The Real Secret for Hosting Successful Networking Events?
Recently I attended a summer networking event that has a sterling reputation for being one of the most valuable networking events of its sector.
The leaders of this excellent event are professional service providers to the franchise sector who have overcome challenges that would have stopped many other event hosts in their tracks. Their event is a regional, not national, industry gathering. It is set in deep summer in hot Denver. And yet, it has enjoyed 17 years of being a runaway “must attend” success.
I had made a “note to Paula” some time ago that I would attend this event if the opportunity ever presented itself, so I could learn more about the secrets of the host’s success.
I am happy to say that my expectations were met, and exceeded, by my very positive experience at this truly mellow summer networking event.
My most important observation about this very successful 2-day event?
While the event was opulent and very well-managed, the most important investment that the hosts made toward their success was not financial. It was all about their values. A priceless gift to their guests.
The host’s values were manifested in the following ways,
1) They hire and lead brilliantly. From the moment that you were genuinely welcomed to the facility to conversations with any of their personable professional staff, it was clear that quality relationships were paramount to every member of the host’s team. It was obvious that each team member was hand-picked for their people skills. The host leadership team always demonstrated impeccable personal values. In fact, they made a point of reaching out to Canadians at the event during these tempestuous times in US-Canadian relations.
2) Event participants reflect their host’s values. The host had developed a network of fellow professional service providers and clients who clearly shared their values of helpfulness, generosity and caring. The ultimate benefit of high quality networking is creating a client base that reflects team values, supporting what is important to both parties. Acceptance and a feeling of trust was everywhere.
3) Everyone’s networks were expanded. The gift that keeps on giving. All participants walked away with an expanded network because of the number of helpful introductions that were made during the 2-day event. Participants arrived with “giving” mind sets and were enriched by the addition of exciting new members of their network.
Our wonderful hosts understood that trust, the heartbeat of all referrals, thrives in a giving environment. And they created and supported that platform consistently throughout their 2-day event.
The real secret to successful hosting of events? Stick to your values. Create a giving environment. Cultivate trust at every turn.