FAQ / Event Questions
- Why should I go to a Biznik event - when there's lots of other networking events out there?
- How can I make the most out of going to an event?
- Is it required I create a Biznik account first? What about guests?
- What is Biznik's policy on Walk-ins?
- What can I do to prepare for the event?
- What's the best thing to do after the event?
- I don’t think that event was very good but I don’t want to be mean to the host.
- Why should I host a Biznik event?
- What Biznik events aren't...
- I'm not an event planner - is that ok?
- What makes a great event title?
- How do I write an awe-inspiring event description - or at least one that doesn't suck?
- How do I choose a venue?
- Do I need to do anything special for the venue?
- Is there a rule about using a private home?
- Thoughts on setting your RSVP limit and overbooking the flight...
- Help. What are some types of events I could host?
- SHINE On Events
- Can I publish an event, even if I'm not the host?
- Why doesn't the main calendar include virtual events?
- Got it. I'm still hosting a virtual event, where can I promote it on Biznik?
- Can I use the site to teleport Bizniks to events in other cities?
- What about my open house or launch party?
- Should I charge a fee for my event?
- What else can you tell me about event fees?
- How do I edit my event?
- How do I send a message to the RSVP list?
- Can I send a message to the RSVP Wait List?
- Is it considered Kosher to message my Biznik network about my upcoming event?
- Is my event findable on search engines?
- How are events selected for the main calendar?
- The Biznik 95/5 Principle for Events:
- What is the difference between "published" and "circulated"?
- The magic of 99.9% Biznik.
- What events get classified as Beyond Biznik events?
- Help! I need to delete my event!
- Do I need to provide name tags?
- What about taking attendance?
- At the event, I want to respect the 95/5 Principle.
- I'd like an event people talk about!
- How do I get the most people to see the event I created
- How do I get the right audience to see it?
- Should I pay for promotion?
- How does Biznik support the promotion of the event?
- How do I record attendance?
- That was more of a why I should record attendance. How do I actually do it?
- What happens to Walk-ins?
- What happens to No-shows?
- Getting paid
- What can I do to thank the attendee's for coming?
- We got some raucous event photos...
- I'm thinking of doing the event again and again. How do I keep it fresh?
If you're thinking about meeting other independent business people live and in the flesh, you're in the right place. We hope to change you from "thinking" about it, to doing it!. We have the answers to your many questions, (and some you may not have even thought to ask.)
For the same reason Biznik was created in the first place. No where else will you find a community of professional peers connecting with each other both online and in-person in one centralized place that’s just about business. A place that’s free from schmarmy sales pitches. What happened to people getting together to "talk shop” with other indies about the challenges (and rewards!) of running your own business? Biznik’s what happened.
Have you ever had the feeling at a large networking event, that there’s someone in the room you should be talking to, but you don't know all who's there? What about coming home from a networking event, realizing that you failed to get someone’s card or can’t remember which cards go with which people. Biznik’s social network supports those in-person interactions. When you network with Bizniks, other members’ profiles can be found on Biznik both before and after the event.
Get a head start by returning to the Event page a number of times after you’ve RSVP’d before the event starts. Take a look at the other people who are coming too. When you find someone you’d like to meet, learn a little more about them. Click on their profile. See who’s in their network. Then drop them a message right now. It’s as easy as: “We haven’t met yet, but we’re both attending the same event this week, and I’m looking forward to talking with you." The result could be the feeling that you already know a few people at the event before you even step into the room. The result could be the feeling that you already know a few people at the event before you even step into the room.
A Biznik account is required in order to RSVP. Guests are RSVPs that piggy-back on another user's RSVP. It's up to the event host if they want to accept guests or not.
If an event host elects to accept guest RSVPs, it will be indicated inside the RSVP box. Guests are required to accompany someone with an RSVP. (Meaning, you can not RSVP for a guest if you are not registered to attend the event yourself) and each RSVP is limited to one guests. If this sounds like too much of a hassle, remember it only takes a moment for a guest to create a free account with Biznik Lite and RSVP for themselves.
The guest RSVP will be displayed as a +1 next to the member who invited them. Guests will be included in the RSVP number count. In the case of a fee-based event, guest RSVPs incur an additional $5 Service Fee retained by Biznik.
Canceling a guest RSVP requires both RSVPs be cancelled at the same time. If you still wish to attend the event alone, you must re-RSVP.
Biznik does not encourage walk-ins (which is essentially anyone who doesn't pre-register online) but accommodations can be made. Contact the event host to learn their preference or learn more about this policy from the host's perspective. See What happens to Walk-ins?
