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The Host

by Randall Craig on May 13, 2008

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Networking

Tagged as: , ,

Who do you prefer being – the host or the guest?

When you are asked to attend an event, it is a validation of your skills, experience, and your importance. Of course, being a guest has it’s obligations: if the invitation is a personal one, you often will bring a small gift. If it’s professional, you are expected to contribute your professional attention to the purpose of the event. And at the end of the event, you will (or should) show your appreciation by sending a thank you note to the person who invited you to attend.

As a host, your role is different: your primary concern is that everything goes well and that your guests feel that it was worthwhile. Looking at the host role more carefully, this involves a number of activities. The host must:

  • Consider who to invite, and whether they would be interested in the event;
  • Greet everyone as they enter the room;
  • Make sure that everyone feels welcome throughout the event;
  • Introduce guests to other guests who have like interests;
  • Solve any issues that come up;
  • Say goodbye as each person leaves;
  • Follow up with people after the event, if appropriate.

Interestingly, if you have these basic skills – being the host – you also have the basic skills of networking. Find yourself standing alone at a networking event? Ask yourself what you would do if you were the host. While everyone wants to get that invitation in the mail, being the host is actually more valuable.

This week’s action item: Next time you are invited to a networking event – just be the host.

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Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)