One of the biggest potential headaches for the organisers of any networking event is to get the venue right. It needs to be in a suitable place, have a car park, be open at the time your event is to be held, able to provide suitable food and drink and also to actively want the continued custom of a networking group.
Networking is, or at least can be, somewhat cyclical and there will be times when the meetings are exceptionally well attended and others which can best be described as fallow periods.The aim is of course for the former situation to prevail but the owners or managers of the chosen venue need to take a long term view of the arrangement and not just work out the pounds, shillings and pence on a week to week basis.
The networkers will want to feel that their custom is valued and be happy and confident in inviting their guests to the venue. They won’t take kindly to too much change or the idea that they are of less importance than other customers, especially if these are not regular users of the facilities.
So, it’s as well for the organisers to keep the relationship ticking over nicely. These days it is actually surprising how many restaurants and hotels don’t really seem to want networking business. To us it seems strange that this should be the case but perhaps it has to do with the alternative uses to which the room could be put. At the end of the day though, networkers are pretty loyal people and if things go well they will stay put. Why look for difficulties where none exist?
What we all want is a good sense of association with the place we have chosen and value for money in terms of the regular meeting fee.
At TLGC, we are fortunate to have found some excellent venues with whom we have a great relationship and where we have kept our business for lengthy periods. So if you have a restaurant, hotel or pub and receive an approach from a networking club, treat it with enthusiasm as it could really pay off in the long run, even if it starts in a small way.