Welcome back Genius. I go to a lot of networking events as an entrepreneur and even more now that I’ve published my book and I have to be honest with you. Some of them downright SUCK. The ‘suckiness’ ranging from poor programing to bad venues, to terrible keynote speakers. Rookie mistakes and sometimes downright rude host. My name is Vivian Olodun. I’m an author and an entrepreneur. I wrote the book Stumbling Through Adulthood. This video is about my sixth must-haves for a perfect network. It’s that topic. Sounds interesting to you. Subscribe and keep watching. My 6 must-haves for a perfect networking event is number one. Have a reason to gather, an appropriate venue, flexible agenda, clear expectations, reinforce community practices and last have a call to action. Networking events come in all shapes and sizes. So I wanted to stay broad enough, but specific so that you get value from this video. Networking events aren’t random kickback, hangouts, or whatever you call them locally. I strongly believe you should always have a reason to gather. Give people a very clear reason to gather. It could be a book club, a mommy and me session, an information session. It could be an industry mixer, cocktail party, a workshop or a forum. A conference, doesn’t matter. Networking events come in all different shapes and sizes, like I said. But we want to give people a very clear reason to gather. In the digital age, you want me to leave my house? Give me a reason. Last year, my organization hosted over 30 different types of networking events. Choose the right type of venue for your event. If you’re trying to have a cocktail event, there needs to be a bar. If they’re going to have like a workshop, some type of information session or some type of learning forum, then your people need a table. They need to be able to write something down and be able to scribe their notes. Right? If you’re hosting a TED talk, for example, coordinating a conference of some kind that’s going to be videotaped. Then you need to have a place, a session, a room where the input where things are quiet. Right? So that you can record and you’ll be able to share things efficiently and effectively once it’s on video. And Godsakes. Consider the parking! Which brings me to the agenda and a very common rookie mistake. Do not tell your attendees exactly what time things are supposed to happen at your event. Create an internal run of show. This is a moment by moment timeline of the event for you and your staff. Events are supposed to be fun and smooth. And you know what? If your attendees think something is going to happen at 7:15 and it’s 7:35. And the thing doesn’t happened. You’re going to hear murmurs of complaints and anxiety. And that’s not good because it’s not fun and it’s not smooth. Under-promise and overdeliver. Be able to set clear expectations between you and your attendees. If it’s a networking event, then make sure that you have a plan for that. If it’s speed networking, a book signing, a guest appearance, anything of that nature makes sure that you follow through on that promise that you made in your invitation to your audience. And one of the things that I have to emphasize, especially being here in Miami. My expectation is that no event ever starts on time so we can throw that one out the window. The other part of that, though, is that the event ends when it says it’s going to end very key because your audience is depending and following your guidance. That means that they probably made other plans based on when the event will end. They made baby sitter plans, all different types of things. So you want to keep that integrity and follow through on that. Also, if you have a dress code for your event. If you’re asking for your people to dress a certain way, then you yourself are the people who are making the event should also follow through with that dress code so that your people are not uncomfortable. You don’t want to have a costume party and then at the last minute decide that it’s a black tie. For example, you want your people to be comfortable and for the expectations to be met. People like feeling part of something bigger. Traditions are a great way to create a community within your people, whether it’s an industry event, a book club signing, a mommy and me event, no matter what it is. Having a traditional way that you welcome your people, that you make announcements or an activity, a handshake, something that brings everyone together is really special. One of the things that we do Flourish Media is that we are very much known for giving out pins. Whenever you make a donation to our Behind The Leaf nonprofit, we give you a pin and myself. My book, Stumbling Through Adulthood, when you purchase a copy in person, I give you a pin. One of the other things is that we’re known for photography. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen professionals who have attended our events use our photos from the event as their profile pictures or when they’re going to be speaking at something or they’re highlighted inside of a magazine. It really brings joy to my face and to my mind, my heart to see that these photos really mean something to our audience. And the double effect of that is that when they share their photos, we get more exposure. Tell your guests what you want them to do. You brought all these people together under one common goal, right? One industry, one mission. And now it’s your privilege and really your responsibility to tell them what you want them to do now. So they’re there at the event and you want them to use a hashtag or post things on social media. It’s your responsibility to tell them what to post and where to post it. If you’re going to launch a new product or service, make sales or gather the information you need to use later. If it’s a book club event, then you want to make sure that you talk to your people about what is the next book they want to read. And this is a gathering for your organization. Then talk to them about open items and expectations, get their feedback while you have them in the room. And you know what? If you have a gathering for your nonprofit, then get those donations. That’s it. Those are my six must haves for perfect, smooth and fun networking event. Now, if you feel like I missed something, you can tell me in the comments or you can follow me on social media. I am @VivianOlo alow on all the platforms my company flourish, media plans live activations for brands like yours. So if you’d like to get help plan your next event, reach out. There are fun and free downloads down in the description box where you can take advantage of all of those different links. Go ahead and check them out. Hit the like button. Hit the subscribe button. If you like videos like this, tell me so that I can make more. And if you’d like to know more about something that I’ve mentioned in this video, let me know. Again, thank you so much for watching. I hope you found this information useful. And I will see you next time. Bye bye. Are you still here? Well, I picked out some videos that you may find useful. Go ahead and click on those and keep on binge watching. And since you’re watching. You might as well go ahead and subscribe like. And then click on the video in front of you. You know, you want to.