Business networking is when business people and entrepreneurs meet to form business relationships and to recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities, share information and seek potential partners for ventures. There are various commercial business networking enterprises and some not-for-profit business networking organisations based upon entities such as chambers of commerce in a locality. Inevitably business networks attract consultants. So it is not unusual to see consultants well outnumber other business people.
So it is refreshing to have a business network based upon a community such as school parents, a charity or a cause. Many people don’t consider it appropriate to network at other events of your organisation such as school sporting events. So they would appreciate a specific purpose networking event.
Hold a networking event and sell tickets to attend. Try and arrange for an informative guest speaker. A ticket could include a discounted price for an entry on your organisation’s business directory. A networking event wouldn’t be complete without a lucky door prize, the winner of which is selected by drawing a business card out of a hat or fish bowl. you could also have sponsors for the event.
Give people the opportunity to formally present their elevator pitch – 30 second to 2 minute summary of process, product, service, organization, or event and its value proposition.
It is also a good opportunity to build relationships with potential donors, sponsors and suppliers for other fund raising activities.