Say Goodbye To Normal Networking – Alternative Strategies To Boost Your Networking

Alternative Strategies To Boost Your Networking

Alternative Strategies To Boost Your Networking

It has long been known that networking events are a staple for professionals wanting to access business opportunities and expand their connections. However, if you’ve been to one networking event, you’ve likely been to most of them.

They usually involve drinks and nibbles, introductions and various conversations held in somewhat of a speed dating style. Sometimes there will be a presentation and other times there will be a competition. However, everyone knows what to expect which can lead to a lower take up as events get older and more regular. With this in mind, we take a look at some innovative ideas that could help boost your numbers within your network and provide a little bit of extra entertainment, along with the drinks and nibbles.

Industry specific trivia nights

Spark conversations and test your knowledge within your own specific industry. Find quirky or hotly disputed facts and interesting tales and work them into your questions.

Mix it up even more by ensuring networking attendees pair up with someone they’ve never met before to try and emerge as the victorious team.

Problem solving workshops

Another way to get people working together and chatting is to give them a problem to solve together. Whether this is an escape room style challenge, or a Lego building exercise, this can help even the most nervous of new networkers engage with a task at hand, whilst having conversations relating to wider business interests.

Themed strategy games night

Choose a popular team-based strategic tabletop game, such as Magic: The Gathering (MTG) or Dungeons and Dragons. Divide your attendees into teams and see who emerges triumphant.

Outdoor walking events

Hiking as a networking group can be an extremely good way to boost conversation. Sometimes walking and talking takes people’s minds off the reasons they’re there, which can lead to more nervous attendees being more likely to join in. Whether you opt for a hike up a mountain or a flat walk by a river, make sure you end up at a pub or cafe to continue the conversation once the walking part is done.


Give your networking event some social impact by inviting your members to contribute to solving an environmental or community problem. As well as being able to showcase their talents, this could give members a sense of purpose and community. CSR is important to businesses, and getting the opportunity to network while benefiting the wider community is something many will want to get on board with.

Scavenger hunts

Everyone loves an exciting and interesting scavenger hunt. Whether you purchase one that takes you through your city or town, or create one yourself, this is something that will really inspire networking members. After all, not everyone knows all that much about their local area of business, particularly if they do not live there. It gives people the opportunity to get out into their community, and uses explanation combined with teamwork and problem-solving to spark conversations with all members.

Interactive workshops

By running workshops, which don’t have to be related to the business, and can just be great fun, you will give your members the opportunity to learn something new. This could be how to hone their social media profiles, draw up a risk/benefit matrix, how to paint a watercolour or even how to make their own cheese. The possibilities with this are endless, and while not every member will like every type of workshop, you’ve got a good chance of attracting different members each time, which can ensure you have different conversations every time.


It is also possible to encourage new members by providing them with a mentor that has a long-standing reputation within your networking community. This can help diversify the group, and can lead to a wider network than anyone thought possible. Alternatively, you could try reverse mentorship, which means newer members mentor older ones in some of the areas of business they occupy. Doing this can help to change inbuilt attitudes and keeps everything fresh.

With all these new networking ideas, you may be tempted to go all out and try them all at once. However, it’s best to test the water with your members, maybe having a vote, to see which ideas have the most interest. That way, you won’t be spending time and money creating an event that is a little off the mark with what your attendees prefer.