As professionals, many of us can point to an individual or individuals who contributed to our business or personal success – maybe it was a sales lead that proved fruitful; a job tip that led to an exciting new career opportunity; insight into volunteer or community engagement opportunities; or sound business or professional advice that guided our decisions and career path.
Organized networking is one great way to grow and strengthen these key connections. CBICC Business After Hours events offer a way to do so in a casual atmosphere – while learning a little about Centre County’s dynamic business community in the process.
These events typically draw between100 to 150 attendees. However, with hundreds of CBICC members in Centre County and the surrounding area, we know there are more business people we have yet to meet! If you’ve never attended a Business After Hours, we encourage you to do so.
Here are some tips to help you make the most of the experience:
All employees are welcome
Since all employees of CBICC member businesses are eligible for member benefits, think about sending more of your team – new hires, existing employees that have moved into new roles, or even employees who just need to sharpen their interpersonal communications skills.
Bring a guest
Bring a client. Use the event as a backdrop to learn more about your client and introduce them to your partners in the business community.
Bring a perspective member, or, someone who is new in town.
More attendees mean more opportunities to make new connections.
Request an Ambassador
While the charge to “network more!” makes sense professionally and sounds easy, for some, walking into a roomful of strangers and striking up a conversation can be downright scary. But you can only eat so much cheese! At some point, you have to – gulp – talk to someone.
If you are one of those people, it’s OK. Many of us have been there (or hide it well.) We’ve got you covered!
CBICC Ambassadors – the goodwill arm of the Chamber – are available to help you navigate networking events. They can introduce you to other business professionals and help you feel more comfortable. Think of them as your personal Business After Hours security blanket! In no time you’ll be networking like a pro.
Contact the CBICC office
Contact our office if you are new to the Business After Hours event format, new to the CBICC, or plan to bring a perspective member to the event.
Be the hostess with the mostest
If you are hosting or considering hosting a Business After Hours, remember that the event is a chance for you to showcase your business.
Take advantage of your captive audience. Make sure attendees leave knowing a little more about your products and services. This is also a great time for people to learn more about how your business fits into the local economy.
There are plenty of creative ways to do so.
A popular idea is to create an event passport for attendees to complete in order to be eligible for the door prize drawing. This ensures that guests visit all departments, rooms or other co-hosting businesses.
Offer tours of your facility.
Offer hands-on demonstrations that showcase your products and services.
To help drive attendance, food and drink are always great draws. There are plenty of wonderful options to choose from within the CBICC membership. You can also consider offering activities when appropriate. Or, create a theme for your event. Who doesn’t love a great theme party?!
Now let’s put these tips to good use.
Join the CBICC for these upcoming Business After Hours events: March 14 at Timberland Federal Credit Union and March 28 at Pegula Ice Arena hosted by WJAC-TV.
Click here to view the full 2019 CBICC Business After Hours schedule.