One of easiest ways to be proactive about developing your career is by creating your very own networking event! It does take some time and a little elbow grease, yet it is an amazing experience that can gst you connected to some awesome people! If you have no idea where to start here are 5 steps to creating your own networking event:

1.Develop your event concept

Ok your creating a networking event which is a basic idea and it’s been done before. However, can you think of any other elements that can be added to your networking event? Maybe a cocktail hour? Business authors special event? A specialized kind of networking event focused on small business? Brainstorm and have fun. You also might find it a good opportunity to collaborate with friends.

2.Guest speakers is a good idea

Getting one featured guest speaker or several might be an excellent way of adding value to your networking event. Try emailing or calling some potential guest speakers. Even if you aren’t successful in landing a guest speaker highlight other aspects of the event that people might like–maybe a short workshop on social media for small business.

3.Pick a venue

This is your first event so look at what free options you have around you. Maybe the library offers you a free space as well as the community center. There are also pubs, restaurants, and non-profits that may be good spaces for your event.

4.Use your personal network

Contact people that you know in order to build buzz for your first event. Friends, co-workers, cousins, brothers or sisters are all people that can help you add the first layer of attendees for your event.

5.Promote & Advertising

Use social media, blogging, and local media to promote your event. You don’t have to pay a cent for promoting and advertising your event but you have to truly get out there in order for people to come out. Talk to as many as people, try postering, print business cards and try cold calling businesses and non-profits to get your event noticed. Also, allow enough ‘runway’ to get the message out–essentially get ready to promote at least a month in advance!

Image: Geralt

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