How to Create a Successful Business Networking Event in Bristol

Networking events come and go, but here at Leigh Court, we've been holding successful business networking events for years. Here's how!

At Leigh Court, as the HQ of Business West, we proudly host the Business West Chambers of Commerce Business Breakfast . This successful monthly event brings together members from the Bristol, Bath, Gloucestershire, and Wiltshire Chambers of Commerce. Each month, we host over 100 businesses in our Great Hall and Library. But what’s our secret to success?

Here are our top 10 tips for helping clients create a successful networking event at Leigh Court.

What are your objectives of the networking event?

      Clearly outline the goals of your networking event. Are you aiming to facilitate new business relationships, create an industry knowledge exchange, or promote collaboration? Understanding your objectives will guide your planning process and help you with your marketing and welcome address on the day.

      Who is your audience?

      Tailor your event to the needs and preferences of your target audience. Consider their industry, professional interests, and networking preferences. A well-suited event will attract a more engaged and receptive crowd. We find that at Leigh Court we attract professional businesses and their owners or staff, due to the prestigious nature of our venue.

      What kind of venue would be correct for the focus of the event?

      Selecting the right venue is crucial. Ensure it aligns with the size of your guest list and offers an atmosphere conducive to networking. Consider factors like accessibility, amenities, and ambiance to create a positive first impression.

      What is on your agenda?

      Develop a well-thought-out agenda that balances structured networking sessions with informal opportunities for interaction. Include icebreaker activities, panel discussions, and ample time for open networking to cater to different preferences.

      Do you need to provide ice breaking activities or pitch time?

      Help attendees break the ice with engaging activities. From themed networking games to interactive sessions, providing structured opportunities for people to connect can set a positive tone for the event. We find these days that fun ice breakers go further than just 60 second pitches!

      What kind of technology do you need?

      Leverage event technology to streamline the networking process. Mobile apps, event platforms, and digital tools can enhance communication, allow for pre-event networking, and facilitate easy information exchange. Many business professionals are utilising the use of the LinkedIn connection facility these days, so don’t forget to add instructions on how to do this, as well as wi-fi passwords if necessary.

      Do you need speakers or industry experts to talk?

      Incorporate informative and relevant content into your event. Guest speakers, industry experts, or panel discussions can add value to the networking experience, making your event more appealing to professionals seeking insights.

      Do you need to create a memorable event by utilising other networking formats?

      Offer various networking formats to cater to different preferences. Mix structured sessions, like speed networking, with casual opportunities for mingling. This diversity ensures attendees can connect in ways that suit their comfort levels.

      Do you need to wow your guests with good refreshments?

      The importance of good food and drinks at networking events cannot be overstated. Ensure your catering aligns with the preferences and dietary restrictions of your audience, fostering a positive and comfortable atmosphere.

      How can you entice attendees to follow up?

      Help attendees maintain the connections they’ve made by providing tools for follow-up. Ensure attendees share contact information where applicable, encourage social media engagement, and consider creating a post-event platform where participants can continue conversations.

      If you are looking for more information on curating a successful networking event (or workshop, corporate presentation or staff day) at Leigh Court, let our dedicated event coordinators help you.