You and I have both attended them. Those networking events where all the same people show up and cluster together. I feel like I am in high school all over again. Yuck. The reason I attend these events is to meet new people, not hang with my old pals.
So, here's the challenge to all those hosting networking events…what can you do to add value? What can you do to give back to those people attending your event? It isn't enough to get the space and invite people. You have to give them a reason to come and stay and connect!
I'm not bashing networking events, I am encouraging people to consider improving upon their current efforts. What can you do differently?
Have crazy name tags?
Create a type of scavenger hunt?
Really, let's get beyond the standard mingling, which people aren't so good at anyway and really give them something to talk about and engage with new people. That's why they are there too.
Hope this sparks some ideas. If you've been to an extraordinary event, please share what made it so!
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.