How I Hosted My First Networking Event as an Introvert

3 weeks ago, I hosted my first networking meetup event here in NYC!

I have to say that it was a success and that everything turned out better than I could have imagined.

About 35 people signed up for the event, and around 28 showed up. I was really humbled by the turnout and am still pinching myself when I think about how well everything went, considering this is my first event.

I’m so grateful for the wonderful humans who trusted in me and came out from all over to support me on this special night. It’s encouraging and comforting to meet the right people at the right time.

I’m a quiet introvert, so some might find it surprising that I host events. But I’ve just recently found that it’s something I REALLY enjoy doing. It was so EFFORTLESS and FUN to plan and execute this project. It only took me 5 weeks to go from inception to event day, and I’m already planning my next one! I was telling my friend that I have never seen myself moving so fast!

So, how did I end up hosting a networking event? Well, it all started when the seed of desire was planted in 2019. The thought occurred to me, “One day, I want to host some sort of event.”

I mulled over the idea for a while. I even thought about hosting an in-person workshop in the city. But 2020 came. We all know what happened then.

When things started to open up, I saw a post on IG (very randomly) about a networking dinner here in NYC sometime in August this year. I didn’t know the host before that. I felt called to attend, even though I didn’t know anyone and wasn’t sure what the format would be like. So I registered for the event after searching Vanessa’s website and content on social media.

It was a pivotal moment for me. I met some really amazing people there. It was an intimate group. I had a good time connecting with other women entrepreneurs, founders, and creatives from around the city. who were in town for a conference. We kept in touch after that magical night.

The host, Vanessa, was a nice person with a good heart. After I found out that this was her second time doing it, I asked how it went for her the first time. She shared that it didn’t go the way she wanted it to. But that experience didn’t stop her from doing it again.

I was inspired by her resilience. And I was glad that she decided to host her dinner & co-working event again. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet her or the other amazing humans in attendance.

After that night, I had the urge to host my own networking event. I thought to myself, “If she can do it, so can I.”

That’s how I took the plunge and decided to finally host the event I’ve been thinking about. And so, my very first networking mixer meetup was born!

I’m an introvert and on the quiet side, but I’m a people person who’s drawn to deeper relationships. My CliftonStrengths pack a heavy dose of Relationship Building talent (or the “glue stick” strengths that provide the essential glue to hold a team together). I love bringing people together.

From this experience, I discovered that there’s just something about hosting an event that speaks to my soul on so many levels. Bringing good people into a room and opening up new relationships brings me joy and happiness. I truly enjoyed the whole process of curating experiences. It’s very fulfilling to me.

Some of the guests were surprised when I told them that this was my first event.

I’ve been reflecting on what made this event so successful, and I wanted to share my insights in case you’re thinking about hosting your own event.

Here are 3 tips that helped me make my event a success:

  1. Keep it simple

I didn’t want to bite off more than I could chew, so I kept the event format simple. I decided on a networking mixer because it’s a great way to facilitate organic conversation and get people talking.

  1. Set the intention

Many parties and networking events can be intimidating for introverts. So I set the intention for the event to be a safe space for introverts and extroverts alike to connect and have fun. I wanted to create an inviting and warm environment. I picked a cozy and intimate venue that would allow conversations to happen organically. It was intentional that I have tables and seats set up for guests so they don’t have to mingle while standing around awkwardly. I also curated the guest list very carefully to make sure it would be a good fit.

  1. Have fun with it!

This was probably the most important tip. I made sure to have fun with every aspect of event planning, from picking out the food to writing the event description. I did the event because I wanted to, not because I had to. And that made all the difference. I don’t force things to happen. I just let things fall into place and manifest themselves.

I hope these tips have inspired you to host your own event! If you have any questions or need help getting started, feel free to reach out. I’d be happy to chat.

I’m truly grateful to everyone in my community, from my circle of mentors, colleagues & friends. It takes a village and your encouragement means a lot to me❤️. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I am looking forward to hosting more events in the future. The next one is coming up soon!

Check out my upcoming events right here. If you want to attend, I invite you to RSVP and get the early bird ticket. I raised the price because I was undercharged the first time around. I learned my lesson!

I hope to see you there. 😄

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