How to: Connect your Community
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How to: Connect your Community

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Tips for Hosting a Superb Networking Event

Tips for Hosting a Superb Networking Event

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How to: Connect your Community How to: Connect your Community Presentation Transcript

  • Connect Your Community
    aka: how to organize a superb networking event
    Presenter: Melanie SpringSisarina Inc | melanie@sisarina.com | @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?
  • places for networking
    • Tennis courts
    • Professional meetings
    • Bars
    • Shopping
    • On vacation
    • Waiting in line
    • Library
    • Bookstore
    • Coffee shop
    • Kids’ soccer games
    • Kickball leagues
    • Grocery store
    • Happy hour with friends
    • Any social gathering
    • Work
    • Barbeques with neighbors
    • Public swimming pools
    • At the gym
    Tip: Meet your neighbors at home & at work.
  • 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?