know all too well that you need a solid proposition. The added value of your event needs to be crystal clear - and you have to keep your promises. Offering a guest list to your invitees before the event works very well. If this list contains interesting names, your invitees are more prone to register for the event.
Outside the comfort zone
Event managers often look for event apps that help their attendees network. Although this seems logical, experience shows that an app in itself is not enough to guarantee valuable encounters – visitors need a helping hand when it comes to networking.
In order to get them outside their comfort zone, creating the right setting is important. Interactive break-outs, like speed dating, are a good example of meeting many people in a short time, without having to take the initiative. Increasingly, ‘ice breakers’ are used in event programming, in order to initiate conversations in a playful manner.
There are many ways to facilitate connections among your audience during the event. For instance, use the name badge or a (name)sticker in an exercise. Randomly hand-out name badges and ask people to ‘go find themselves’, or challenge them to come up a word that defines them - and write it on the name sticker. Conversations can originate more easily when you give people an accessible topic to discuss.
According to network expert Jean Paul Wijers, facilitating valuable encounters starts prior to the event. You can, for instance, include one or more questions about personal interests or professional challenges in the registration form. By carefully looking at the answers, you can link people with similar (or opposing) answers. Or consider matching your attendees based on existing data, like company, background or job title.
If you want to take your matchmaking to the next level, make smart use of your CRM. This contains specific data about your relations like their purchases and (professional) areas of interest. Based on such information you can make good matches.
Use an event survey to generate relevant information about your target audience: which events do they attend, in what workshops do they participate and how do they rate the event content. Make sure you include questions about the quality of conversations and encounters. This helps you enrich the CRM – and use (event) relations management as a strategic tool.
Momice and (strategic) networking
Momice organises events to prepare event professionals for the future. Next edition is revolves around (strategic) relations management and network events. Jean Paul Wijers will teach event professionals the tricks of the trade in networking. Wijers has years of experience in facilitating high-level network events. His ‘Protocol Agency’ was responsible for implementing protocol on events organised by the Royal Family.
During the fourth edition of ‘Connecting the Dots’: Connections are the future of events, event professionals will learn how to effectively structure a network event. And, as we practice what we preach - we will make sure that all attendees experience next-level networking. The event takes place on 13 Februari 2020.
Because Connecting the Dots is a Dutch-language event, it is less suitable for English speaking attendees. However, we feel the articles we write about this topic could be of added value for all event professionals. Are you interested in the content? Read more here!