Special Events
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10 tips for improved networking at events and meetings

Even experienced planners do not always make the most of networking opportunities for attendees at their events. To improve networking, Sharon Fisher of Orlando, Fla.-based Play with a Purpose, shared 10 ideas at the IMEX America, held last week in Las Vegas:

DYI name tags: Set out markers, stickers, bling, etc., and let attendees loose at a make-your-own nametag station. Ask attendees to write what they are hoping to take away from the conference on the back. The custom badges are great conversation starters, says Fisher, and the stations are an easy sponsorship sell because the sponsor gets a chance to chat with attendees as they design.

Focus the first-timer’s reception on the first-timers: Many organizations use a first-timer’s reception to introduce the board or other senior executives, but Fisher believes the time is better spent talking about how newcomers can make the most of the meeting and finding ways to introduce people to one another. One simple game she suggests is “Commonalities,” in which attendees are split into small groups and asked to come up with things they all have in common--MeetingsNet

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