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7 Tips for Organizing Networking Events and Meet Ups

The Futureforth Blog

Helpful tips and articles about social media strategy, content marketing, and business networking. 

7 Tips for Organizing Networking Events and Meet Ups

Dave Delaney

Nashcocktail Nashville MeetUp Mixer featured in the Tennessean

Have you ever wanted to organize your own event? Do you already run an event, but you are not satisfied with how it is going? This post is for you.

I will celebrate the fifth anniversary of my monthly networking event, Nashcocktail, next month. If you’re not familiar, Nashcocktail is a monthly networking mixer for social media enthusiasts and professionals in Nashville, Tennessee 

It all began after the first Social Media Day event. The organizers were not practitioners of social media, instead they were piggy backing off the popular day of celebration for social media pros. A few attendees and I agreed that we should be the ones hosting such an event because we work, live and breathe social media. As we were departing that evening, I came up with the idea. I bought the domain and announced Nashcocktail to my friends the following day.

We work, live and breathe social media

Nashcocktail hasn't been a smash hit every month though. Attendees always have a good time, but I have learned many lessons along the way.

Since July 2010, thousands of people have attended my monthly mixers. Relationships have been born at Nashcocktail that led to friendships, partnerships, jobs and more. The following are seven tips to help you make your event a success.

7 TIPS FOR EVENTS

1. Size matters. Choose a venue that isn’t so big that it looks empty and that’s not so small that the sound is too loud. I held Nashcocktail in a few venues where the sound was just too much. A few people were frustrated that they could not hear the person they were speaking with. Size really does matter.

2. Parking helps. If you can find a venue that has plenty of free parking, your attendees will be that much happier. If not, be sure to provide instructions on where they should park. If they drive around the venue a few times without success, they may end up driving home.

3. Intro circle. Allow your attendees to each take a moment to introduce who they are, what they do and what they hope to gain from attending the event. Point out that this is so people can connect with one another.

4. Highlight your sponsor. I always have my sponsor spend a couple of minutes explaining who they are and what they do. I also promote them like crazy across social media, on our site and in our email newsletters. We love our sponsors.

5. Take a picture, it’ll last longer. I snap plenty of photos at each event. I share them on the Facebook page, so attendees can return and check them out the next day. I always have the next month’s event ready, so they can RSVP while they are there.

6. What’s your name again? I stress that attendees must RSVP on our Facebook events. I do this so they can return and put a name to a face, in case they forgot to ask for a business card.

7. Encourage feedback. I always ask attendees and sponsors for feedback, so I can make the event better. I do a yearly survey to check in, too.

If you’re in Nashville (or visiting), you should join us at the next Nashcocktail. The event is always free to attend, so what have you got to lose? Visit Nashcocktail.com for details.

Do you have experience organizing events? Leave a comment with your own tip please. 

This article was originally posted in The Tennessean.

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