Did you know that a recent survey found that roughly 85% of all jobs are filled through networking?
While this seems like a high percentage, it isn't surprising considering the powerful connections that can be made through face-to-face interaction.
Good networking events facilitate this, bringing together employers, potential employees, and even potential business partners.
However, you may wonder exactly how a good networking event is planned, especially in large cities like NYC.
Here we reveal tried-and-tested event planning advice to help you create engaging networking events in NYC.
1. Do: Narrow Your Focus
Ensuring your guests have something in common to discuss is crucial to a successful networking event. This is why choosing a specific niche can be extremely effective.
Not only will guests have more to talk about during your event if you choose a specific industry, but they'll also find more value and opportunity.
For example, if you host a networking event for the dental industry, most of your guests will likely walk away with valuable professional contacts.
If, on the other hand, you host a general business networking event, the scope of professionals may be so broad that some guests may not meet valuable contacts.
2. Do: Consider Your Format
Another thing to consider for your NYC events is the format, or venue, that aligns with your guests' values.
If you are hosting a networking experience for professional chefs, for example, you may choose to have a gathering at a beautiful restaurant.
If, on the other hand, your gathering is catering to world-class lawyers or firms, you may decide to choose a high-end venue, like a hotel or event space.
Overall, it is helpful to keep your guests' goals in mind and try to align your format with them.
3. Do: Use Custom Badges
Creating custom badges for your event can help guests quickly and easily identify other guests. They can not only help stimulate conversations but also help guests find specific professionals they would like to connect with.
Depending on your budget and event size, you may also want to consider investing in digital badges. These can help guests connect their personal information more efficiently.
4. Do: Share the Guest List
Sharing the guest list of your event ahead of time can help give guests context for your event, which can in turn help them feel more confident.
It can also help them prepare relevant talking points and identify anyone they would specifically like to connect with.
Plus, they may also want to bring specific documents to the event, and a guest list can help them narrow down what will be most effective.
5. Do: Warm Up The Room
Sometimes networking events need an icebreaker to kick off.
As the host, you can do this using simple ice-breaking exercises, such as encouraging guests to introduce themselves to three new people and to find out an interesting fact about them.
Often, guests become less self-conscious when they feel like they are part of an activity everyone else is participating in.
6. Do: Greet Every Guest
Greeting every guest at a large networking event may not be possible, but meeting as many as you can could leave a lasting impression.
Asking each guest what they do, and what they hope to accomplish can also help you introduce them to valuable connections.
7. Don't: Distract
Keep in mind that the goal of networking events is for guests to meet other people. A limited amount of presentations and speakers is fine, but too many can distract guests from talking to others.
If you do hold presentations or invite speakers, place a time limit on the presentation so guests can return to connecting.
8. Do: Hire Connectors
"Connectors" are individuals who act as bridges between guests. They are experts at introductions and can help link guests in similar fields.
Connectors can also be volunteers who look for guests who are lingering on the sidelines and help introduce them to valuable contacts.
Connectors are especially great for larger events where you might not be able to greet or mingle with every guest.
9. Do: Encourage Guests to Stay
Encouraging guests to stay for the duration of your event ensures that everyone has a more fulfilling experience. After all, if guests start leaving early, everyone misses out on potential opportunities.
A great way to encourage guests to stick around is to announce a raffle or door prize at the end of the event. Alternatively, you can schedule an enticing speech or talk as the event finale.
10. Do: Follow Up
The final bow on top of an excellent networking event is to follow up with the guests after the event.
Try sending out an email encouraging guests to stay in touch via a LinkedIn or Facebook group. As bonus, you can also promote future events here.
Also, don't be afraid to ask guests to share their feedback: What did they enjoy the most? What did they wish was offered?
This feedback will help you plan even better events in the future.
Networking Events in NYC
If you're looking for networking events in NYC that can help you learn the top secrets of business networking, then look no further than the Event Planner Expo 2023.
This Expo is the leading event for event planners, corporate decision-makers, marketers, and C-Level professionals.
The Event Planner Expo 2023 is a golden opportunity to secure lucrative strategic partnerships for the upcoming year.
Here you'll have the opportunity to learn directly from our esteemed keynote speakers and panelists, as well as engage in fireside chats as they share their knowledge and business strategies.
Get your tickets here to experience the magic of new horizons.