If you familiarize yourself with one person who's also attending this event before the event starts, you've got one less person you'll need to engage in small talk with. You can jump right into the meaty stuff - like talking about the person who created the video they posted on their profile, or asking them about their company's catchy tagline. Now imagine doing this with two people, or five people... You've just cut down the total amount of small talk you will spend engaged in, in your life. See How can I make the most out of going to an event?
They key to successful networking is in the follow up. Most people forget to follow up with people they meet, so dropping a note to the people you really enjoyed meeting will go a long way and have you really stand out.
Biznik makes it easy to find people you met at an event. If you attended a Biznik event (not a Beyond Biznik event), then everyone at that event is supposed to have a Biznik account and can be found on Biznik. (Attendance at Beyond Biznik events and group events will likely include folks without Biznik accounts.)
Return to the event page to see the Bizniks who attended. You can find the event via your past events page under the 'Events' tab on your profile, or click on the date of the event in the calendar on the main Events page.
Here's some suggestions for ways to follow up with another member:
- Ask a question about their business.
- Send them a resource, article, or something that might be helpful to them. (Best if it'ss not your own product, service or web site unless they requested it.)
- Introduce them to someone with a specific note about why think they should meet.
More generic networking can occur with everyone who attended. The comments field is a great place to share a resource that was mentioned. Uber tip for rockstars: Put the word out in the event discussion, inviting someone to cohost a similar event with you next month!
That is fantastic! Seriously. You went to an event, you invested your time, energy, and possibly some money. Biznik is a community based on trust. If you think you can eloquently, and evenly share your feedback in the comments portion of the event – then do so – you might help other users and the host in the process. Remember to refrain from slander and snarkiness, that will not get you far – even if you do bring up valid points.
If pointing it out publicly feels too confrontational, you’ve got two other options. You can send the event host a message with some gentle constructive criticism. Wouldn’t you like to know if someone thought your presentation wasn’t clear or your material was inaccurate? OR you can flag the host and leave a comment for the Biznik Admin. We’re watching for patterns and maybe someone’s event really doesn’t belong in the main calendar. See There is a member who is being generally annoying on the site. Other than busting out the voodoo doll, what can I do?
Are you ready to unleash that natural born connector that's living inside of you? It's easy to host your own Biznik event and we're here to help! Below are answers to every question we think you've got (plus a bunch you might not have even thought to ask yet.) Read on... then let us know how we can help you create the most successful event ever. The ability to create events on Biznik is a benefit of Biznik Pro. Upgrade now or Check out the complete list of membership benefits.
Biznik events are opportunities for members of the online community to meet face-to-face to share resources, ideas, support, stories, contacts and business! See Why should I attend a Biznik event?
Events are created and hosted by members of Biznik. When looking for an event to attend, users choose social mixers, afternoon “walk’n’talks”, educational workshop, and Mastermind-type accountability sessions.
Hosting a Biznik event is a great way to gain visibility, recognition, status, and credibility. Attending a Biznik event is a great way to connect the names & photos of people you’ve been meeting online, with real people who share many similarities with you.
What Biznik events aren't.
Biznik is not a place to spam others or to schlock your get-rich-quick scheme. Events on Biznik are not infomercials or disguising an upsell to a bigger seminar. Hosting a bait & switch event will ruin your reputation here. Bizniks care about Bizniks.
It’s more than ok! Networking and educational events are casual affairs. When you host an event, you’re creating an opportunity for users to get together and meet in-person. Once, you’ve put a bit of thought into what you want to create, and what kind of audience you want to attract, creating the event is pretty simple. As one member said, hosting is even easier than attending! Especially if you’re shy. It’s nice having a job to do, like standing at the door and greeting everyone.
Co-hosting events is double the fun!
We strongly encourage co-hosting, especially for the new event host. Having a partner in crime takes off some of the pressure. One thing to keep in mind: while both event hosts will get credit for hosting the event, there's room for only one person to be listed as the primary event host with a photo on the main listing page.
If you want to change the order in which hosts appear after you've created the event, simply delete the first event host on the list and add him/her back as a co-host. The first host is the one whose picture will appear on event listings throughout the site. See How do I edit my event?
Show the benefit of your event inside the title. A great title clearly identifies what people can expect to experience at your event. Some guidelines:
- Be concise. Use just enough words to clearly describe your event, and save the rest for the summary.
- Don't be too cute. Web readers skim, rather than read, and if your title doesn't grab immediately, you may not get a second chance.
- Be precise. 10 Marketing Mistakes That Small Businesses Make is superior to Common Small Business Mistakes
- Avoid putting quotation marks in your title.
Remember these three words: relevance, credibility and value. A great description contains everything attendees will need to know to make a quick decision whether to attend your event. Think of a title that is both descriptive and a little snappy. Your event description can be informative and thoughtful, though being concise helps a great deal here. Let your personality come through, that will help those thinking of attending. Use clear, simple language to describe the event.
