The Executive Lounge hosts its first networking event in Dubai
October 2018, Dubai
The Executive Lounge recently held a networking event to celebrate the diverse group of businesses that have joined this budding professional community in the heart of Dubai, UAE. This event is part of several coordinated steps taken by The Executive Lounge to help its tenants expand their individual networks by generating new contacts and to create a collaborative platform for these businesses to exchange ideas, best practices and experiences. It also helps The Executive Lounge stay better informed on the business activities of their tenants, and plan future strategic marketing efforts fine-tuned to their needs.
Networking events are now more popular than ever, and a handy tool for any marketing and business development professional. They offer a low-pressure environment in which to introduce yourself and your business to new people, and at the same time gain new contacts across your industry’s value chain – whether it is suppliers, service providers, customers, competitors or other stakeholders.
During the networking event at The Executive Lounge, for instance, a variety of businesses were represented, ranging from an executive search firm, to digital marketing companies, to an online trading platform, to real estate services companies and an international currency exchange – to name a few. It offered a great opportunity therefore, for a company to interact beyond its typical network and exchange ideas and learnings from their counterparts across industries and sectors. Since the majority of the businesses represented in the Executive Lounge are active in the UAE and regional markets, there were several learnings to be shared in terms of business set up challenges, costs of operations, employee management, cross-border activities, outsourcing and more. Many of the participants were eager to hold follow up meetings with individuals they had just been introduced to simply because they spotted an opportunity that they did not even know existed prior to attending the networking event.
The success of a networking event however is not guaranteed by simply inviting people to a fancy hotel for tea and biscuits. While the venue and ambience are sure to play a role in the level of attendance and satisfaction of the participants, there are several other key factors to consider: the timing of the event, the space, the types of participants invited, access and parking, agenda and overall coordination of the discussion. Events should be neither too long leading to boredom nor too short as to result in insufficient time for participants to hold meaningful discussions. The space allocated for the event should offer enough room for participants to move around and meet multiple people, while maintaining a certain closeness for new members to join ongoing conversations. Valet or visitor parking services are welcomed and should be communicated ahead of the event, and adequate refreshments should be included by the host. In terms of agenda, there are a variety of strategies that may be applied depending on the size, scale and level of formality of the event. While casual networking events such as the one held at The Executive Lounge may not require a formal agenda, it may be a good idea to plan key topics and assign times to them for a larger group of participants where individual introductions for all participants may not be possible.
The important thing to remember at these events is to keep it simple. Participants are typically already outside of their comfort zone when meeting a roomful of strangers and adding complications like professional panel discussions, or paperwork to fill out, or complicated meals can discourage active engagement from the less forthcoming individuals. The formula at The Executive Lounge is simple: meet, greet and eat!
If you are interested in attending the next networking event at The Executive Lounge Dubai, drop us an email at [insert email address]
Tags:Networking in Dubai; Networking event; business development Dubai; Dubai business forum; Dubai business community; UAE professionals; professional best practices in Dubai; free networking event; Dubai start-ups; business meet up