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!
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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?