Put structures into your networking and mingling opportunities
Many conferences provide opportunities for people to meet. However, is it good enough that people should meet by chance? You can create new alliances at numerous levels by defining what is possible when people meet.
- Do you want people to meet who have common problems?
- Do you want people to find common interests for potential collaborations or alliances?
- Do you want people to meet who can continue to mentor or act as a sounding board in the future?
All of these add value and impact to your event. This is the best way to ensure that people come back to your event.
Questions for conference designers
- Do you have a networking strategy?
- Looking at your potential participants, who would benefit from meeting who?
- How will this happen?
Insight from the book
By design or by chance?
Everyone has a story to tell about someone they met at conference that ended up contributing to their success. What strikes me as odd is that so few events actually structure their networking. Surely the chance of meeting someone who can contribute to your success should not be left to chance, such as, who happens to be walking beside you enroute to the washroom!