Wanted to give you an update on how my solopreneur networking event went last Thursday night.
Especially since I switched up the format a bit, so I was curious to see if the attendees liked the two new elements that I added in.
Most of my networking events are focused on one thing: bringing people together so they can make meaningful connections with new, cool people.
But I also take feedback after every single one and try to improve it over time. And based on suggestions from the last event, I added in 2 new activities. Would they be accepted and enjoyed by all?
Only time would tell…
Thursday night, the event started as normal. People showed up ontime, everyone started hanging out and introducing themselves, and at 7pm we started the “formal” part of the event.
This meant getting into groups of 4 (that I created ahead of time, so I could group people with who I think they’d enjoy connecting with the most) and have a solopreneur mastermind session.
This gives each of the 4 people 10 minutes on the “hot seat”, where they can introduce themselves, explain what they’re working on and ask the other 3 for advice, tips, introductions, etc. It’s a lot of fun, and I also time this section with a stopwatch to make sure everyone gets their 10 minutes of fame. It also means you usually leave the event with at least 3 new great connections.
After the 40 minutes was up, we had my first new segment – the 30 second pitch – where I give everyone the chance to stand up infront of the entire group and give a 30 second pitch about who they are, what they do and who they’d love to meet.
This was a great suggestion from the last event, because it gave people the chance to pitch themselves to people who were not in their mastermind group – brilliant!
I’d say about 65% of the attendees did the pitch, which was great and I didn’t want to put pressure on anyone who wasn’t comfortable enough to do it.
It’s all in an effort to bring people together, but not push anyone too far out of their comfort zone.
Anyway, it went very well.
After we did all of our networking and 30-second pitches, we started the second half of the event.
By heading to a nearby bar!
This was recommended the last time I ran the event, because unfortunately we cannot serve booze in our current venue.
Well, I guess I could try, but that would require getting some sort of license that I simply don’t have the time or energy to look into.
The formal part of the networking is a lot of fun, but there’s no doubt that hanging in a more casual environment with a drink or two is a more casual, different vibe as well.
If anything, it helps people relax and open up a bit too, and was a really fun way to end the night.
A good chunk of the attendees stuck around and seemed to enjoy the bar too, so I think it’s a part of the event that will stick around. So there’s something to say for having a more formal, structured part to an event, but also offsetting it with a more casual, chill vibe as well.
Use this as you will!
Have a great day, don’t miss out on my daily solopreneur updates here, and keep grinding.