Take a look at past events that are similar to yours (happy hour, open discussion, etc), that were well attended, and note how the host described their event. Don't get too wordy here. This is the place to tell people what to expect from your event. How should they prepare for the event? Do they need to bring anything?
Event hosts select the venue for their events. It's not necessary to rent out special accommodations. While many lounges and coffee shops would be thrilled to have a group of customers in their space during a slow time, it is important to contact the venue ahead of time to let them know you're coming. No one likes being surprised by 30 unannounced Bizniks ready to network… unless those 30 Bizniks are piling out of a clown car. That's entertainment.
TIP: Be aware of ambiance and sound quality.
Is the venue doing anything special for you? Of course they are. They are going to help you you get what you need in order for you to have a flawless event. So, treat them the way you want to be treated. Communicate with the venue to let them know you're coming. Keep them updated the day before with the RSVP count. Detail any specified arrangements or agreements in advance.
Venues are businesses too! Be mindful of that. If you're not paying for the use of the venue, be sure to order food/beverages and tip waitstaff generously. And encourage your attendees to do so too!
Nothing will make you look like the biggest shmuck ever than occupying a large table, permitting your attendees to order nothing but water, and tipping the waitstaff peanuts.
Do something extra. They will be tickled that you’ve included a link to the venue in your event description and that you added a nice little blurb about why you are hosting the event there.
Let's put it this way -- it's strongly discouraged. We also won't select an event held in private home, for circulation in the main calendar. This includes home offices, unless the event space has a separate entrance from the residence that is clearly marked as a place of business.
Why? Biznik is about business, and while many Bizniks work from home, we believe it's simply not professional to invite business colleagues you've never met into your living space. (What if you forget swift the cat hair off the couch, or leave your dirty socks in the corner. It might leave an attendee with a bad taste in their mouth.) If you decide to attend an event being held in someone's home, and it feels a little weird, don't say we didn't warn you...
It may seem a little risky, but if space is limited and you're hosting a free event, we recommend overbooking your RSVP limit. This way when a few folks cancel at the last minute, or don't show up at all - which regrettably happens - you will assuredly have the number you were hoping for.
Such as listing a friend's event or helping an organization promote their event on Biznik? Yes, that is permitted. However, we encourage you to be in attendance and to be available to welcome other Bizniks when they arrive. Set aside a time and place to have a Biznik gathering at the event, either before the event, during the event while on a coffee break, or afterwards for a quick wrap-up.
We know, we live in the electronic age and there's some really cool technology out there that enables webinars and teleseminars and teleconferences and soon there'll be teleporting too! But Biznik is about the magic that occurs when online interactions are taken in-person, face-to-face, in the real-world. We don't knock the connections that can be made virtually - we recommend Bizniks connect online, after all - but the purpose of the main calendar is to provide you with opportunities that encourage you to take a break from the computer every now and then, and get out there and meet some other indie business people in the flesh! Call us quirky. You wouldn't be the first...
Your Biznik profile page is a great place to publish a virtual event. Promote it on social media sites using the URL associated with the event, letting your community know what you are up to.
Not yet. Research & Development is working on it.
Publish it on Biznik, and post it to your groups' calendar. You're providing another opportunity for Bizniks to meet one another, and you'll benefit from Biznik's SEO mojo. Note: Biznik does not include sales seminars, infomercials, launch parties or open houses in the main calendar. See How are events selected for the main calendar?
If you'd like to, we make it easy for you! Biznik offers secure credit card processing and a seamless customer registration experience with no need for a merchant account. We pass the ticket service charges on to the attendee, so there's no cost to you.
Lite users and Basic members are charged a $5 Registration Fee. This fee is discounted for Pro & ProVIP Members. The fee is included in the displayed event fee. For example if you set an event fee of $20, you will earn $20 for each RSVP, however the fee will display as follows: Lite/Basic -$25; Pro Members-$23; ProVIP Members-$20.
Pro & ProVIP discounts may be further enhanced by entering an additional discount in the fields provided. Biznik is an entirely self-funded, member-powered community, so every paying member means we're able to put more resources into developing the site and connecting you with the relationships you need to build your business. When you encourage others to upgrade to Biznik Pro, everyone benefits.
RSVPs for fee-based events are made with a credit card. Payments are collected by Biznik at the time the RSVP is made. A full refund is offered to reservations canceled 24 hours prior to the start of the event. Canceled reservations made within 24 hours of the start of the event are not eligible for a refund. You will receive the funds for last minute cancellations and no-shows. Biznik's policy is made very clear to the users.
