Are you missing networking events? Getting dressed up and being in a room with other thought leaders and business owners can do amazing things for your own company and sanity! Not only can you learn from those who have been where you are (and where you may currently be stuck), but it’s invigorating to be around other people’s energy and I find myself leaving these events completely inspired and ready to take things to the next level.

We may not be ready for full-blown events where we’re literally rubbing shoulders with those in attendance, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still make meaningful in-person connections. It just takes a little bit of creativity.

Instead of large events, right now is the time to focus on smaller, more intimate gatherings. Not only do smaller functions allow for social distancing measures to be put in place properly, but it also gives us a chance to make connections on a deeper level and engage in more significant conversation. With limited guests, you have more time to connect and tackle larger issues.

I have been thoroughly enjoying hosting this type of event in my own home, socially distanced, of course! I invite a few clients over and have a sommelier plan a fabulous evening with fantastic wines for us to sample. Each person has their own comfy chair to lounge in with wine and paired food brought right to them. The sommelier company we use, Sommevents, is absolutely top-notch at creating an experience that your guests will love. We’re able to learn all about the various wines and enjoy the specially paired food all while being socially distanced. That’s the great thing about these events, they feel intimate and social but allow us to follow proper guidelines.

Most of us are craving in-person connections. Having the technology to connect virtually is incredible but there’s something powerful about being in the same room as someone and having a natural back and forth conversation without the technology. Hosting mini-networking events like this creates a special atmosphere for business breakthroughs and deep connections. Conversation flows naturally and everyone feels comfortable and at ease.

Having the opportunity to get to know someone beyond who they are in business, on a more personal level creates a much more meaningful relationship. With a small event, you feel less pressure to only ‘talk-shop’ as you try and make connections with multiple people. Here you can mix personal with business and really get to know the how and why behind a person. These events are also great for people who typically don’t enjoy networking events. The small, personal gathering feels less overwhelming and corporate and more like a fun night out.

If you’re looking to truly connect with others, a small event is a great way to accomplish this. Not only can you build a valuable business relationship much more quickly than you could at a large event but you’ll also get to know those individuals on a more personal level. Hosting an event like this shows true thoughtfulness and will be greatly appreciated by those invited.

In a time when people are yearning for face to face connections, small networking events can bridge the gap. Everyone can feel safe and at ease because you can maintain proper distancing. All while connections forged will be immeasurable. It’s a great way to show how much you value someone and will take your existing relationship to the next level. Get creative and plan your own intimate networking event and watch your connections reach new heights.

 

Michele Bailey is president and CEO of Blazing Agency and My Big Idea®. These two lines of business work congruently to support her clients’ success.

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