Content refreshed for accuracy on 1/5/22.
If you want to continue building strong relationships, you need to know how to plan and host a successful business mixer. Building these productive relationships takes time, trust, and a mutual understanding.
What is a Business Mixer?
So, what is a business mixer you might ask? It’s an effective way to build relationships with members of your community. Hosting an event such as a business mixer is a great way to do this kind of networking.
Networking allows you to meet more like-minded people in the industry. These partners share similar goals: closing deals and finding people’s dream homes.
Communicating well with your partners and potential partners is important even beyond building your pipeline. A business mixer brings people together with a common interest and passion. This allows you to meet others and work with people you love, so networking benefits all parties involved.
Below are tips on how to host a successful business mixer.
Define the Purpose and Format the Event
The best networking events are those with a specific purpose. What is your area of focus? Creating a group for fellow loan officers and your partners provides the opportunity for many connections to be made. This planning helps to define the type of people you want to attend, but also what you want them to get out of the event.
This is your business mixer! You can decide if you want the event to be more structured or casual, and it depends on what works best for your audience and goals.
Additionally, the guests may already be familiar with one another or need more encouragement to mix and mingle. Know your audience and their relationships (or lack of!) to each other.
If you’re looking for an easy way to get people to connect, consider speed networking. Speed networking allows every participant to make a short introduction to one another. For a small group, you could organize a sit-down meal.
You can provide a prompt or a list of questions to help guide the conversation. By hosting a speed networking event, your guests are able to get exposure to new markets and leave with meaningful connections.
For larger numbers, your meeting could take the form of a professional workshop or talk. This gives participants an extra incentive to attend, and you could even facilitate networking around an activity.
Business mixers that feature a guest speaker are an easy way to spark a discussion among your attendees. It’s also a unique way for your guests to learn new skills while also forging new connections.
Budget Wisely and Choose Your Venue
You’ll probably need to spend some money on refreshments or a venue. Once you know what you want to offer at your event, then you will be able to outline your budget. Selling tickets or collecting RSVPs allows you to get a headcount and reduce no-shows. So, it’s important to have your guest list so you can plan accordingly and choose the proper venue.
Exciting venues can have a large impact on sign-ups. You could host the event at your own office, or even your members’ offices once your networking group is more established. This can create a fun, “behind-the-scenes” look.
Set the Date and Get the Word Out
When selecting a time and day, consider your guests and what may work best for them. Think about work hours, days of the week, travel time, and even childcare commitments. Invite anyone specific you’d like to attend with a personalized invitation.
Provide Entertainment for Your Guests
It’s important to entertain your guests and give them a reason to stay. But, attendees will be turned away if the day is full of non-stop activities.
So, instead of scheduling hours worth of games and live entertainment, allow the majority of the time for mingling. Holding a raffle with prizes distributed at the end is a great way to get people to stay longer. Or, you can host a silent auction to engage your guests without interfering with the main focus of the event.
After all, their goal is to build professional relationships that can help them with their business.
Follow-Up After Your Event
It is crucial to follow up after your mixer takes place. Implement an online community, and provide virtual networking and discussion opportunities. This lets you all continue to build your relationships.
So, don’t forget to send a follow-up email after the event. As the business mixer host, be sure to contact everyone who attended to say you enjoyed meeting them. Don’t forget to welcome any ideas for improving the event next time!
Another way to achieve this is by creating a group on Facebook or LinkedIn. That way, all of the attendees have an easy way to contact everyone that attended.
So, make sure you have a great follow-up strategy prepared for after the event. It’s crucial for building relationships and can solidify the connection which is exactly what you need to grow your business.
Virtual Business Mixer Ideas
With the continuous limitations of in-person socialization due to COVID-19 and the uncertainty of the Omicron Variant, your business mixer may need to be held virtually from the beginning. A successful virtual event can happen from your home office, bedroom, or kitchen.
This way, partners spread out in a larger geographic area can attend as well. Video calling on a program such as GoToMeeting, Zoom, or Facetime, are all great ways to host an event online. These may not be in-person, but conversations can still be had and connections can still be made. Lead with discussion topics and channel all you have learned from working remotely into your networking event.
By helping others make meaningful connections, you can boost your own career and success rate. As the host of a business mixer, you can build a relationship with every attendee. Help your partners in order to help yourself. Whether in-person or virtual, your networking event can be a major success!