Networking events are excellent as a marketing tool for your business. Tonight was the Cherokee Chamber's monthly After Hours Business Networking event hosted by Goodwill Industries of North Georgia Location: 9425 Highway 92, Suite 142 in Woodstock Kudos to David and the entire staff of the career center and the store! They really went all out to welcome all the businesses. The staff was super friendly, and courteous. The set up there is fantastic!
They are helping tons of folks get back to work, or get to work, and what they do there is nothing short of amazing. Do: Host the networking event at your place of business. Make sure the guests pass through your location to get to the food and drinks, but strategically place staff to welcome guests and give them a tour. Don't: Keep your best features a secret. From our marketing view, Goodwill Industries is missing out on such opportunity. Most of us just see Goodwill as a place to drop off old stuff, and a thrift store to help out the less fortunate (or to buy your own re-gift). Goodwill as a company needs to step up their marketing and get the word out about what they are really about - especially to local businesses.
Tonight's co-sponsor: The Right Wing Tavern Location: Old Town Woodstock's historic train depot Kudos to The Right Wing Tavern for a creative and unique marketing plan for their restaurant. From their logo to their menu items, the restaurant has done a great job at creating a brand and consistently carrying it through. Do: Create an identity that sets you apart from the rest, and make it the yardstick by which you measure everything you do. Don't: Serve fried chicken on the bone at a networking event! People don't want to eat deep fried food with their fingers, then shake hands with new business associates! In fact, you probably don't want to have any finger food at an event where folks are shaking hands and passing out business cards.
Probably a better choice would have been fork food - and supply the forks! Especially when there are lots of tables for the guests to eat comfortably. I also heard a few of the ladies say they were on a diet and could only indulge in the watermelon...also finger-lickin' good. Maybe a better menu would have been green salad, boneless chicken with wing sauce or chicken salad with rolls, and cubed fruit with the cubed cheese (that was on the buffet). A good environment along with good food can set the stage for a successful networking event. Thanks to the sponsors for tonight's event. It was great seeing The Accountant: Sandra Ferguson, Todd Nickell of Horizon Background Screening, Tom Johnson of Content Creations among others!