A member of the Chamber of Commerce Professionals Group on Facebook asked:
Any best practices for Women in Business lunch events?
I’m looking for details that have worked well for you
According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Report, more women are starting small businesses. Since 2012 the rate of women starting their own business has increased by 7% across 61 “global economies,” narrowing the gap between men and women. Currently, 16% of men and 11% of women take part in entrepreneurial activities; making this a great time to reach and support your women in business.
Tips for Women in Business Networking Events
While it may seem that a new entrepreneur, regardless of gender, needs the same things, there’s a sisterhood that’s created in these types of groups and it’s very valuable to segregate in this manner. However, if you are considering a speaker who would work well with general advice on something like social media, save him/her for the larger chamber group. When considering speakers for your women’s group find someone who has an appeal to women in matters that are specifically related to their lives.
Find a Time that Works
Women balance a lot on their plates. They often are the primary care givers at home, whether that’s to an aging parent, pet, spouse or child. Because of this their time is greatly in demand. Your event is competing not just with other networking events but with personal obligations as well. Try to find a time that works for a majority of your women. Remember there are a lot of time slots during the day. Find out what works best for them.
(NOTE: Want more attendees at your events? Get your free Chamber Event Marketing Checklist.)
Select Topics that Are Crowd Pleasers
There are certain topics women feel more comfortable discussing, and activities they feel more comfortable doing, in an all-female environment. Good topics like this include female health concerns or balancing obligations and entrepreneurship. One activity that is always a big hit — and more fun when it’s “just the girls” — is a professional photo shoot. In today’s social media world and doing business with people you’ve never met, we all need a professional head shot. But it’s embarrassing taking a selfie. Arrange for a professional photographer and make-up artist to be available at your event. Serve some light cocktails and apps and you have a fun night.
Make it Social
Create an opportunity for referrals by offering either a 2 for 1 ticket, or a special prize if you bring a friend. Women are more apt to attend if they can bring someone with them, plus you’ll have double the numbers.
Set a Good Example
Consider making one of your events family-friendly. Not only is it easier to coordinate schedules if you can bring a child, but it also sets a tremendous example for the upcoming generation by introducing them to entrepreneurship early.
Grab this Chamber Event Marketing Checklist (it’s free)…