If you have a networking event that is repetitive, keeping a consistent attendance and growing it can prove difficult. Here are a few tips you may find beneficial.
Note: These tips will not help without consistency and following through.
- Create a draw other than meeting others. – Meeting fellow professionals or hobbyist may seem like an automatic draw for an event and it may be for a new event that is one time but remember you have to keep them coming back. Consider alternating or including a mix of the following:
- Cocktails or mocktail
- Sporadic free events
- Personally e-mail guests. You may not have the time, or resources, to send out individualized emails to each attendee depending on the type and size of your event, but knowing your niche comes in handy for this tip. Email a handful of people in proportion to the overall guest list. Make sure that you email people who can really help spread the word about your event and attract people. You may also find it beneficial to personally call some of them.
- Survey – Whether online or with a suggestion box, make sure that you find out what attendees really want out of the event. If you require a sign in for the event, make sure to get e-mail addresses so you can follow up with your guest. This is especially good to do 2-3 days after the first event so that you can start making adjustments to the event blueprint ASAP.
- Invite guest speaker(s) to post on your website, blog, or in your publication that will be published before the event. This allows guests to get to know the speaker and builds the anticipation for the presentation(s). Be sure that attendees have access to the information. The digital publication can easily be added into e-mail newsletters. So consider making a newsletter and inviting people to sign up for updates.
- Of course, define your audience to be sure that you are catering to the right group. Do some research on your market and find what they need, follow trends. The survey can help you find out who was actually attracted to your event and if your niche was really catered to.
- Define the purpose of the overall event. If you don’t know why you are doing an event, you can’t really have an end goal.