Are You Going? Leveraged Networking

Are You Going? Leveraged Networking

Whether you are planning a networking event or simply planning to attend, here are some ways you can use digital leverage to create live networking success.

Networking Events – It’s not Where or When, it’s Who

It’s the very first question prospects ask about your networking event. Even though the point of attending is to meet new contacts, the first question answers the hidden question, “Will any of my peeps be there?” Art Kaliel of My Lunch Network gets it. Yesterday I asked Art what makes his networking events so successful. His one word response? Peeps.

I covered the recent One Spark event here in Jacksonville, Fl for my clients. Like a live Kickstarter, the event redefines the concept of conventions or conferences. One Spark was a business festival, a veggie wrap filled with booths, education, labs, food and music. It was more than a business conference, it was a party. If you plan or attend networking events, consider studying this model as if your life depended on it.

Art of the Networking Invite

An announcement is shouting, an invitation is engaging. Think about it, immediately after saying yes to your party invite, your guests ask, “What can I bring?” The success of your networking event relies less on your planning, more on who attends and what, or who they bring to the party.

Provide your guests with a platform to start the party early. Create digital leverage by using Meetup or a Facebook event page to create a digital pre-event venue to warm up your guests.

Your A-List – Influencers and Ambassadors

Kim Deas of Murphy Business & Financial Services, Inc is an influencer. She attends networking events to get in front of her best prospects. More importantly, she always arrives with a posse. Not an entourage, she bring her peeps. If you’re throwing a business party in Jacksonville, make sure you extend an invitation to Kim and like-minded influencers. It’s the quickest way to make your event SRO.

Last year while on assignment on the West Coast I worked with Maggey Felix of CyberHive to create an ambassador program, the CyberTech Champions. Their mission was to invite new contacts to networking events, escort them, provide introductions and follow up to make sure first-timers returned.

Consider creating a cadre of champions, a group of master networkers who enjoy welcoming new contacts.

Networking Platform – Your Digital Leverage

David and Gina were ready to throw in the towel. Attendance at one of their three weekly event venues had dropped to a critical level. When I read the announcement, I saw it as an opportunity, so I attended the next event.

Six of us sat around a small table discussing what to do about the problem. That was a year ago. I attended last week while in San Diego on business. 24 in attendance, not a fluke, but a consistent outcome.

The key to David and Gina’s success was using their digital leverage to extend the reach and time-frame of the event. They use Meetup as their event platform. They leverage it to:

  • Save the Date allowing attendees to manage their schedules
  • Create value by sharing who’s speaking
  • Publish instructions so first-timers know what to expect
  • Manage RSVPs
  • Allow attendees to ask, Are you going?
  • Celebrate the outcomes, including photos, referrals given, lessons learned.

When asked, “How did you find us.” First-timers cite Meetup. When asked, “What made your decide to attend, they say, “It looked like it would be fun.”

Photos of HSP (Happy Smiling People) from prior events was cited as the most important factor in their decision to attend an upcoming event.

There are two upcoming events I will be attending here in Jacksonville, Florida. I hope to see you there so we can compare notes on Live Networking. I’ve published a series of posts with tips I use to create digital leverage during live networking events. I hope it creates value for you. Won’t you join me?

Hope to see you there. Until them may your day be,
Just Another Day In Paradise | JADIP

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About the author

For over a quarter-century, Jerry Gitchel has worked with companies who want more customers and less technology. His project management expertise helps successful companies create a path of engagement from lead generation to satisfied customers. Have a question about creating your digital leverage? Give Jerry a call: 858-220-0499

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