Of course life happens. People wake up sick and get stuck in snow storms. The fees you set for your event are yours, making an exception to our cancellation policy is completely your call. You can send the registered user a refund from the fees you collected. Be aware that Biznik does not provide functionality for exceptions. Which means, you'll need to mail the person your own personal check if you choose to take this route. See Getting paid.
A freelancer buys a cup of coffee at the local coffee shop and logs-on to their WiFi at 10am. How many cups of coffee would have been purchased if the freelancer had created a Biznik account?
According to the last US Census, there are 21 million companies-of-one in the United States. Wait, what was the question?
Event hosts may choose from four different event types in a drop-down menu on the Create-an-Event form: "business mixer," "educational workshop," "breakfast/lunch meet," "discussion," "walk & talk," or "networking for a cause." If your event doesn't seem to fit into any of first four categories, we created an "other" just for you. Choosing a type assists users searching for an event interesting to them.
In general, business mixers and breakfast/lunch meets are more social and about networking; while educational workshops and discussions provide some kind of informational take-away. Here are some examples:
A mixer can be casual networking over cocktails, or a gathering in an art gallery. Business Mixers tend to be a more casual, where the assumption may be that attendees can arrive any time during the event hours. If you plan to set aside time for everyone to introduce themselves, include that in the description, such as: "The event starts at 6, but be here by 6:30 if you want to participate in the introductions."
TIP 1: This is a marketing opportunity for you too!
- Put out a stack of your brochures next to your sign-in sheet.
- Can you offer attendees a discount or coupon on your services?
- Include a statement at the bottom of the online event description about who you are and what you do.
TIP 2: Encourage attendees to wear a name tag that differentiates them from the other patrons at the venue - making it a lot easier to walk up to a stranger and introduce yourself if you know that person is also there to network.
TIP 3: If you're taking over the corner of a crowded pub, consider bringing a balloon or a table sign to distinguish your group.
By nature of the time of day, those who attend a breakfast or lunch meet are expected to arrive when the event starts, and the host is expected to wrap things up on time. People have work to get back to after all. Think through how the meal orders will be placed. Is your group required to use one tab? Does the venue have a counter from which each person could purchase their own food? Communicate expectations in your event description, such as: "Please arrive a little earlier to place your meal order if you plan to eat." You don't need to organize a group conversation. It might be nice to invite each person to introduce themselves to the table before you let them off to converse with the people sitting next to them.
TIP: If you're inviting members to introduce themselves, do the math ahead time, to calculate how many minutes each person should speak, so the event doesn't run over.
Sharing helpful information with other Bizniks not only earns good karma, it's an opportunity for you to show off your expertise to a targeted group of potential customers. Education events selected for placement in the main calendar are relevant to growing a small business and follow Biznik's 95/5 Principle, but don't let that intimidate you. If you want to teach a class on nutrition, how to organize your home office, or lead some Bizniks in a yoga class, you can list the educational workshop on your own profile and promote it to your community or inside a Biznik group.
TIP 1: When scheduling a 2-hour event, plan for a 60 minute presentation, preceded by 15-20 minutes of introductions from participants, and followed by 15-20 minutes of Q&A. If you intend to include interactive elements into the event, plan on scheduling a 3-hour event.
TIP 2: If you're taking to an audience of potential clients, don't forget to...
- Bring business cards and brochures about your business or service.
- Take 5 minutes at the end to tell participants about your business, letting them know you're available for hire.
- Offer participants some kind of incentive for following up with you, such as a discount or coupon exclusive to them.
Not sure if you're ready to teach an educational workshop? Don't have a B2B (business-to-business) service that you can offer to others? Leading a discussion is a great way to get the exposure of an event host, without needing the content of an expert. A discussion event can be small. Call together a group of people to talk about a new book on marketing or social media. Limit the RSVPs to 6 or 8, and meet in around a large table in a coffee shop or pub. Check out the venue ahead of time during the day/time you want to host your event to make sure the sound quality is good. It's difficult to lead a discussion in places where it's too loud to hear the person sitting across from you.
TIP 1: If you're meeting in a dark corner of a crowded pub or cafe, consider bringing a balloon or table sign to distinguish your group from the other patrons. This helps alleviate the awkwardness of asking a table of strangers engrossed in a conversation if they're "with Biznik".
TIP 2: If your event's being held in a community room without food service, consider providing bottles of water or a snack item, or inviting attendees to bring a "bag lunch". Food is often the catalyst for people sticking around longer and networking.
Walk and Talk
Neuroscientists suggest that the human brain continues to develop (even in old age) with cognitive stimulation and physical stimulation. Not everyone wants to meet at a bar or a cafe to network. Walk and Talks are a great way for other Bizniks to get together and talk about small business growth. So get out and walk, and talk! Your business, your brain, and our heart will thank you for it.
