How To Host Your Own Networking Event… Without Being Awkward

How to host your own networking event… without being awkward

How to host your own networking event

Everything’s better with cocktails. People are friendlier, more outgoing, and it’s easier to make connections. At Your Coffee Break we believe there’s nothing better than a good cocktail, except maybe a great pair of heels to wear when drinking said cocktail.

Wine o’clock and half-past a whiskey, are our favorite times of the day. Of course, all things in moderation. No one wants to talk to the girl sloshing her drink all over the CEO while rattling off a list of her accomplishments…loudly.

Tinsel & Twine, a NYC-based event planning company, recently shared a few tips with us to elevate your next networking event- to take it from a run of the mill happy hour meet-up to something spectacular.

First, to get people in the door they love the draw of an activity — especially one that builds instant teams. Inviting your guests for drinks at a billiard hall or to play shuffleboard guarantees no one will be left behind, like that lone white sock at the bottom of the dryer. It encourages conversation and you may even meet someone who shares your love of strong coffee and afternoon naps.

Another option is hosting a party with a mural or art installation where attendees can contribute to it throughout the party. Everyone gets to leave their mark on a unique piece of art. Taking that idea one step further, Tinsel & Twine recommends making the location an experience in itself by inviting guests to a wine tasting, on a tour of a whiskey distillery or taking a mixology class. This is the perfect way to mix business with pleasure and to pick up a few tips along the way.

Photo booths are a great equalizer and an easy way for strangers to become fast friends. Don’t forget the props! How can you not strike up a conversation with someone in a fake mustache and curly red wig? We love new photo booth concepts like slow-motion captures or aerial booths that require people to lie down for the shot.

With so many interesting spaces in London, we are always on the hunt for non-traditional places that can be transformed into unique networking settings. Cocktail events in libraries, barber shops, and posh fashion showrooms have a member’s only vibe. The intimate space lets people mingle yet discourages pairing off.

If the situation calls for nametags, we are big fans of prompting attendees to create ones that share their Instagram handle or a fun fact about themselves. Think Sex and the City, Miranda in her Weight Watchers class, “Hi my name is baby weight”. It’s an easier and fun way for people to get to know each other beyond a simple exchange of names, business cards, etc.

Additionally, it’s always good to remember that a good host plants the seeds of conversation then lets guests continue the connection organically. One way to do this is by starting off with something interesting or intriguing about the person, and let the conversation blossom into a connection.

Networking events are something people dread. Help make it fun and worthwhile with these tips from Tinsel & Twine. Even if you don’t make any connections, at the very least you’ll learn how to mix a new drink or created a work of art.

Stephanie George

Stephanie is a writer who enjoys traveling, red wine, chocolate and scary movies. In the mornings you can find her immersed in a large cup of coffee (Starbucks is her happy place) or practicing yoga. She is passionate about social media and fitness. You can follow her adventures via Instagram and Twitter @step_onmyknee or her blog: