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5 Tips for the Most Effective Ways to Network

A new study by scientists at Loughborough University (UK) – in partnership with Imago Venues (the university’s conference and events arm) – has revealed the most effective ways to network.

Based on the research findings by Loughborough University and Imago Venues, here are five suggestions for conference and meeting organizers to make networking easier for delegates:

  1. Design the social room: Small standing tables provide useful resources for people to create interactional circles.
  1. Provide slightly fewer tables than are required by the number of delegates This to encourage movement around the social room.
  1. Create some open space, to permit spontaneous creation of, and movement in and out of, interactional circles, independently of tables.
  1. Ensure there is more than one queue for food/drinks. This is not just because it is a good service, but also because it creates opportunities for a brief, escapable or continuable, encounters.
  1. Name-badges create different opportunities and should be thought through more carefully. If the delegates are likely to know each other already, make the name large enough to read. This will aid poor memories.

Consider color coding the badges – as with lanyards – so that delegates can identify other delegates from sponsors. Remember that hard-to-read name badges, while in some ways a bad thing, also create a ready resource for people to start a conversation (e.g., “What’s your name – I can’t see your badge!”).

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