Let’s Connect! Encourage Networking at Events

Savvy meeting planners don’t leave networking to chance. They actively facilitate the “Three C’s” – conversation, communication and connections – to energize their events and build strong teams. To engage every attendee and enhance relationships within your group, the ProMeetings team has innovative tips on how to encourage networking at events: Seize the moment.

Face-to-face meetings are where real interpersonal communication happens. In today’s world of teleconferences and virtual meetings, one-on-one time together can be rare, yet it’s increasingly valuable for your organization (this Forbes article expands on the advantages). So make it a priority to work closely with your venue during the planning stages to integrate enjoyable and effective networking opportunities into your session.

Jump-start the networking. A recent Successful Meetings survey about social media usage reported that 75% of meeting planners use social media for pre-event promotion. If you’re not already part of this group, start by circulating a social media list of attendees so they can follow and “meet” one another before the event. More ideas: host a pre-event webinar, pen a blog post and, when meetings include individuals who haven’t met, encourage them to update profiles with recent photos and details. When they shake hands for the first time, they’ll feel like they’re meeting someone they already know.

Shake up your schedule. Go for something different – and fun – to get your attendees interacting and give them something to talk about long after the meeting. Browse Teampedia for icebreakers and activities, and ask the ProMeetings team for suggestions that will work seamlessly and cost effectively for your group. Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s watersportsculinary delightsnature programs and championship golf are just a few ways our meeting guests unwind and network year-round. we can also arrange excursions to discover the charms of historic Charleston. Named “World’s Best City” by Travel + Leisure magazine in 2016, Charleston is just 21 miles from Kiawah Island.

Get creative with your formats. Conversations and connections thrive in dynamic, interactive settings. Here at Kiawah, we help groups think outside the square and other typical room setups by creating novel configurations that satisfy their session goals and boost personal interaction. Café-style formats, featuring small tables to encourage lively conversation, are popular. Groups are also enthusiastic to head outside The Sanctuary’s Grand Lawn or to riverside Mingo Point. Fresh ocean air can inspire keen new perspective, and relaxed settings invite everyone to linger for post-meeting conversation.

Keep the momentum going. Attendees naturally tend to keep talking about a great event, and you can use this to build on networking and nurture relationships that began at the meeting. Once you’re back at the office, post share-worthy ideas from your event on social media. If you write a blog, include tidbits about the session’s success or its top takeaways. Post those fun event pictures on Instagram. And if you didn’t create a hashtag for your event, make a note to catch this opportunity next time around. Count on the Promeetings team to engage with inventive networking ideas and events. Kiawah Island is a paradise for productivity and has been the recipient of Successful Meeting’s Pinnacle Award fifteen times. To complement 35,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, the amenities on this private island include five championship golf courses, two tennis complexes and endless recreation.