Tip: Choose a topic of discussion ahead of time and announce it in the event description or event discussion. Invite attendees to spend 10-15 minutes walking side-by-side with one other person discussing the topic, then switch "walking partners" and meet someone new.
Networking For a Cause
Maybe its karma. Maybe it's guilt. But you could get a bunch of like-minded Bizniks together and raise money for a local cause and network at the same time. These are less about the money raised (inviting attendees to bring a pocket of loose change), and more about raising awareness on an issue. Maybe you have always wanted to do this and never knew how. Or you've never thought about helping someone, and now it's sounding like a good idea. Either way, you got into business because you are resourceful, and well, others could benefit from that. So go ahead, make the world a better place. What you got something better to do?
Tip 1: Host a series of events every 4-8 weeks, choosing different causes each time. Invite a representative of the non-profit organization you're raising awareness for, to come speak about the cause in their own words for 5 minutes.
Tip 2: Invite attendees to donate something of value for a raffle. Remember, you're collecting funds in the name of the non-profit or 'cause', not "Biznik".
SHINE: The Entrepreneur's Journey, a collaborative film project by Biznik Cofounder Dan McComb and filmmaker Ben Medina, was the result of the efforts of 12 crews of directors, cameramen and interviewers, combined with the contributions of 100 volunteers and 250 entrepreneurs. Learn more.
SHINE On events combine a screening with facilitated networking and conversation.
View the film in a social venue. Then break into small groups to discuss what it means to be an entrepreneur.
Share, conspire and network with fellow entrepreneurs who know what it means to go solo.
We provide the questions. You come prepared to get closer to your business and to your business community.
To find an SHINE On event to attend, simply visit the SHINE On page and look for your neighborhood in the right column.
Hosting a SHINE On event is a perfect way to put together a totally awesome and important event, with almost all of the work done for you. By hosting this event, you will create a space for people to be moved, and then to connect with one another. It’s a step towards making the world a better place
It’s super easy and fun to host a SHINE On networking event. All you need to provide is a way to show the film and a space to watch and discuss the film. We’ll do the rest. You can stream the film directly from our site. We’ll send you a proposed agenda, and we’ll send the attendees the discussion questions before the event. The event will appear in Biznik’s main calendar, and all members within 50 miles of you will be notified.
Do you have meeting room or community space? Does it have WIFI? Can a small group of people huddle together in conversation? Do you have chairs? A projector, sound equipment, and a quiet room? Great! Cawl me, we'll tawk
Tell everyone you know. This is cutting edge stuff people! You are carving yourself out as a networker with serious chuztpah. You can tell people that you are bringing like-minded and driven entrepreneurs together. Do you know what happens when powerful people get together? Yeah, that's right...Big stuff. Businesses are created and love is born. You could also tweet about it. #ShineOn
Good question. Take us out for a drink and we'll tell you all about it!
All of your events - both the events you're hosting (future & past) and the events you're attending (future & past) can be found on the 'Events' tab in your profile. To edit a published event, return to the event details page, and look for the grey EDIT links to edit the content in place. If the event is unpublished, you may return to the multi-stepped Create-an-Event form.
NOTE: The title of the event cannot be changed once it has been published. Attendees will be notified by Biznik if the location, date or time are changed. If you make a significant change to the content of the event, be sure to send a message your RSVP list (via the link in the action menu on the event page under your photo.)
During the creation process, once you have completed the first step of the Create-an-Event form, a draft of your event is saved and an be retrieved from the 'Events' page in your profile.
Before we tell you how, we need to address the concept of spam. No one likes spam. Yet not everyone has the same internal spam filter. In a community, its not the spam filter on the inside of your computer that counts - its the one that is inside you. Ask yourself if the message you want to send to your RSVPs is pertinent and utterly useful. Consider posting a comment in the supplied discussion field underneath the event listing.
If you're sure, you need to message your RSVPs..., then make sure you are logged-in to Biznik, and return to the event details page. A number of actions the host can take can be found under your photo in the left column, including: 'Message all RSVPs', 'Unpublish event' and 'Delete event'. Any member may take the top four actions: 'Bookmark event', 'Follow event', 'Email to a friend', or 'Add to calendar'.
Using the 'Message all RSVPs' link provides a box that will send a message to all RSVPs (prior to an event), and all 'Attended' after an event. Post event, once attendance has been recorded, event hosts may not include 'No-show' members in their message.
