Everyone goes to conferences for different reasons but networking is one essential ingredient. Having the right content is important but if you can’t make connections you’ll inevitably be disappointed. There are many ways to help your attendees feel at home and assist them in meeting the right people.
Create a networking friendly atmosphere with a welcome reception. Offer a nice snack that fit’s the theme of your event. Whether it’s a small healthy drink or a piece of chocolate, people will feel welcomed right away.
Let your speakers and sponsors give short presentations to showcase their latest innovations. People love to know about novelties. Being inspired and gaining new knowledge in a concise way is something attendees will appreciate.
Schedule 15 minute meetings between attendees and sponsors or exhibitors. As an event organizer it is best to schedule this when you have retrieved information from your attendee about their interests and needs. Then you can match them up with the right exhibitors, which increases chances for a positive outcome.
A way to get people to interact in a fun and dynamic way is by getting them to engage in speed networking sessions. Give them 5-10 minutes per round to introduce themselves to one another. Afterward the speed networking you can give participants space to catch up with each other and finish conversations.