Connect Your Community aka: how to organize a superb networking event Presenter: Melanie SpringSisarina Inc | firstname.lastname@example.org | @sisarina | sisarina.com
net-work-ing noun (1967) the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically : the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business Merriam-Webster.com How do you network?
social network A social network is a social structure made of individuals (or organizations) called "nodes," which are tied (connected) by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as friendship, kinship, common interest, financial exchange, dislike, sexual relationships, or relationships of beliefs, knowledge or prestige. Wikipedia.com Did You Know: Social networks are more than just Twitter & Facebook
reading your resume welcome to Washington DC “I’m important because…” “I went to an ivy league school…” “I have a top position at a great firm…” “It’s really all about me…” “I’m nothing but a bore because I have no life.” Did You Know: Normal people typically don’t like to talk about work.
instead of: what do you do? ask: what do you like to do? Tip: Come up with a list of other questions to ask when you first meet someone.
why the emphasis on introductions? As the host, you will lead & make it more comfortable for everyone! Tip: Your first impression will influence how that person will always interact with you.
how to: setup a superb networking event 10 easy steps Did You Know: An event hinges on its host.
step 1: choose a theme Think of some things you enjoy doing Think of something your friends, colleagues, acquaintances would like Create a theme based on your likes Bounce your ideas off others NEVER ask yourself: will this benefit my business? The answer is always yes. Example: If you enjoy travel, setup a travel event.
step 2: find a venue Ask your friends/family or even Twitter followers for suggestions Hit the pavement & start asking venues if they can handle your event Most venues won’t make you pay if you plan to bring a large group Go local – supporting local businesses Don’t forget to check Yelp.com for reviews!
step 3: confirm venue Once you’ve chosen your venue, confirm it! Ask about specials, happy hour or what they can do for your group Make sure to have a designated point of contact (POC) Confirm on the phone & via email prior to posting event Check in numerous times before the event Did You Know: A venue can make or break your event.
step 4: ask others to participate Ask businesses or individuals to sponsor (gift certificates, help, etc) Partner with people who have experience putting on events Sponsor a charity (raise awareness or money) Example: Many businesses will provide things for free if you promote them.
step 5: setup registration Use tools like Eventbrite.com, Twitvite.com, Meetup.com Make sure information is easy to understand quickly Use Who, What, When, Where, How, Why & How Much Emphasis the ‘why’ – give a reason Tip: If people don’t understand the reason, they won’t attend.
step 6: promote it Use social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) Send an email (MailChimp, Constant Contact) Create ways for others to easily promote it ASK people to promote it for you Don’t forget to keep promoting it but not obnoxiously Did You Know: If you ask people to help, they typically will.
step 8: be a connector Setup your own internal list of rules Create a calming atmosphere Make unique nametags Introduce people Help the wallflowers Break apart those who came together Did You Know: People are social creatures. They like to meet new friends.
step 9: don’t sell Everyone knows you’re the host Take time to thank your sponsors & venue No need to ‘sell’ yourself or your organization Meet everyone & spend time in groups Actually be a part of conversations Did You Know: No one likes a sales pitch.
step 10: thank them At the event, thank people for coming as they leave Ask people if they enjoyed themselves Be receptive to feedback Send thank you notes (handwritten!) to sponsors & venue Send out a recap with a thank you to all who attended Publicly thank people via social media for attending/sponsoring If the venue was helpful, let others know Did You Know: Handwritten notes are so rare. Be different.
come see! June 29 11am-2pm – CEOMKT: web & social media strategy for business ownershttp://ceomkt301.eventbrite.com June 30 5:30pm-9pm – Social Media Day: celebrate social media at Science Club http://socialmediaday2010.eventbrite.com July 14 5-8pm – Tinis & Toes: girlie evening of pedicures, massage & martinis http://tinistoes.eventbrite.com Found at: http://sisarina.com/events Did You Know: Not all networking events are equal. Dare yourself to try one!
thank you! you’ve been so quiet, time to interact! questions?