Based on data from Event Marketer, 42% of participants and guests at business events believe that networking opportunities provided by organizers help attendees engage with one another. This means the old conference format of coffee breaks and meeting people by chance is fading into the background. Almost half of those surveyed prefer strategically planned networking activities and targeted meetings.
The 2Meet team has put together a detailed list of reasons why organizers should promote business meetings at their events, and explains how this approach impacts events in the future. 1. You help forge new business connections.
Facilitating networking at an event is a labor-intensive process. But you should consider it not an expense, but an investment. By giving your guests the opportunity to get to know one another, forge partnerships, or even close a deal, you win as an organizer. They will definitely want to come back to your event again. It's a win-win situation. 2. Word of mouth helps you.
By encouraging networking at conferences, you create buzz around your event. Your event will be talked about as a place to find business partners, and word of mouth is more effective than any advertisement. Your guests will become your publicists, advertisers, and even social media marketers. 3. You provide (and get) added value.
According to a study conducted by Sparks and Event Marketer, the most common reasons why B2B representatives attend business events are training and networking. By giving people the opportunity to interact and promoting the idea of networking, you increase the value of your event. Your conference, exhibition, or forum will immediately become more attractive to business reps. This means that, in the future, your revenue will grow because you can increase the price of tickets. 4. You foster communication.
By promoting networking, creating meeting spaces, and launching conference apps, you help people communicate. This is especially important for those who are not always successful at initiating a dialog. Provide any platform that is conducive to networking. That way, you will give people a choice and help them feel less nervous. 5. People are looking for a balance between work and play.
The internet offers lots of tips for facilitating networking, ranging from gaming events to digital platforms. An organizer must have a nuanced understanding of their audience. People shouldn't feel adrift or pressured to have fun. Find the best solution. Bring people together in groups or give them a few conversation topics. Keep an eye on how the networking is going, but step in only in extreme circumstances. People will appreciate you for that. The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) ran a survey and found that 76% of businesspeople said organized networking is the main reason why they decide to attend an event. 6. You garner a reputation.
Don't try to accomplish everything in one go. A reputation is not earned in an instant. It's a painstaking daily job. Stay patient and focused. Concentrate not on the number of attendees, but on whether they have a good time. For more on what networking tools to use, see our previous article: "Top 10 tools for event networking."