I work for The Starr Conspiracy. We threw a party for an HR conference in Vegas once that was like the El Guapo of conference parties. My coworker came back and only said this about the party: “Lizzie, HR people took their tops off. I think there was an ice sculpture.”
As a semi-regular attendee of human resources conferences, I can say that they know how to party. I have woken up and walked outside at 6 a.m. and seen these HR ladies walking home barefoot through the streets of major, urban cities at the same time. They can hack it. So the parties are mostly on point — open bar, live entertainment — like a wedding without all the talking.
But I’ve been to a few “post-conference after parties” lately that have been verbally dubbed “networking hours” where people stand in circles taking other people’s business cards just so they will reciprocate. It’s networking! Hooray!
Instead, if more companies focused on sponsoring or throwing parties where the focus was on fun and a little bit of debauchery, they would create memorable experiences linked to their brand, and networking would just happen. What’s a better way to network with prospects than in the hotel lobby the morning after, saying, “Didn’t we share a cab last night? That party was intense. Brick killed a guy with a trident.”
The point is: B2B isn’t a different species. Everyone loves a good party.
So from the makers of legendary B2B parties, here’s a quick event “hit list” or guide for you to make sure your next event is stellar.
I have been to conference parties that ended at 5 a.m. the night before the first day of the event. All I can tell you is I remember who threw those parties. Plan the conference party you want to attend — whether you’re in B2C or B2B.
Check out the graphic here. Have you been to any legendary conference parties? Do you remember who threw them?