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Hosting a network event?  Here's how to make them remember you
Graham Hawkes
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Hosting a network event? Here's how to make them remember you

Recently I went to a networking event which was extremely well put together by the hosts for the evening.  There was a great presentation on their business and their forward strategies plus a special offer at the end for those who wished to contact them for an appointment.  It was a good offer, the presentation was extremely professional as was everything else to do with the event.

 

In my opinion though, they lost a great opportunity.  Nothing was handed out to the attendees as a reminder to call the company, and in fact when I personally wanted to call them I had to google their website to get a contact number.  If you are going to host a networking event then you must, must, must give the participants something to take away to remember you by.  It is not enough to give a professional presentation as there are many other businesses out there willing to snap up your business the minute any prospect shows an interest. 
So if you intend to host a networking event feel free to give me a call if you want some assistance in putting the presentation together, and some ideas on how to get them to remember you.

 

I hosted a networking evening 25 years ago and people still remember me from that event.  Twice in the last month complete strangers have come up to me and said ‘aren’t you Graham Hawkes?’ And in both cases they were people who attended a promotional evening which I hosted some 25 years ago for approximately 300 people. At the time they were members of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce which organised Business after 5 networking events, and had at that stage around 10,000 members. So why would these two people remember me?

 

 In both cases I had to admit that I did not remember them but they explained that I was easy to remember because on the night in question I had given them a $1 note. 
And then the penny dropped.  It’s what Australian marketing guru Winston Marsh calls ‘tangiblising the benefit’. Most people who hosted the networking events offered some kind of discount (and still do). But what I decided to do as part of my presentation was to give each person a $1 note because it was the eve of that note going out of existence. So I went to the bank and ordered a quantity of crispy clean notes and gave everybody who attended one of them inside my brochure.

 

The two people who spoke to me in the last month have not been the only ones who have done so over the last 25 years. Many others who attended have come up to me and thanked me again. And not only do they remember that I gave them something but they also remember my line of business. Some of them have become my clients, and I know that they and others have referred people to me as a result of that presentation because they remembered that I did something out of the ordinary.

 

That promotion cost me less than $1000 - what a great investment for a 15-year lasting impression. So next time you are thinking of giving something away to promote your business make sure it is a little different, and make sure it is something that people can look at and remember where it came from. There is no other type of advertising that will give you a return like that.

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