TIPS for Hosting an After Hours Networking Event
An After Hours Networking event is a networking party for members! It's a great way to showcase your business for 50-150 members and guests.
Hosting an After Hours Networking event gives members an opportunity to network and socialize in a fun, relaxed atmosphere after the regular working day. The event it meant to be fun and is a great way for businesses to connect.
As the host of an AHN event, you get a very valuable opportunity to showcase your business. The event is free to attendees, and we typically get between 50-100 members to an AHN.
To host this event, you must be at the Connected ($849) level of membership or higher. We typically do five or six of these events each year, mostly in the Spring and Fall.
AHN hosts are responsible for supplying appetizers, beer, wine, and non-alcoholic drinks (juices, soda, and/or water). The host is also responsible for providing two door prizes for the event, from their business or partner business.
Here are a few things to consider when hosting an AHN event.
- Remember this is your opportunity to showcase your business while providing a fun and relaxed atmosphere for Chamber members to network. This is not a sales seminar – members come to socialize, see their friends, and make new ones.
- It’s very hard to know exactly how many people will come to an AHN. We stopped asking for RSVP’s years ago because people wouldn’t commit. Still, we consistently have between 50-100. It’s better to plan for a bigger crowd than to not have enough refreshments.
- Invite your own customers – the more the merrier! Let your customers know you are hosting this for the Parker Chamber of Commerce and perhaps they will want to learn more about the chamber, too! Invite your vendors, family members, neighbors, and employees. If you have other locations for your business, invite the employees who work at those locations, also.
- If possible, please purchase food/beverages from restaurants and/or catering companies that are members of the Parker Chamber of Commerce. A staff member can make suggestions.
- Please have a table and two chairs available for the Chamber staff to use as a check-in table near the entrance. You might also wish to put out some of your marketing materials at a table nearby!
- Other chamber members may be interested in partnering with you to host this event which can help alleviate your costs. You may want to consider asking your major vendors/partners or commercial neighbors to contribute by providing door prizes or giveaways.
- Most importantly, let us know what you are planning, such as a special promotion or drawing so we are able to better promote the event in advance. Guests are more likely to come to a party when they know there will be great food, entertainment (if you choose), and fun people!
On the day of your event, a staff member from the Chamber of Commerce will arrive to set up the check in area between 4:00-4:30pm. The event will begin at 5:00pm, with guests checking in at the Chamber of Commerce table. This is where we will promote the door prizes and collect the business cards for all attendees. A list of guests is available to you after the event.
At 6, a representative of the Chamber will introduce you, the host business, and hold door prize drawings. This is an opportunity to engage with the crowd and give a quick summary of your business, introduce your team, thank attendees, and recognize any other vendors or businesses that participated and/or donated items for this event.
Unless the business will be providing facility tours, the remainder of the evening is dedicated to attendee networking. Sometimes a host will have games or other activities to engage attendees. If your business has corporate gift merchandise (hats! pens! cups! whatever!) you might hand those out to participants as they leave.
AHN events are scheduled at least three months in advance. Events are scheduled on Thursday evenings from 5:00-7:00pm. Another evening may be available upon request.
Questions? Call Galia at 303-841-4268 or email her HERE.