Starting a networking group that meets regularly is a lot of work. It can easily take over as your full time job. There’s a lot of planning and work that goes into starting a group. Here’s one alternative you may want to consider before you start a group.
Conduct a business mixer. If you are thinking of starting a group you have probably met a good number of people. Why not host a business mixer instead of a group that meets weekly or even monthly? The onetime events normally get pretty big turnouts if you do it on a good night. Lucy Rosen had the “Ultimate Night of Connections” a few months ago. The event had a pretty good turnout this year but last year it was even bigger with hundreds of people in attendance.
People in business always appreciate being connected with people that may become clients. Why not be the one who facilitates this exchange? People will go out of their way to meet you. Val Romero, founder of Women make a difference goes to a lot of events I go to. People search her out to find out about her networking meetings. How much better would your business do if you had people searching for you instead of you searching for them?
The planning for a mixer may be a little bit more complex than a group but you only have to do it once. You also don’t have to do it all on your own. Elicit the help of friends to help with the planning and get businesses to sponsor the event. Businesses are always looking for ways to promote their businesses to people and you will be helping them get even more business.
A business mixer doesn’t have to be a big ordeal. All you need is: A place, some food, sponsors and a way to get the word out. Your sponsors will also help you get the word out because they want more people to come to their booth/ space. In a previous article I mentioned the many ways that Jeffrey Gitomer announced that he was coming. He used radio, emails, newspaper, magazines, etc. He used every available avenue. He says that advertising works if you are branded correctly. If you have a strong brand then you should use these same avenues to advertise your event.
Before you commit yourself to starting a weekly group; dip your toe into the networking pool by doing a business mixer. I’ll be taking my own advice and will be hosting a business mixer on January 3, 2011. More information will be coming soon. If you are interested in sponsoring or receiving an invite please email me at SVaughn922@aol.com. Friend me on facebook or follow me on twitter.