When preparing your staff for a company networking event, make sure to fill them in on who will be attending. It will be easier for them to anticipate the types of conversations they will have with clients or potential clients if they have some background information.
Knowing who will be attending also allows you to make sure every client or prospect receives attention during the event.
Prepare them with talking points
Depending on the audience, there may be specific beneficial information that your staff should be sharing with the attendees. Prepare them with some ideas.
Make sure to mention any current, topic-appropriate accomplishments of the firm. This is a way to market your firm… make the most of it!
Also keep conversation light. You shouldn’t discuss business the entire time—make the conversation fun, entertaining and memorable. You also don’t want to monopolize one person’s time, so keep an exit strategy in mind. Exchange contact information, shake hands and find another prospective client.
Discuss appropriate attire with your staff
As discussed in a previous post on hosting an event , depending on the location of your event, attire may differ.
Make sure that your staff knows what you expect in terms of dress. This will benefit the firm, because everyone will look great, but it also affects the staff member. If they are comfortable and dressed appropriately, they are more likely to feel more comfortable in conversation as well.
Discuss eating and drinking etiquette
Proper etiquette is essential when mingling with clients or potential clients. Make sure that your staff knows to use a napkin at all times, take small bites and chew quickly so that you can talk.
Though these seem like things your staff should be aware of, you’d be surprised how quickly we forget things in social settings! Make sure your staff knows how much you expect (or don’t expect) them to drink in this type of setting ahead of time.
Bring networking materials
If you’re hosting an event for potential clients, don’t let your staff forget important items like business cards. These are essential for making connections that will last long after the event is over.
Preparing your staff for this type of event will make the networking more successful. By addressing some of these key points you’ll also be able to avoid many party mistakes—such as bad conversation or bad manners. Here’s to a successful event for your firm!
Are you planning your own networking events or retreat?
Heidi Dublin, Events Manager for CPAmerica International. As a part of the Events department, Heidi plans and organizes all of CPAmerica’s conferences, including the Marketing Roundtable, A&A Conference, Technology Roundtable, Leading Partner’s Retreat, Firm Administration Roundtable and Tax Conference.