The short answer is no. The long answer is also - no. The reason is that when a member adds their name to a Wait List, they are requesting notification if an opening occurs for a specific event being held on a specific day at a specific time. They are not signing up for unsolicited messages from the event host about everything else the event host thinks they may find interesting. Of course you don't send out spam! Spam is bad. But we all get so much unsolicited mail from all sorts of sources. When you put yourself in the Wait Listed shoes, you'll see how this policy is really in place to protect you from other the event hosts who do spam.
Did you know? The followers of Pro Members are automatically notified of new events created by those they are following, so get networking! Encourage your friends and the attendees of previous events to follow you for these updates.
As the event host, you are notified by email each time a member has been added to your Wait List. This helps you plan accordingly. Maybe you can squeeze a few more in? If you are able to open more seats for this event, or if a current RSVP cancels, Biznik will let the Wait Listed members know a seat is available.
The ability to add your name to the Wait List of a full event is a benefit of Biznik Pro membership. RSVPs occur on a first-come basis. Everyone on the Wait List is notified of openings at the same time. If the seat was taken before the Wait Listed member gets to the page, they will remain on the Wait List and will be notified if another opening becomes available. See Getting paid.
No one likes spam. Yet not everyone has the same internal spam filter. In a community, its not the spam filter on the inside of your computer that counts - its the one that is inside you. Ask yourself is the message you want to send to your network about your event is pertinent and utterly useful. Consider sending a message to just a few people in your network, or post a comment in the Biz Talk forum. This advice is true of most discussions regarding messaging swaths of people at one time. See How do I send a message to the RSVP list
It is! You haven't heard about Biznik's SEO mojo yet? What?! Are you still using Netscape's Navigator? (Maybe we should explain that SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.) The SEO benefits from participating in a social networking community like Biznik are through the roof. But that's a different conversation. Biznik's ProVIP members receive even more SEO enhancements for their profile, as well as for the events they host and the articles they publish. See What Biznik's SEO?.
Events that appear in the main calendar and the weekly mailings are selected by our editorial staff. Editors are looking for events that are of a general interest to the broad audience of Bizniks who are growing a small business and follow Biznik's 95/5 Principle (see below), which gives the event host about 5 minutes for a self-promotional spiel in a two hour event. That's not a lot.
Though our staff updates the calendars frequently, hand-selecting a zeitgeist of networking and educational events that matter to this community, with dozens of worthy events out there, means that we cannot guarantee that your listing will be chosen for circulation.
What, you don't want to buy a condo in Mexico? We hate self-aggrandizing puffery and pushy sales-pitches as much as you. That's why we keep an eye out for only the best events where the self-promotional schlock by the person at the podium is kept to a minimum. Events on the main Biznik calendar have been inspected and reviewed by our superhuman editors (yes, some have x-ray vision). The host has assured us that the content of the event will focus on you and growing your business, not on them and their latest promotion. (Hence, the 5 in 95/5.)
When an event has been "published", the link to the event is live, the page is accepting RSVPs, and the event is visible to everyone - including Google. Your published events can be seen by anyone who clicks on the 'Events' tab in your profile. Published events may be submitted to your group calendars too. When an event is "circulating", it has been selected by our editorial staff for featured placement on the main calendar. An assortment of main calendar events are also included in the Weekly Upcoming Events email. See How are events selected for the main calendar?
Biznik events are reinforced by a highly supportive and accountable system, just overflowing with integrity. When you RSVP for an event, you can see who else is coming. You can learn more about them on their profile/webcard and see what kind of business they run. By developing specific questions in advance, you can maximize your time spent with one another. Conversely, don’t be shocked if the audience at a Biznik event has a high bar. Later that night, the next day, or the next year, you can find that person you want to connect with. You may not even remember their name, but you don’t have to. All past events are searchable, as are the comments about the event afterwards.
We reward 99.9% Biznik events that selected by our editorial staff with full, enhanced listings in the main calendar. It's easy to get 99.9% Biznik. Promote your event outside Biznik, but collect the RSVPs exclusively through the Biznik site.
If you’re creating an event exclusively for Bizniks (or those intending to create Biznik accounts) make it a 99.9% Biznik event, and benefit from greater visibility on the main calendar. If your event’s unrestricted -- meaning people other than fellow Bizniks are going to attend too, then your event might be selected as a Beyond Biznik event.
Beyond Biznik events are main calendar listings that were chosen because they've got business-relevance and are follow the 95/5. As an event organizer, this means you've got a great opportunity to share your event with a variety of different audiences within Biznik. Mixing up your communities means you can establish strong bonds with a mixture of people. And more people will get to learn the power of networking the Biznik Way.
Do you need to delete it, or do you simply need to unpublish it? If something's come up and you simply want to hide it from view temporarily, while you work out the details, then as long as no one has RSVP'd for the event, you go back to the event page, and click the link for 'Unpublish event' in the left column under your photo. This will remove the event from all public calendars, including the public view of your profile.
