Creating meaningful connections

At events with upwards of 150 attendees it can be hard to meet the right people. Often it’s a matter of luck, or knowing others who can introduce you to the right people. As an event organiser, you don’t need to leave this up to fate – but you do need to put some time and effort into it, according to the event pros behind NetworkTables. “For organisers, it takes quite some preparation to make the most out of the event, because it can be hard to find out who is attending and to set goals. But it would be a wasted opportunity not to facilitate your event’s networking in a more efficient and fun way.” They suggest accelerating networking by including speed dates, roundtables, workshops or meet-the-speaker sessions in your event programme. “The attendees of your event may be new clients, hires or partners for your sponsor. Investors are always on the lookout for startups to invest in, and startups are always hunting for the right investor. By helping your sponsors get in contact with people that are of interest to them, you can create extra value for them, on top of the exposure you generate.”

Tools to facilitate effective networking

The key to all of this is good matchmaking, and there are many networking tools to help with this. NetworkTables itself is an online seating tool that helps event organisers to facilitate roundtables, expert sessions, one-on-ones, workshops and dinners, while also helping attendees to meet the right people. In addition to their own tool, the makers of NetworkTables also recommend the Event App Bible for further inspiration and Eventbrite to manage ticket registration and promotion of your event. “Once the event has started, you can crowdsource topics and collect challenges from your audience with,” they add. “The app is a great tool for your facilitator, as it also has features for live Q&As, polls and slides on any device. Mentimeter and Kahoot can be used for audience engagement during plenaries. And with Pathable, you can build a community around your event.”

Reduce the footprint of your event

Whether or not your event or company actively works in sustainability, you can minimise the ecological impact of your event. The Amsterdam Convention Bureau has great resources about organising sustainable events. And Amsterdam is one of Europe’s top destinations for green meetings.

Promote more sustainable transportation to and within Amsterdam. The city’s relatively small size and well-connected public transport system makes it easy for attendees to avoid driving. If they must use a car or taxi to get around, they can choose one of many taxi companies that run on hydrogen or electric or opt for electric car sharing. Meanwhile, encouraging guests to arrive by train will heavily reduce the emissions produced by their arrival.

In addition, use green venues and hotels for your event and accommodating your guests. Many event locations in Amsterdam prioritise sustainable catering and energy-efficient buildings and facilities: look for venues with solar panels, green power or other energy-efficient strategies. And encourage your guests to do the same – choose a hotel with the best green credentials. Over half of the hotel beds in Amsterdam are at locations accredited by Green Key, while you should also look out for those with a Green Globe certificate.

Organise your hybrid event in Amsterdam

What’s even greener than doing all of these things? Attending from home. In this golden age of online conferences, hybrid events are here to stay. Once again, Amsterdam is a leader in providing for such events, thanks to its unbeatable digital connectivity, digital solutions and tech innovations. For inspiration, see how many recent Amsterdam events dealt with the pandemic. Or look to the tech solutions to distancing and online attendance pioneered by venues such as RAI. Whatever your mix of in-person and online, there is sure to be a solution that still maximises your ROI for everyone attending.