Organising a networking event in London
London is one of the best places in the world to hold business events. As well as being a vibrant city, it's an important hub for business and commerce, making it an ideal location for networking events.
Here are three reasons why you should host your next networking event in London:
- There are plenty of networking venues in London to choose from
From small venues for a handful of people to large halls, there's something for every budget and size. Whether you're planning a private function or a big public event, you can find a venue that works.
- London is the capital of UK business
The City, as London's financial district is known, has been an important centre of commerce since Roman times. It's home to many major banks and financial institutions as well as some of the world's biggest international companies and brands.
Given it’s the capital of England and the UK it’s no wonder the transport links are excellent. Whether your guests are coming from outside of London or if you’re situated there it’ll be easy for everyone to attend.
Planning and executing a networking event
When planning a networking event you should always start out with making your guest list as networking is all about who's attending. When you know this you can pick your venue accordingly.
Send out the invitations, talk to people and make sure they know that they are invited and will be definitely attending.
It's always good if you can get some sponsors for the event, this way you can save on costs since a lot of things are going to cost money including the food and drinks, equipment, decorations and other things. Sponsors can help with this by providing some of these amenities for free or at a greatly discounted price.
Once you have your guest list sorted out make sure that the venue is big enough to accommodate them, but not too big so as to make it look empty. Pick a place that is easy to find and where there is plenty of parking space for everyone. You should also ensure that there is enough seating available.
To make sure that everyone gets the chance to mingle, set up different tables so that people aren't sitting in their cliques but with strangers instead. This should make it easier for people to talk and get introduced to new people which is what networking is all about!
How to help people mingle at networking events
Walking into a room full of people you don't know can be intimidating. Some people are shy, and others may feel like a networking event is just a waste of time because they've been to ones before where they've not actually made any valuable contacts.
Hosting a networking event can be stressful, but it doesn't need to be. There are a few simple things you can do to ensure everyone has a good time and actually meet the right people at your networking event.
To help you get started, here are three things that you can add to your next networking event in order to help people with those new connections.
Name tags. It may seem obvious, but name tags might be the most important component of your event. People often don't feel comfortable approaching other people they don’t know, and having a name tag makes this initial step much easier.
Workshops and activities that work as icebreakers. Getting to know new people is usually easier when there’s an activity involved, and workshops or classes can provide these opportunities in a non-threatening way. For example, you could have papercraft lessons, cooking classes or dance lessons to help people get to know each other while working on something together. Your imagination is the limit here.
Seminars that help people get curious about each other. If you don’t want to host workshops at your event, consider hosting seminars or keynote speeches instead. These events will make people talk about the topics discussed during or after the speech or seminar finishes and might even lead to new business opportunities for some of them.
Our favourite venues in London for networking events
Meeting new people is an essential part of networking, so you want to make sure your event provides plenty of opportunities for people to mingle. But with so many venues in London, where do you start? Here are a few of our favourite venues in London for hosting a networking event.
Enrica Rocca Cookery School – The Cookery School in Ladbroke Grove has been created by Enrica Rocca, one of Italy’s most renowned chefs. The focus is on fresh produce and the best ingredients available, giving you a true taste of authentic Italian cuisine. This is the perfect activity to help break down barriers between attendees.
House of Transformation – Situated in Haggerston, House of Transformation is a fun event space and workspace that will be sure to spark interesting conversation. It’s perfect for all kinds of events including workshops and seminars, as well as networking events for smaller groups (there’s room for up to 40 people standing).
PANTECHNICON – If you’re looking for a venue with a bit more character, then PANTECHNICON is the place for you. It’s a collection of spaces that sit in and alongside its restaurant and bar spaces. This is the place to go for classy interiors and a chance to impress all guests.
Booking a venue for a networking event
VenueScanner is venue booking made simple. All you have to do is scroll through these options of networking venues and use the heart icon on each venue you like to shortlist it. When you have a good number of venues you like you send out all enquiries at the same time from your shortlisted venues. This way you’re saving both time and money.
If you want more venues you can have a look at meeting venues in London or party venues in London. You can also try to narrow down your search to just networking venues in for example Shoreditch or Holborn. If you have any other questions we’re happy to answer all of them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For corporate events, our concierge service is always happy to give you a helping hand with your entire venue search. They can even help you book catering and entertainment. It’s all completely free of charge and 100% transparent.