As events are coming back into our world, I thought it would be good to review some best practices before, during and after the event. For purposes of this discussion an “event” is something where you are inviting multiple current and future customers. For example, marketing-focused initiatives, cocktail parties, charity events, or an invite only tailgate before a big game. Here are some best practices:
Prior to the event:
- Start making a list of who you would want to invite. Discuss with your manager or team. This list should include current and future customers, stakeholders, centers of influence, etc…
- I suggest going back to the 80/20 rule (Time To Win on 80/20 rule here) and prioritizing the guests who add the most value to your company first, then anyone else.
- Once the invite has been created, send it immediately. The sooner you send it, the more likely you will have positive RSVPs.
- Once you have gathered the RSVP’s, send emails to your managers, company leadership, co-workers and others that will be attending to give them a heads up on who they might meet. The email should include some brief information about them. Do not make this description long. You want your co-workers to be able to pull this up on their phone and even be able to review it when they’re at the event.
During the event:
- Make sure you are getting around to everyone you invited and are making them feel welcome.
- If you see someone you know standing alone, try to bring them in to the conversation you’re in.
- If you see someone you don’t know standing alone, go introduce yourself.
- Help everyone feel connected to your company by introducing them to leadership and your other co-workers.
- If there are specific introductions you want to make, make sure you try to do it as soon as possible. It is okay to break into a conversation to mention that there is someone you want them to meet.
After the event for your invited guests that came, send a note that:
- Thanks them for coming and mention, at least, one thing you discussed (this does not have to be business-related and is often better if it’s not)
- Make sure to CC anyone you introduced them to and/or joined the conversation.
- Ideally this is sent within 24-hours of the event’s conclusion.
For those people you met at the event, here are some action steps:
- Send a note thanking them for coming and mention at least one thing you discussed (this does not have to be business-related and is often better if it’s not).
- Add to your distribution list (Time To Win On Distribution Lists here).
- Connect on LinkedIn and/or other social channels.
Please add anything you think I have missed in comments. This is something we have discussed often but never put on paper at Good Karma Brands, and would love to hear what others think. A future post will discuss more about best practices at a networking event and best practices around “working a room”.