Are you intimidated by planning events? Or maybe you have already done it, and it was just so overwhelming that you don’t plan on doing it again.
We’ve made it easy for you by having a detailed, step-by-step plan of what you need with all of the things to consider!
The Business Mixer Event Project Plan
Business owners and professionals are a great source of referrals and business. Work on growing your professional network by offering business mixers in your area.
There are lot’s of different types of events you can do, you can use this for a business mixer or any form of client party or event you want to host, just making sure you’re looking at all of the details so that you’re taking advantage of that opportunity. Offer something of value in exchange for them giving you that time.
Conversely, start by joining a meet up and participate in one to get a sense of how to do it.
Meet up groups or go check some out to get ideas. Meetup.com has groups of people getting together in your area all the time around various topics of interest. Great networking events and way to meet people.
Planning The Event
Start planning two months ahead of the projected date of your event. Enroll an assistant or support personal to help you with all of the planning, it’s going to be a lot easier to manage all of the details with an extra person to help.
Pick a theme for your event, some ideas include:
Poker / Game Night
Determine your budget – you’ll need to provide the following so you’ll want to create a budget first to keep your spending in check.
Food and drinks
Digital marketing (i.e. Facebook ads)
Print collateral (i.e. invitations to hand out in person to business owners)
Some of these expenditures can be offset by vendors
Remember; this event is an investment in your business to build assets that will benefit you over time!
Pick the time and date – around 7 to 8 p.m. on a Friday or Saturday is normally the best time.
Book your venue and secure your food and drink.
TIP: Look for sponsors who may want to join in on your business mixer to help spread the word about their business AND give you a discount on the food and beverages.
Choose entertainment for the night that fits into your theme. Some themes may only need props and games for entertainment, while others may require more expensive or live entertainment.
Organize your guest list and send out invitations two months ahead of time. If you send out invitations too late, half of the guests more than likely will not come.
Set a deadline for the RSVP so you can get a good head count well in advance.
Prepare goodie bags depending on the theme of your event. Small gift bags with some promotional items will remind guests about your company and the wonderful experience they received at your mixer!
Marketing Your Event
Create collateral for your marketing campaign – these can include:
A video highlighting the event location or speaker, if applicable
A blog post detailing the event specifics
A graphic to post your social media accounts to advertise the event
A print invitation to personally hand out to business owners
Write out your social media posts, marketing emails, and phone scripts. Aim to include at least two each of social media posts, phone calls to your database, and email blasts
Create a Facebook event or EventBrite page to handle RSVP’s. We recommend Canva.com to create the cover graphic for Facebook events.
Post a link to your video or flyer to your social media accounts, if any vendors are sponsoring your event ask them to also post video’s to your page/event!
Run a Facebook ad promoting your event, run this multiple times over the course of the two months you’ve been planning.
Visit local businesses and personally invite them to your event, aim to give out at least two invitations per day!
Create a blog post about your event and send out the link, ask your vendors to also share that link via email.
At The Event
Make sure all guests are greeted as they arrive, hand out name tags to guests arriving to help facilitate networking.
TIP: Bring a box to collect business cards, name tags, etc.
Have a clear schedule of events – for example, if you’re having a casino night, make sure all guests know where to collect their chips and what tables or games are open/when.
Keep an eye on the refreshments to make sure they don’t run low. If you’re serving alcohol keep an eye on the bartenders, make sure they are not over serving guests. Also make sure to have cabs and rideshares available for your guests.
Take plenty of pictures with your guests and of your guests, you’ll want to use these photos to help promote your next even and as a personalized thank you note!
Hand out your goodie bags to guests when they are leaving or have them at the door so they can grab one on the way out!
Don’t try to distract from the purpose of the event — networking — by dominating the event with speeches or presentations.
Keep announcements and ‘thank you’s’ under 10 minutes when closing out the end of the event.
After The Event
Follow up with all attendees of the event – a phone call or a hand written letter is best.
Include a photo of you with that attendee, or a photo of the attendee at the event with your letter! This shows personalization on a whole other level.
Follow up with all of those who were unable to attend your event – make sure to follow up each call or voicemail with an email expressing you missed them at your event, a highlight of what went down, and an open invitation to any future events.
Create collateral from the pictures and videos of your event and use them to promote your business and your next event!
Some examples of uses for such collateral are:
Write a blog post about the success of your business mixer.
Post pictures from the event to the Facebook event page that you created as well as to your business Facebook page.
Publish a photo album of the pictures to your social media accounts and tag
the business owners and guests in those photos.
Use the pictures as marketing for your next business mixer!