Enhance networking opportunities at your event

21/09/2015

Enhance networking opportunities at your event

Enhance networking opportunities at your event 

People’s primary interest in your meeting or conference is its content, but coming a close second on the list is the opportunity to network. As an event organiser you can’t rest on your laurels and just hope that the right people end up meeting each other, you need to do everything in your power to make it happen. Here are some of Merchant Taylors’ top tips on creating an environment conducive to conversations and introductions.

 Pre-event questionnaire

If you know your guests are interested in networking, then compile a short questionnaire for them to fill out before the event. Find out what ‘sort’ of people they want to meet and make a point of making introductions during breakout sessions. Make sure this is a two-way street and that you ask all your attendees how they may be able to help other delegates. Always make sure you give people the opportunity to opt out if they aren’t keen. 

                                          Pre-event online presence                                            

Before you announce your event, make sure you have your online social media platforms ready to go, so your attendees can get involved from the get go. This will give your delegates the opportunity to see who else is going to be at your event, and ear mark individuals to meet on the day. Encourage this in any of your posts and get conversations going that might provoke interaction between your guests-to-be. 

Choose the right break out space

If you’re creating a networking opportunity during a break in talks, be considered about the type of space you use. Make sure it’s a room with a good flow, no chairs but plenty of ‘perching’ opportunities like high, round tables so no one is stuck in a corner, a long bar so people can chat while ordering drinks and event team staff to help with introductions. The Cloisters at Merchant Taylors’ Hall is a popular choice amongst organisers looking for a breakout space. 

Icebreakers

This won’t suit every event, but given the right audience and situation, ice breaking games can be a fabulous networking facilitator. Whether you choose to play team building games or lead sessions where your guests are encouraged to share professional success stories, structuring interaction between your delegates will lead to new contacts for everyone. 

Get involved

Make sure some members of your team are circulating the event making introductions and helping people meet useful contacts. As the event organiser, you and your team are the common factor between all of your guests, so take advantage of this and help out. 

Events at Merchant Taylors’ Hall

The best way to get a feel for our venue and which spaces would work best for networking at your event is to book in to be shown around. Call our Events Team on 020 7450 4445 to find out more.

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