If your event has an RSVP, you will be unable to unpublish it, and can only permanently delete it. To delete your event, go to the same place on the event page under your photo and click the link for 'Delete event'.
RSVPs for your event, if there are any, will be notified by us of the event cancelation. If you charged a fee for your event, the RSVPs' credit cards will automatically be issued a refund for the fee. It's polite to send your RSVPs a personal message letting them know why - and if you intend to host it again later, but you'll need to do this before the event's been removed from the site.
Yes. This not only helps attendees engage with one another, but it helps them pick the other Bizniks out in the crowd. This is helpful if you’re hosting your event in the corner a crowded beer garden. TIP: Ask the venue if they'll offer a drink special to everyone wearing a name tag. This encourages everyone to participate in the name-tag-wearing game, and shows the venue manager at a glance, which people you brought. Download an Avery template for some Biznik designer name tags. (PDF 232K)
Showing up is the big thing on Biznik. Members get points for participation, points determine your placement on the site and in search results. Attending an event gets you lots of points. If you take attendance during the event, it'll make it a lot easier to record attendance after the event. Simply go to the event page and click the link for "Print this" at the top of the RSVP list. TIP: Print the sheet at the last possible moment to scoop up the last-minute reservations.
Biznik's 95/5 Principle that limits the time an event host spends on self-promotion. But that doesn't mean this isn't a marketing opportunity for you. We expect you to show off.
5 ways to show off your business without sounding like you're peddling shlock. (These are mostly for workshops, but parts can be adopted for networking socials.
- Use real-life experience with your clients as examples. But don't be stingy with your information. Statements like, "I can answer that, but you need to hire me first…" can leave a potentially stellar client with a bad impression.
- Distribute a brochure or one-pager about you and your services. Place one on each chair, or leave a stack next to the sign-in sheet.
- Offer a discount or promotion specific to the attendees of this event. Create incentive by setting a deadline, such as "Because you attended this event, but you must contact me by the end of the week."
- Spend 2-3 minutes at the end of the event introducing your business and your services. Nothing's worse than leaving a room full of people wanting more, completely unaware that you're available for hire! Make it clear that you're an independent business person on Biznik and would be thrilled to work with any one of them one-on-one.
- Make them feel special. Who doesn't like to be told, "I find you interesting and I would be honored to work with you individually." Try it out on your attendees. (Sincerity required.)
Here are some tips:
- Show up early.
- Give yourself at least ten minutes to greet your contact at the venue.
- Make sure the appropriate amount of chairs and table space is provided.
- Get out your attendance sheets, pens and name tags before people arrive.
- Include a stack of your business cards and/or brochures next to the sign-in sheet.
- Stand up and greet everyone as they arrive.
- Take notes on anything you say you are going to do after the event, such as resource sharing.
- Try to accomplish everything you said you were going to accomplish.
- If, at the end of the event, you realize you did not make it through everything you said you would - acknowledge it.
- Take attendance within 24 hours. The sooner the better.
- Post a comment in event discussion after the event thanking everyone who attended.
- Send a thank you note to the venue. (Thank you notes are not just for old people.)
- Post another event.
After you publish your event on Biznik, continue to post your event to event related websites and listing calendars. Think about posting it to Eventbrite, Eventful, Zvents, Facebook, and Meetup. You might also get some eyeballs on it, if you include it in your city's newspaper, small business journals, and community event listings. If the original listing is on a site other than Biznik, then be sure to include the URL for the original listing in all of your cross promotional listings. If you intend to create a 99.9% Biznik event, then include the link to the Biznik event listing and explicitly detail that all attendee's must create a profile on Biznik in order to RSVP. When you spread the word about your event on other services but collect the RSVPs exclusively through the Biznik event page, you're gifting your attendees with a new entrepreneurial community. See The magic of 99.9% Biznik.
If others besides fellow Bizniks will be attending your event, then the event may be selected for display as a Beyond Biznik event.
Reaching an intended audience is more difficult. Remember, that events selected for circulation on the main calendar are open to those with Biznik accounts, but you can still be specific about the type of audience you want to attract. If you want to have a small round table discussion on how to hire your first employee, then don't put it on Facebook. You're much more likely to get an audience interested in this topic if you publish it on Biznik.
It really depends on the type of event that it is and you. Are you having a round table discussion about how to incorporate small businesses or is it a commercial event with sponsors and balloons and complimentary refreshments? The size of the event, the speakers and the importance of filling the event, will all dictate whether or not you pay extra for promotion. And, if there is a budget for it!
