Hosting a Networking Event

Networking events have been very popular for many years and serve many purposes. From the evening cocktail party, happy hour, or the Saturday morning breakfast, networking events are a popular way to meet new people and make new connections. If you are interested in hosting your own networking event, here are a few steps to plan your own networking event:

1. Determine the Purpose for the Event: It is important to determine the purpose and set the expectations before moving forward. Are you looking to gain more contacts? Do you want to advertise a new business idea or product? Are you aiming to build a network amongst your friends and/or associates while allowing them to gain more contacts? Do you want to build brand identity for your self or company. Are you looking to gain career opportunities? Determining your purpose will also help as you identify a venue, guest list and menu.

2. Select a Venue: After you have determined the purpose of your event, its time to find a venue. You want to make sure that the venue selected fits the purpsose of your event and the guests you wish to invite. For a younger audience you may want to try a trendy restaraunt or lounge. An event attended by upper management level professionals may be best served at a museum, hotel or vacant office. A new restaraunt in your area may sponsor your event at no cost to gain exposure. You may also be able to persuade your boss to sponsor the event at your office inexchange for a plug from the podium.

3. Menu: Depending on the time of day, the menu may consist of anything from crossaints, fresh fruit and quiches for breakfast, sandwhiches for lunch or appetizors and mixed drinks for an after five event. You may not want serve anything too heavy. Finger foods always work well because it allows people to walk and talk while munching.

4. Music: This too depends on the type of event and time of day. Some events have music, some do not. If you do decide to play music, do not choose slections that are too mellow or too hyper. You also do not want to it be too loud. It may drown out conversation. You want to assure that you encourage an evironment that allows for great conversation and mingling.

5. Activities: To add to your event, you can choose from activities such as wine tasting, casino night, speed networking, having a special guest speak or a cocktail party. An ice breaker may also be a great way to start off and warm up the crowd. You may also want to consider hosting a drawing during your event. You can encourage companies and individuals to sponsor giveaways to be raffled during the event. This will keep it fun and interesting.

Finally, make sure you invite people that are interested in networking and can gain and contribute to your event. Stay organized as you plan and have fun. Happy Networking!

You Need The Gown of Your Dreams, Like Carrie Bradshaw

Have you been looking for that one special gown unlike any others that makes the statement that you desire? If so, come to our Summer Fashion Show. We will feature wedding gowns from major designers to local designers. We will also have evening gowns, tuxedos, suits and other special occassion attire. Don't miss this opportunity to get the attire that you need to make a splash at your next event. Stay tuned for further details.....

Five Ways to Assure Your House Party is a Succes

1. Assure the Food is Plentiful. The best parties I have ever attended were the ones with a lot of good food. If you throw a party at your home, make sure food is available as soon as the guests walk through the door. Serve appetizers prior to the main course. After the main course, place miniature sized deserts in fancy trays around the house so that people can snack as they chat.

2. Serve Signature Cocktails. Cocktails are so en vogue right now. Not only will they make for a good conversation piece for your guests but will also add a splash of color to your event. Try serving up a pink cosmo, lemonade cocktail, or a passion fruit mojito. Click here for some of your favorite cocktails recipes.

3. Play that Funky Music. Everybody loves music. Music can set the tone for your event. If you have few extra bucks for your event you can splurge and hire an inexpensive DJ. If you are working with a leaner budget you can load up your ipod full of good tunes. Make sure you select songs that are fun, fit the occasion and will keep the party going.

4. Make Sure all Pets are Away. People tend to forget that some guests have allergies or just do not like animals. It's a great idea to store the pets away so that they will not stir up allergies or intimidate guests.

5. Be the Perfect Host/Hostess! What makes a good party is a good host. Be attentive to your guests needs. Have everything prepared in advance or hire a caterer so that you are not stuck in the kitchen with little time to mingle. You know your guests so try to introduce people to those that they may have something in common with. I have had many experiences in which I was able to network at a party because the host was able to connect me with someone that shared my interests. Also remember to speak with every guest during the party. Do not allow one person or group to monopolize the bulk of you time. Work the room and let everyone know you are there to assure they have a good time. Have fun and take plenty of pics for the album.

Unique Wedding Tip #1: Accent the Aisle

By the time a person reaches a certain age, they have probably attended and been a part of tons of weddings. Whether one wants to admit it or not, weddings will begin to seem all the same in that each has floral arrangements, centerpieces, tulle, corsages, flower girls, bridesmaids, cakes, and favors. Brides and Grooms are always asking me for ways to make their event different, unique and personal. One way to personalize your event is to add a custom aisle runner. The first time I saw a custom aisle runner I immediately thought, "what a unique idea!" It brings the bride and grooms personality to the forefront of the event. Custom aisle runners are, most of the time, made of fabric that includes some form of wording or color arrangement. It may include a passage the couple both enjoy, a portion of their vows, their monogram, their names, or it can be left blank and tinted with their wedding colors. The aisle runners are eye catching and make for great photos. They normally cost around $50 to $300 dollars depending on how much you personalize it. I will be adding more info on ways to personalize your event as this is my favorite part of the planning but this tip is by far one of my favorites.