A recent study conducted across multiple types of industries and professions shows that networking is one of the top three factors which influence people’s decision to attend events, such as conventions or exhibitions.
So, if you want to make your next conference more appealing for guests and thus more successful, you need to create networking opportunities.
However, this is often easier said than done. It’s why we wanted to share with you a few simple ways to make it easy for event attendees to get to know each other and build meaningful connections.
Include Speed Networking Sessions
The networking part of events is often reduced to unstructured coffee breaks where people are supposed to mix and mingle as they please.
However, most people feel uncomfortable just walking up to a stranger and starting a conversation. Also, ending a conversation can feel awkward and quite stressful.
Speed networking, an adaptation of speed dating for professionals, solves both those problems. Plus, it helps create networking opportunities by allowing participants to have one-on-one short meetings and exchange information during a set period of time.
What makes speed networking so effective is the rotation of guests to ensure each person gets a chance to interact with every other person at the event.
Here are some of the best practices which will help you be successful with this format:
- time each round (one-on-one meeting) to last exactly one minute
- every guest needs to introduce themselves and ask one question each round briefly
- you can prepare a set of questions beforehand in case people get stuck and run out of ideas of things to ask.
Use Group Activities to Create Networking Opportunities
An excellent way to take the pressure off is to turn the networking part of your event into a fun and entertaining competition.
A simple way to do that is to group people into teams and allow them to collaborate on completing different activities and games. This gives guests a chance to get to know each other, while also learning new things and having lots of fun.
This way, it will be a lot easier for them to strike up a follow-up conversation.
In case you need some inspiration when it comes to the best activities, you can include getting people talking and connecting; here are seventy ideas you can try.
Feature Live Entertainment to Help Break the Ice
Entertainment helps people loosen up, and it’s a great conversation starter. Also, by featuring a live act at your event, you give attendees a chance to experience something new together, thus making them feel more comfortable with each other.
The key here is to book the right type of entertainment. You’ll want an act which is surprising and engaging enough to get people talking without being too much of a distraction.
Here are a couple of top suggestions which are sure vamp up your next event:
- Live event painting. Artist Heidi Schwartz creates interpretative live paintings which beautifully capture the mood of an event. And while she is a discrete presence, her amazing art speaks volumes of her talent – and is sure to get people talking.
- Piano player. The live music playing in the background is a great conversation starter. Plus, it will help create a more relaxing, yet sophisticated vibe at your event.
Find More Excellent Entertainment Options in Our Portfolio
We feature over 1,000 amazing speakers, artists, musicians and comedians in our portfolio. So we’re confident the best entertainment for your next event is included in that list.
Feel free to reach out to us at 615 283 0039 if you want to ask any questions or share more details about your upcoming event.