5 Networking Event Ideas | Greetly Reception Management Software

Building a community is hard work. Here are 5 great networking event ideas so you can have fun while building and engaging your crowd.

Congrats on taking the role of the community leader. Perhaps you are organizing coworking events, or surrounding yourself with experts in your profession, or just trying to find other people who love your hobby. Even though everyone knows it can boost their career success and personal happiness, many people dread networking.

You know the value of building your community. But how do you get new networking event ideas to keep the events fresh? And what networking events are most engaging for attendees? Here are five networking events that will make people look forward to your events and get the most out of them.

Expert Panels

Who are the rockstars in your industry? They be major national players or local. Have a track record of success or newbies who can share a common experience. Attendees will enjoy listening to panels so they can learn from the experience of others

Tips for success: have a brief social hour before the panel begins. This gives participants something productive to do while stragglers arrive late. Also, try to introduce people to reduce the awkward moment where attendees look around, trying to figure out how to start a conversation.

Morning Coffee

Casual networking event roundtableThis is one of the easiest networking event ideas to organize. There's nothing people love more than coffee in the morning. Organizing a weekly get-together for everyone will allow people to be able to network efficiently when they're at their best. It's also a relatively inexpensive way to get people together. Morning coffee is generally a small group which can be less intimidating for first-timers.

Tips for success: you don't need to go it alone. Start a local 1 Million Cups group and they will provide the organizational tools you need to get started. It's like a franchised networking event! Also, ask a local coworking space to house your event. Most shared workspaces are quiet before hours, and they'll likely donate the coffee in exchange for the chance to showcase their business.

Pub Nights

As much as we love our morning coffee, we can't wait to get to happy hour. Relaxing with a great craft beer in the evening is a sign of success, a day defeated. And that means attendees will be in a great mood to network. Setting up a weekly or monthly pub night gives everyone something to look forward to and will be an enjoyable time for everyone involved. 

Tips for success: noise can be a problem at happy hour. So either pick a quiet bar or restaurant or call ahead to reserve a private area. And skip locations with entertainment, you should be focused on the people in your group.

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Adventure Events

Every so often, you should put on a special event that attracts everyone in your crowd. It breaks up the monotony and helps your group stand out from other groups. So plan a monthly or quarterly adventure event. Take the group hiking or organize a friendly soccer game. Not only can it bring people together, but it's also a great way to get everyone out of the office and attuned to Mother Nature.

Tips for success: encourage carpooling. It is great for the environment, and also gives people more time to get to know each other.

Game Nights

Getting together to play board games or even a trivia event is a great idea because it fosters teamwork and interaction. A game night eliminates cliques if the participants are chosen at random. It's a great way to break the ice. You can even incorporate these icebreaker activities into the office to generate more employee involvement.

Tips for success: keep it casual. Everyone is there to get to know each other and have fun. A few overly competitive apples could turn other members against the group.


Professionals introducing themselves at a networking event

The networking event ideas are just a starting place. Use these as a springboard and get creative. Start by organizing a few simple events using the tips above. Then, as you start to see people showing up that you don't recognize, ask them what else they want to do and how they can get even more value out of the group.

Since your goal is to focus on the community, let technology do the rest. There are countless event apps for organizing and marketing events. Use an event check in app so you know who came and add them to your database. 

Most importantly, have fun. This is good for you and everyone will enjoy themselves more if they see the organizer in good spirits.

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