Establishing a word-of-mouth, referral-based business sometimes requires getting people to come to “your cave” to learn more about your products and services. Throwing a business mixer is a great way to do this yet, I’ll admit, throwing a successful business mixer isn’t easy.
However, if you remember that your primary purpose is to facilitate networking, you’ll be okay. Here are eight tips that will help you host an effective, successful business mixer:
- If you have a large enough office, throw a business mixer there to get exposure for your business.
- Plan the mixer no less than eight weeks in advance. Invite many guests and get people to donate door prizes.
- Allow all to bring information on their products or services. Have one or more large tables set aside with a sign for this purpose.
- Designate several “Visitor Hosts” to greet the guests as they arrive. When people start to arrive, make sure all fill out their name tags properly. Have few chairs available.
- Conduct a short networking exercise, such as having each guest meet three people he hasn’t met before or having everyone find someone in a similar business and ask one another what their most effective networking tactics/efforts have been.
- There are many innovative things you can do to make a mixer both fun and successful, such as have a “Meet Your (Business) Match” mixer with designated areas for specific business professions such as finance, real estate, health care, etc. Or, have everyone pick a card with the name of one half of a famous duo out of a hat. Then, each person keeps meeting people until he or she runs into his or her “partner.”
- Always remember what’s mentioned in the intro to this blog: your primary purpose is to facilitate networking and if you focus on that and don’t try to distract from that purpose by dominating the event with speeches or presentations, you’ll be on track for mixer success.
- At the end of the mixer, spend no more than about ten minutes doing introductions and giving door prizes.
If you’ve hosted networking mixers before and have some additional tips to offer or if you have interesting stories to tell about your experience with hosting a mixer, please share your thoughts in the comments section so we can all learn from what you have to say. Thanks!