Finding the Perfect Space
Your first task for planning an evening business mixer should be the venue. Your venue should be cozy but also convenient so that all attendees can move around and talk with others.
If your business does not have a large space, talk with local restaurants and your current clients about possible venues. There are many restaurants that will offer free or discount services for using their venue especially when you advertise their business during your event. Since your mixer will take place after work, think ahead about setting a time that is convenient for everyone.
Steps for a Great Evening
When you sit down to discuss your evening mixer, you and your team should have certain goals for your event. Will this business mixer focus on displaying new products or networking with potential clients? Once your goals are set, think about your invitee list. How many people do you plan to invite? Event planning tools like Eventbrite.com makes it easier to send out e-vites and keep track of your attendees.
Along with a great venue, your refreshments should be perfect for your guests. Since most mixers are usually a couple of hours, it is best to have a variety of meats, vegetables, fruits and salad trays. It is a good idea to arrange a couple of tables specifically for food on the side or back of your venue so it is more convenient for your guests to walk around and meet people during your event.
Provide Fun and Games
A business mixer shouldn't be conservative and rigid. This is the perfect time to play mixer games so that your attendees can learn more about each other. One great way is to have your attendees introduce themselves to many people in five minutes. You should have a timer available and someone to help you keep track of attendees as they wander around the room. The attendee who meets the most people during that time receives a gift which can be one of your products or an item from one of your sponsors.
Before the end of the event, you should thank your sponsors and your attendees for coming. This is also a great time to talk about your products and services and share information about upcoming events. Try to secure sponsors that might provide gift bag items for your event. Find out if retail stores in your area would be willing to donate items for your business mixer as well.
Planning any event takes a lot of work. These tips will help you organize an event that will make your attendees look forward to your next business mixer.
Allen, Judy. Event Planning : The Ultimate Guide to Successful Meetings, Corporate Events, Fundraising Galas, Conferences, Conventions, Incentives and Other Special Events. John Wiley & Sons, 2000.
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