Branch out and network simply means get out there and take a chance! Sometimes we can work ourselves up into a tizzy over the silliest things. For a lot of people, a scary part of business means they have to network to build those needed connections.
If you’re good at networking and social events, then large functions won’t scare you. However, if you need a little help networking there is no time like the present to get out there ~ branch out and network.
Booje Media just co-hosted an event called “The Last Garden Party”. The purpose behind this event was to connect brilliant, fun and exciting people with other brilliant, fun and exciting people.
Here are the guidelines we like to follow in order to make sure networkers at all levels of proficiency feel engaged.
1) Get Creative!
Rally your troops and plan a fun evening that doesn’t feel like networking. For the Last Garden Party, we gathered people based on the premise that so many great people we know should all know each other as well! We threw one last unforgettable shindig; ending Summer and welcoming Autumn. The atmosphere at the event was chic – house party meets elegant cocktails that Blacktail Florist custom made to fit the theme.
2) Choose a Cool New Location!
Getting people to commit their time away from home and work is hard to compete with. One way to encourage individuals to get out and network, is to host at a new and vibrant location. Choose a location that takes reservations ahead of time. Or choose a place that is notorious for having line up’s outside the door. This draws attention and excitement to the event, drawing those who are resistant to networking out to your event.
3) Keep it Fun!
Icebreakers are a great way to kick off the night and get the shy people networking….(you know, before the ol’ liquid courage hits). Our icebreaker game was similar to “Heads up”. We handed out celebrity names (real and fictitious) and had people place these names on their back. Then everyone around was encouraged to provide clues in order to help you guess your celebrity name.
Not only were people “networking” but they were also provided a tool in order to meet the person next to them. Needless to say, fun was had by all!
4) Keep the Party Going!
Try your best to avoid lull’s during the networking event. Event’s work best when they have a time cap such as two hours.
We suggest getting people in the door as quickly as possible (without appearing pushy of course)! Next it is time to get them a beverage and encourage them to mingle. Once the room is packed it’s time for announcements, thank you’s and speeches. Follow this up by a little more networking and then introduce the prize giveaways and call it a night.
Anyone who wants to stay is free to stay and be merry with a few more cocktails and those that have other engagements have made it to the end.
5) Provide an Alternative Network Ending!
End the event with an after party. Sometimes people need a few more minutes to chat and further connect so offering a change of scenery is a great way to encourage face-to-face conversation continuance. A new network platform, such as a lounge, might also further loosen people up.
What are your tips for networking and throwing awesome events? We love to keep our events fresh and fun so we would love to hear from you!
Photo Credit: Ainsley Rose Photography