There are many reasons you will hold a networking event. Perhaps you are looking to make valuable connections within your industry. Or, perhaps you are looking at forging links with new businesses and individuals, to improve the position of your business. Taking networking into your own hands and organizing your own networking event can allow you to make the connections that you want. To ensure your event is a success, you need to choose the right venue.

Establishing Your Budget

When comparing venues, you must start to get to grips with your budget. A budget will have to cover promoting an event, hiring a venue, and hiring keynote speakers. How much are you setting aside for venue hire, and what will your budget need to cover? If you are looking at a venue closer to town, then it is going to cost you a little bit more. If you are looking at hosting a bigger networking event, you may need a larger venue, and these can often be found out of town. Out-of-town venues may have great parking and transportation links, and they may allow you to stretch your budget that little bit further.

Looking at a Timescale

When do you want to host your networking event? Is the venue that you are interested in available for your chosen date (or dates)? The timescale of your event is critical – especially if you are looking at a tight turnaround that covers weeks and not months. A timescale will help you plan and prepare your event, and it will give you ample time to send out invites (raise awareness), etc. It often helps if you work backward from your target date. This way, you can get everything covered, and not miss out on any of the essentials.

Finding a Suitable Venue

Not all venues are going to be suitable for your networking event. However, that does not mean that they cannot be made suitable. For example, you may want to hold an event in a marquee, as this accommodates the number of attendees you are looking at. To make a marquee suitable, you would need to reach out to temporary flooring specialists to ensure you have a stable and strong base – especially if the weather is not very good on the day of the event. A suitable venue has to offer the option of food and drink, as this may be essential for your event. If catering is not offered within an event, it can put guests off attending.

Think About the Numbers Attending

How many attendees or guests are you looking at, and are you going to get confirmed numbers before the day to arrange other things, such as food and drink? It is important to know how many people will attend, as you must make sure your budget stretches far enough. Giving people enough time to respond to a networking invite is just as important as who you send them out to. If there is not enough time between when they receive the invitation, and when it happens, you will find that attendance is poor.