A successful B-CC Chamber networking event consists of three key ingredients:
- Host: the provider of the location and setting for the event. The Host sets the stage for a successful event.
Sponsor: the host/hostess of the event and guests. Sponsors provide information regarding their products and services to inform and educate attendees.
Event Attendees: they are decision makers, Board Members, administrators, service providers, chamber members and prospective members; people you do business with and people you want to do business with.
Each part is equally important to the overall success of the event for everyone. Just as there are three key ingredients to a successful event, there are three networking events that the Chamber regularly offers, including:
Business Networking Breakfast - Member Lunch - Business After-Hours
While these events are similar in networking opportunities, they are very different in style. All offer time for the host and sponsor to speak and attendees have a chance to win door prizes. The following guidelines are based on key ingredients and the unique style of each networking event.
Power Networking Breakfast
This monthly event is typically held on the first Thursday of the month. Attendance ranges from 30 to 60 people. The event begins at 7:45 a.m. and concludes at 9:30 a.m., although people often begin arriving at 7:30 a.m. for coffee and pre-breakfast networking. The typical format for the breakfast includes a double-sided buffet and tables that accommodate a minimum of 8 - 10 people in order to maximize networking opportunities. During breakfast, the emcee gives opening remarks and invites the host and sponsor to each deliver a 3 - 5 minute presentation. After breakfast, formal networking rounds commence with the emcee guiding attendees through three rounds during which attendees count off and switch tables to make more contacts. After the final round, the emcee makes announcements and draws for door prizes. Different members serve as emcees each month as the role provides an opportunity for leadership and visibility.
The Host: To be a successful Power Networking Breakfast host you should be able to offer large tables for 8 to 10 people and have ample area for a double-sided buffet area (opening up around 8:00 - 8:10). A sample buffet menu would include scrambled eggs, sausage/bacon, bagels, cream cheese, butter and preserves, assorted breakfast pastries, sliced fresh fruit, regular & decaf coffee, hot tea and orange juices. Coffee and juice should be available at a station separate from the buffet promoting easy access for those who arrive early to network before breakfast begins. We also need two registration tables set up by the entrance, a small trashcan, and a microphone (if you have one). You will have 3 to 5 minutes to greet the crowd once they are seated and talk about your location, upcoming specials and events or perhaps a special feature you offer (ex. a private room, catering etc.) It is suggested you offer a door prize as a way to encourage an attendee to have another positive experience in your establishment.
If you have free or reduced parking it is appreciated. In any case, please inform the chamber staff ahead of time about parking requirements so that event attendees can be advised.
The Sponsor: This is the perfect sponsorship if you like to talk to a large group of people, want five minutes of undivided attention to promote and market your business, and enjoy giving a one minute “elevator speech” three times to 21 + people. Door prizes and/ or a gift for each attendee are recommended. Table space will be provided for you to display promotional literature. You will be provided two complimentary breakfasts as a part of your sponsorship. Cost is $275.
Event Attendees: This event is for the early morning enthusiast who likes direct contact with potential clients and enjoys giving a one minute “elevator speech” three times to 21 + people. Plan to bring lots of business cards to distribute during your three networking rounds. Please refrain from passing out marketing literature, as this is the host and sponsor’s event to promote their business with peripheral materials, not the attendees. Be sure to collect business cards from others and follow up with those whom you meet!
Monthly Member Lunch
The Monthly Member Lunch is from noon. to 1:30 p.m. and is typically held on the third Thursday of the month. Attendance is approximately 30 to 50 people. Attendees network at their lunch tables and the host and sponsor give brief presentations while the food is being prepared. Door prizes and announcements are given at the end of the meal.
The Host: The attendees arrive and wish to leave at the same time so adequate wait staff for a party of this size is essential. Attendees would like to finish at 1:25 p.m. or sooner, so it works best if the following schedule is followed:
- Everyone is seated in tables with 6 – 8 people
- Orders are taken (12:10)
- Food is served (12:35 – 12:40)
- We do our presentation (while food is prepared)
It is imperative that you prepare and serve the food 20-25 minutes after the orders are taken.
Luncheon menu selection should include no more than three entrees (that can be made quickly and easily because of the time) and a pre-set beverage (ex. ice water on the tables or pitchers of ice tea or soda with glasses pre-set with ice.) Tables should seat 6 - 8 people with adequate space for the servers to move between them. Please set one extra table that can be used for late arrivals. We also need two registration tables set up by the entrance, a small trashcan, and a microphone (if you have one). You will have approximately 3 - 5 minutes to welcome members and guests and say a few words about your business/company. The Chamber will bring door prizes for the event; however, if you would like to give away coupons and/or small gift bags for everyone, or give a gift certificate to be used as a door prize, it’s an excellent opportunity to promote your establishment! Parking is a consideration to those unable to walk or metro to the event, so information previous to the event is essential.
The Sponsor: This event is for you if you like talking about your business in a relaxed, casual setting, have associates that like to help tell people about what you do, and want to have a “more in-depth” conversation with those at your lunch table. You will have a display table at the entrance to place materials along with the opportunity to address the group for five minutes. A funny story, an anecdote or an interesting aspect of your business always proves both entertaining and informative. A small gift or memento for each guest reminds them of an enjoyable experience long after the lunch is over. Two complementary lunches are included in your sponsorship. Cost is $300.
The Event Attendee: Lunch attendees should enjoy eating in relaxed surroundings, participating in interesting, in-depth conversations, meeting prospective clients, and/ or connecting with those they already know. This event offers a relaxed and informal setting to network and is great for those who may be on the shy side or just want to know people a little better. As with other networking events, attendees should bring business cards, but refrain from passing out other marketing literature, as this is the host and sponsor’s event. Be sure to collect business cards from those people you meet and wish to follow up with.
This event, usually held on the second Thursday of the month, is the most relaxed and casual of the Chamber’s networking events as it is an opportunity to unwind, relax and meet new business contacts or connect with those you already know. After-hours events begin at 5:00 p.m. and conclude at 6:30 p.m. with an average of 60 to 80 people attending. The event is loosely structured with the only set format being the brief remarks by the host and sponsor.
The Host: You should provide adequate space for a large number of people to freely move about and network with easy access to beverage service. Beverages should be provided at a lower (happy hour price) or at no cost, with an assortment of complementary appetizers. There should be a few seats available, but the main group will stand. People should be able to converse freely with a minimum of background noise. Restrooms should be easily accessible and clearly marked. Two registration tables should be placed by the entrance along with a small trashcan, and a microphone (if you have one). You will have approximately 3 - 5 minutes to welcome and address the crowd, informing them about your business and promoting upcoming events or specials.
The Sponsor: This event is a great opportunity to showcase the products and services your business offers. While you have five minutes to address the crowd, attendees enjoy casually networking with the sponsor. If you have co-workers, this is the perfect opportunity for them to “work the crowd” and meet new business contacts. As always, a give-away or door prize keeps your name remembered long after the event. Cost is $275.
The Event Attendees: Attendees should enjoy a casual atmosphere for making new acquaintances and business contacts while reconnecting with those they already know. This event allows for minimum structure and maximum networking visibility. Bring lots of business cards, but please refrain from passing out your own marketing materials. We encourage you to collect business cards and follow up with those whom you have the pleasure of meeting.
For more information about the Chamber’s events and to get placed on our events schedule, contact Gloria Arnold at [email protected] or call 301-652-4900.