Associations, corporations, and professional networking groups are focused on enhancing networking opportunities for their members more than ever before.
A rapidly emerging networking group within these organizations has been designed specifically to connect women together. As women continue to progress in career growth, their respective organizations are embracing their continued development and bringing like-minded individuals together to share industry knowledge, build peer-to-peer relationships, mentoring, and much more.
So, when searching for women’s networking event ideas, it’s important to ensure the event is designed to connect attendees in an effective way.
Or, more specifically, to connect attendees who share similar interests. The good news is, there are a few ways to make your networking events more memorable (and meaningful) than the usual cocktail mixer or coffee break.
Structured Networking Event Formats:
1. Speed networking:
Connect your attendees in a strategic way with structured speed networking. Structured networking events often make networking feel more meaningful and productive instead of just a time for socializing. Structured networking events like speed networking also increase the quantity and quality of connections.
With advanced matching software! When matching software is used, attendees can select the types of professionals they want to meet before the event even starts – meaning they can choose how interested they are in meeting with other women with specific job titles, experience, interests within the industry, and any other categories you can think of.
This way, each meeting is more targeted and strategic rather than random. Here’s how it works. We’ll help set up a customized registration landing page, where attendees will fill out a quick & easy online survey. In this survey, they can choose how interested they are in meeting other women from a set of customizable matching categories.
After registration ends, we’ll let our advanced algorithm do what it does best: create customized schedules for each attendee that matches them with other like-minded individuals.
The best part? You are able to see the quality of connections before the event even starts, giving you peace-of-mind that it will be a success. We call it smart.
2. Roundtable discussions:
Everyone has heard of (or maybe even participated in) roundtable discussions. It’s a meeting format that is widely recognized as a way to bring people together to solve problems, share ideas, and discuss industry trends. However, meeting planners sometimes underestimate the value in offering roundtables as a networking option. They can seem too academic feeling, or outdated even.
If that’s how you’ve been feeling, allow us to present you with another option: targeted roundtables. Targeted roundtables allow you to strategically seat your attendees with the touch of a button. Say goodbye to hours upon hours trying to manually seat your attendees. Let our software group your participants around specific interests, industries, experience, geographical location, and more.
In addition to elevating networking experience and effectiveness, targeted roundtables can also be used for other types of events including things like luncheons, dinners, welcome receptions, team building activities, workshops, and more.
Once you’ve decided on a networking event format that suits your needs, it’s time to start thinking about your networking event objective. When it comes to considering different women’s networking event ideas, ask yourself: what is it that you’re trying to help your attendees achieve?
Do you want them to form connections with women who are at similar points in their careers? Or do you want to start a mentorship program? Two of the most popular event formats we see are peer-to-peer events and mentor-mentee events. Here’s a little bit more about how each of these event formats come together.
Offering peer-to-peer networking events is one of the best ways to help your attendees make meaningful connections within their industry. Connecting women who are at similar points in their careers can lead to higher quality of connections and allow them to better share experiences, bounce ideas, discuss challenges, and form alliances.
4. Mentor-mentee events:
Mentor-mentee event formats are designed to pair professionals who have some experience under their belt with attendees who are hoping to gain more knowledge or experience. It doesn’t matter what point you’re at in your career; having a mentor is such an important part in continuing to grow in your career. And mentoring a younger or less experienced professional can be one of the more rewarding relationships you can have as a woman in business.
So, not only do mentor-mentee events benefit the mentees, they also benefit the company and/or organization the mentors are representing.
Some of the most common key benefits of having a mentor/mentee program include increased productivity, leadership development, and higher job satisfaction. And why is this so important?
Well, increased levels of productivity translates to increased company profitability. And when employees get a chance to mentor, they are encouraged and empowered to take more leadership roles. And more leadership leads to more loyalty. And more loyalty often means more dedication towards making a difference in an organization.
So, now that you know a little more about different event formats and event objectives, it’s time to start narrowing down your women’s networking event ideas. Each organization is different, but you really can’t go wrong with more structured and strategic networking opportunities.
If you have any other ideas, let us know! We’re always searching for new and exciting ways to make this world a more connected place.