The Biznik site is indexed several times a second by Google. With all the fresh content that our member post, Biznik is a great place to have your events seen by a large audience. Using the URL for the event you've created to share your event with the world is a great way to promote you, your service, and the event.
Hosting an Event: After the Event
Biznik's about people meeting online and in the real-world. Event hosts make that possible! Members' placement on the site is based on their activity points, and a lot of points are given for attending an event.
By recording attendance, the event hosts help attendees connect, turning the archive of the event into a powerful networking tool. Attendees can return to the event page any time from next week to next year, to locate the profile of someone they spoke to, who'd they'd like to follow up with.
It benefits the host too. Event hosts get participation points for hosting the event, these points kick-in when attendance has been recorded.
Even if you had no Bizniks attended the event, we ask hosts to complete this step.
That was more of a why you should record attendance. Here's how you actually do it:
If you hosted an event and you've not yet received the email, simply click on the 'Events' tab in your profile and follow the link to the 'Your Past Events' page. Or find another way to return to the event page (and make sure you're logged in first.) Scroll part-way down, to where those who RSVP'd are divided into two columns - "Attended" and "No-shows". Users who RSVP'd for your event, will be marked as a NO SHOW until you record attendance. To get started simply drag their image from the right column to the left column and click the green "Record Attendance" button to save the results. No attendance will be recorded until you click the button. If you make a mistake, no problem! Just update the lists and click the button again! You can return to this page any time to make changes.
Important! If you collected a fee for your event, attendance must be recorded in order to start the event fee reimbursement process.
Walk-ins for free events may be manually added at the bottom of the RSVP list. Use the field to find the name of the member who showed up with an RSVP, then drag & drop their image into the left column.
DON'T FORGET to click the big "Record Attendance" button at the top of the page when you're done.
Biznik collects event fees at the time of the RSVP, so if you hosted a fee-based event, you are responsible for collecting payment from walk-ins. To acknowledge a walk-in as having attended your fee-based event, send the walk-in user's name to email@example.com and we will take care of the rest. The Registration Fee will be deducted from the total fees collected for you. (Event Registration Fee is $5 for Lite users/Basic members & those without a Biznik account, $3 for Pro members, and is waived for ProVIP members.)
If someone RSVPs for an event and skips the event without canceling first, we’ll hang them upside down by their toenails and throw mushy grapes at them until they cry mercy. (Not really, though I’m sure you wish we would.) We do send the user a notification of their “no show” status, with a link to the event they missed. The message includes instructions on how to cancel an RSVP in the future; and reminds them that skipping an event is poor form. If you charged a fee for your event, and the user did not cancel their RSVP within 24 hours of the start time, they forfeit the fee, and the fee is forwarded to you.
If you collected a fee for your event through Biznik, the event fee reimbursement process begins once attendance has been recorded. We require an IRS-W9 for each primary event host. The IRS-W9 is a request for your tax identification number so we can report to the IRS the amount of earning Biznik collected on your behalf. This report is done via a 1099 Form. First-time fee-based event hosts are notified of this when the event is published. You can also download a copy of the IRS-W9 directly from the IRS website. Page 1 can be returned to us in one of three ways:
POSTAL MAIL: Biznik Inc.
4318 5th Ave. NW
Seattle, WA 98107
EMAIL (PDFs only): firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions or concerns may be directed to email@example.com.
Biznik forwards the collected event fees via one check to the primary event host only. The event host may distribute the fees among the co-hosts, if appropriate. Please allow 5 to 10 business days from the day attendance is recorded to receive your payment. Checks are sent to the address on the W9 form. If you'd like your check sent to an alternate address, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org immediately.
At the end of the year...
If the total annual earnings are $599 or less, Biznik will send you a report of your earnings. If your total annual earnings are $600 or above, Biznik will send a report, along with a 1099 to the address you provide on the W9 form. If your address or legal entity changes before next January, please send us a new W9 with that information.
The comment field underneath the event listing is a great way to let your attendee list know you appreciate that they took the time to go to the event. If it was a smallish event, you could call each one out in one comment by addressing them by name - otherwise one big shout out to the group might be more appropriate.
I f you or one of your attendees took photos from the event, we'd love for you to share them with the the community! Anyone can return to the event page and use the link for, "Upload Photo" in the action menu under the event host's photo in the LEFT side-bar. Photos are displayed throughout the site.
If you hit a gold mine and want to do the event more frequently, then the events creation page gives you the option to reproduce a previous events information. Think about mixing it up by adding or changing the co-host or the venue. We're here to help! Drop us a line for more ideas.
We are here for you!
Biznik Customers Service is part of your membership. Drop us a line and let us know how we can help you get the most from your participation here: email@example.com