Events are one of the most effective ways to build brand loyalty and trust.
For any small business, events are an essential tool for interacting with clients, employees and / or clients on a face-to-face level. While so much of business these days is conducted online, it is important for businesses to build a marketing strategy that includes offline channels to give customers and clients deeper interactions with your brand.
Hosting a networking event is a great place to start. Bring like-minded people together around your brand / services, and give them the opportunity to mingle and network amongst each other.
Here are our top tips to ensure a successful networking event for your brand:
1. Choose the right venue
The setting is one of the most important aspects of any event and sets the tone for your brand. For a networking event, you want your guests to feel comfortable, relaxed and inspired. Stay away from the average meeting or conference room and go for someplace that is buzzy and unique. Try hiring an area in a cool co-working space or impress guests with views on a great roof terrace. It can be as simple as reserving an area in a bar or restaurant that complements your brand aesthetic.
2. Always register your guests on arrival
Always register your guests when they arrive (even if the event is free). This way you can keep track of who attends. During the event, collect business cards/contact details by holding a raffle or giveaway, and grow your database in the process.
3. Partner up
Co-host a networking event and partner with another related business that complements your brand – this way you can share any costs, expand your network, and cross promote your services to a whole new captive audience.
4. Work the room
As a host, make it a point to meet everyone who comes to your networking event. Take a genuine interest in them and focus on what they do and how you can help them. It’s also important to be a connector and introduce relevant people to each other. It makes you memorable and takes the stress out of guests having to work up the courage to do it themselves.
After your event, be sure to follow up with everyone that attended – thank them for coming, get their feedback and keep the conversation going.
Remember: start small, keep it simple, and inject your brand’s unique personality into your events!