Events can be one of the best ways to meet and connect new people to your organization. Cultivation events allow a new person to learn more about the organization in a low pressure environment. Often we pack our event programs so full it can be hard to actually talk to our guests.
I love meeting new people and learning their philanthropic and community interests. However, one area I’m not as skilled at is greeting everyone. I’d rather have an intentional conversation with a few people than just say a quick hello to everyone, but that is not always what is needed. The very best time to engage a new person is when they first arrive. We all feel a little funny when we enter a room of people we do not know, and a good welcome makes us feel comfortable.
Before your event has started, have a system worked out with your staff to always have someone by the door to welcome and take jackets. If you are that person, then make sure you are able to stay by the door. Be willing to pause a conversation, mentioning you will be back in a couple of minutes, so you can greet each guest.
I am finding the ability to keep a pulse on the party to be an art that I’m still learning. What techniques work for you? We have all met people who do a spectacular job at this. I’d love to hear any good examples.