If you are planning or sponsoring a networking event then you are also transforming into a business leader for that community.
However, in order to pull off a successful networking event in your area, you need an invite that businesses can’t ignore.
#1. Make the Invite about them, not about you
The invite shouldn’t just be about the networking event, but instead about who you are inviting. How an event will benefit the person you’re inviting is what’s going to determine their attendance.
Businesses won’t care if it’s the #1 networking event of all time if it’s not going to benefit them. Let them know how it’s going to help them directly in your invite.
Keep these questions in mind when sending out invites, emails or ads for the event online:
What type of businesses can we expect to see at this networking event?
What opportunities will I have from attending?
What is the market attending the event? Is it a niche or broad market?
What beneficial material will be there? Will I learn anything? Will there be a guest speaker?
*** What can I expect to take away from this event?
#2. Tell them what they will gain from attending
You want to pick the right name for the event. If you want your event to stand out then you need to use a better, defining name than "Small Business Seminar" or "Networking Night."
When you have the name then explain what they will get for attending; the name should make this self explanatory.
People don’t want to go home empty-handed, whether they gained something physically or mentally. Make sure the invite explains what, if anything, is guaranteed and what people will gain from attending.
Possible incentives for attending:
- Certification in a course or software
- A chance to hear a guest speaker regarding a topic of interest
- Physical learning material to take home
- The chance to network with X, Y, Z companies or other community leaders
- Exclusive information not available anywhere else
#3. Include proof that the event is worth their time
Have social proof. Even if the event is free, people are paying with their time and some may have some hesitation about attending.
This can be due to a number of things, including the worry that the event isn’t relevant to them, concern the event isn't worth the time, or doubt that the event will deliver the value you claim.
In order to make people want to respond to the invitation, you have to calm that anxiety.
One way to do this is with social proof elements, such as testimonials, background on the speakers or experts attending, and/or a list of big companies who they can expect to network with.
When creating your invite, include testimonials from previous attendees or even attendance numbers from your last event to reassure your guests that the event is worth their money and time.
#4. Make it a once in a lifetime chance
Whether or not it’s a once in a lifetime event, make it known that it is so there is no excuse not to come. If you explain who you are inviting and what they will get for attending then it’s easier to explain why it’s a once in a lifetime event.
The value proposition is a short statement that concisely explains why the guest should attend the event. Your value proposition needs to explain the biggest benefits of the event and why this opportunity can only be accessed once.
#5. Keep it simple and to the point
You need to keep the invite simple and short. A lot of event organizers don’t know how to get to the point of the event when explaining it because there is so much to tell!
The event description easily needs to tell recipients what the event is, why they should attend, and possible who will be there ... that's it.
Do this in just over 100 words for simplicity. They don't have time to skim a paragraph or two - only say what is absolutely necessary. Our brain can only digest so much, so remember to cut the noise and only keep the essentials.
#6. Display the location
If guests are worried about finding the event then they will be less likely to register. Sometimes the address is not enough, especially if the event is at a new business or property.
Make it easier on guests by linking invites directly to Google Maps. For physical events, you should provide the time, location, parking details, transportation information, dress code and any other information they should know.
If it’s a virtual networking event then make sure there are the relevant URLs, dial-in numbers, log-in details, and access codes given.
#7. Tell them how to register
Okay, so they are ready to attend and purchase tickets. Did you tell them where to register?
If registration is too difficult to figure out, you're going to lose out on a potential attendee. The invite should have a prominent call to action so guests know exactly what the next steps are in order to attend.
(1) Include a CTA with a digital link directly to registration. (2) A point-of-contact if they want to register via phone or email. (3) A physical registration form included with the invite if done via mail.
With the right information on your invite, you can be sure to make your networking event a success. If you're ready to create your networking event and set up your registration, you can get started by requesting a free site demo below.