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August 08, 2012

How to Network Like An Event Planner

To make the most of any event you really need to find out about your Guest List. What if you found out about a guest list in advance for every event you planned to attend? In general networking events where it’s whoever shows up this may seem really hard. But if you were an event planner you certainly would know what to do to find the all important guest list. How even planners handle guests, speakers, hired crew and others matter. How you network at any kind of formal or informal meetings matter. Additionally, please look at this advice for online and in person events. Why do they need to be mutually exclusive?

Here are a few secrets from the world of event planning that may help you:

Invite Key People to Events
People in career transition seem to focus on events where they may meet key decision makers. This tactic works and should be utilized by anyone in a career advancement mode or career transition mode. How can you think ┬álike an event planner in this case? Think guest list. What events do you plan to attend and who do you want to attend those events? Why don’t you become proactive in your networking instead of reactive and invite people, influencers and powerful connections to an event? This will help you break the ice with critical new contacts and open doors. Event planners think guests lists and so even you aren’t technically considered the event planner start inviting a who’s who of who you need to know. New contacts? Key executives? Decision makers? People you need to know? All of these and more would be good choices.

Event Planners Need Volunteers
To make the most out of your networking think like a highly stressed event planner. What happens at most events? Do event planners have enough paid help and volunteers to do all they need to do to pull off the event – big or small? Ask any event planner if they would like productive, spirited and helpful people to volunteer and I think you will find a yes answer from them. So volunteer to assist with the guest list, the set up and with any kind of prior, during or post event hosting. To think like an event planner, it should not matter the size of the event. Anyone who plans an event needs help. By volunteering you may add value, be remembered and actually have access to people, information and benefits that others who attend will not have at their disposal. What good can come out of a tactic like this one? You gain a reference in the event planner and their staff for volunteering. You may have access to people, information and insight that others don’t. You may be recognized publicly. The list can go on.

Get a Positive Out of Every Event
I love events for anyone in a career progression and career transition mode but I often hear people say things like I just didn’t get that much out of the event. A thought process focusing on positive outcomes helps here. Look for association or industry events where you can learn, connect and follow up with people involved. Event planners cannot take the risk on creating an event that does not work. They do not have a choice to attend an event; they must do their best and make the most out of the event. So if you attend the event you can determine, by planning, productive outcomes. What value could you get out of an event even if you do not make a key connection for your career or career search? Look at each event as a learning experience and get at least one or more positive out of every event you attend.

Here are five ideas:
1. Obtain Information and Put It to Use. Use the information you gain and blog about it or use it in an article that you author on the subject of the event.

2. Springboard Into New Conversations. Master the ideas talked about at the event to start new conversations and inform others.

3. Build Your Resume. Add the event to a new section on your Linked In profile or resume called Recent Training or add the information that you learned/performed into the body of your resume.

4. Brainstorm Productive Ideas. Write down ideas for future events or how to improve the event experience and write this or share this with the event host or event planner.

5. Own It. Take notes on how to create an event of your own based on the pros and cons of this event.

As an event planner always focus on the small details. Whether you attend virtual or in person events remember every aspect of the event needs attention. How can you make the most of your time as your own event planner to advance your career?

 

Image Credit: instantshift.com

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