If you are searching for ways to develop your professional and personal life, or simply want to meet up with other like-minded individuals in your community, a networking group may be the ideal solution. Organizing a networking event is a great way to promote both yourself and your business. Below are eight easy steps to organize a successful networking event and enjoy the opportunities it offers:
 
Promotion
 
Ensuring that the appropriate people attend your event is essential to its success. Therefore, you must carefully consider the demographic you want to reach with your advertisement and invite enough people to make the event appealing. 
 
Promoting your event online is critical to your success. Fortunately, it is simple to create an inexpensive, highly targeted ad campaign online. Both Facebook and LinkedIn have relatively easy to use tools that you can utilize to make ads for your event. 
 
You should also make use of web forums, professional groups, industry websites and press to promote the occasion.
 
Selecting the Appropriate Venue
 
It is always tempting to use a low-cost or free event venue in Orange County, especially if you are working with a tight budget. However, keep in mind that the drawing power of an interesting or exciting banquet hall in Orange County can greatly increase turnout. Obviously, you want your event’s emphasis to be on networking, but choosing a memorable and convenient event venue can have a significant impact on sign-up and ultimately, turnout.
 
Select a Time and Location
 
Naturally, it is not possible to choose a day and time that suits everyone, but giving thought to your demographic and the best times for them to attend such an event is a good place to begin. 
 
One event planner in Irvine mentioned: “We like to plan our business networking events at about 7 PM on week nights. We usually plan our networking events in Irvine, Tustin, or Costa Mesa so we schedule the events to begin at about 7 PM so people have time to grab a bite or beat traffic.”
 
Choose a Format
 
Networking can be as casual or structured as you desire: you must simply give thought to what works best for your specific audience. If the attendees are already familiar with each other, getting together in a restaurant or bar for a few drinks may be all that is necessary. 
 
However, others may need more encouragement to mingle and mix, such as an event in a banquet hall where guests can slowly make their way around the room to mingle. It is important to consider this factor in advance to ensure a satisfactory outcome.
 
 
Follow Up
 
Maintaining the momentum of the networking event is important, and the best way to do this is to create a Facebook or LinkedIn group where members can stay in touch with those they met at the event. This helps attendees keep their relationships going in the future.
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