How to Host A Networking Event That Doesn’t Suck

This guide aims to unravel the strategies and insights that you can use to make your own networking events memorable.
Avante Price
September 14, 2023

In the bustling metropolis of New York City, where hundreds of networking events take place every day, standing out is no easy feat. Yet Andrew Yeung has cracked the code.

Known as the "Gatsby of Silicon Alley," Yeung isn’t just another event organizer; he is a maestro, orchestrating experiences that leave people not just satisfied but deeply connected.

This guide aims to unravel the strategies and insights behind Yeung's extraordinary success, providing you with actionable steps to make your own networking events memorable.

Credit: Andrew Yeung

Chapter 1: Core Principles for Unforgettable Networking Events

Focus on the Product, Not Just the Packaging

While branding and marketing are important, Yeung emphasizes that 90% of his focus goes into making the event itself a top-notch product. Your event is not just a vehicle to promote your brand; it's an experience that should be crafted meticulously.

Establish Clear Objectives:

Before planning the event, sit down and outline what exactly you hope attendees will gain. Is it new connections in a particular industry? Is it actionable business insights? Once you have a clear objective, every decision you make—from guest speakers to venue—should align with this aim. For example, if the aim is to foster entrepreneurship, consider bringing in successful entrepreneurs for a panel discussion.

Allocate Resources Wisely:

Instead of blowing your budget on expensive gimmicks, invest in aspects that genuinely improve attendee experience. This could be high-quality audio-visual equipment, expert panelists, or an app to facilitate networking. Make sure you're funneling resources into aspects that deliver the most value per dollar spent.

"The best events are about the people."

People Over Everything

"The best events are about the people," says Yeung. It’s not the fancy venues or the open bars that make an event; it’s the connections formed. The focus should be on facilitating meaningful interactions among attendees.

Curate Your Guest List:

It's not about the quantity, but the quality of attendees. When inviting people, look for individuals who not only stand to benefit most from your event but also can contribute to the experience for others. Utilize LinkedIn or industry databases to find potential attendees who are relevant to your theme and objectives.

Facilitate Interactions:

Networking doesn't happen automatically. As an organizer, create spaces and opportunities for meaningful connections. For instance, use ice-breakers that align with the industry focus of the event, or deploy algorithms in your event app that suggest people with aligned professional interests to connect.

Credit: Andrew Yeung

If you’d like to connect with venues, sponsors, DJs, and more in the POSH network for an upcoming event, book a time with us here to speak with our resources team about finding the right fit.

Chapter 2: Redefining Networking Norms

Transforming the Traditional Experience

Yeung emphasizes that traditional networking events, where people simply exchange business cards, are often boring and awkward. The problem, he argues, is the misalignment of incentives. Such events serve as platforms for companies to promote their brands and not as a place for attendees to connect.

Ditch the Stiffness:

Opt for venues that make people feel at ease. Consider co-working spaces, art galleries, or chic cafes over traditional conference halls. The environment should stimulate conversation, not stifle it.

Interactive Experience:

Rather than having static panels, integrate interactive elements. Think live Q&A sessions, speed-networking rounds, or industry-specific workshops that allow attendees to roll up their sleeves and dive into real-world problems.

Take a Cue from Hospitality

Yeung draws inspiration from Danny Meyer’s book "Setting the Table," emphasizing the need to focus on customer experience from start to finish.

Feedback Loops:

Use real-time polls during the event or post-event surveys to gauge what went well and what didn’t. Even negative feedback is valuable; it provides a roadmap for what to improve in your next event.

End-to-End Experience:

Every touchpoint—ticket purchasing, event check-in, food and beverage selection—should be thoughtfully designed. Post-event, consider sending a personalized thank-you note or a professional photo taken during the event as a keepsake.

Credit: Andrew Yeung

Chapter 3: Strategies for Attendees and Organizers

Pre-Event Meetups: Double the Networking

To maximize the networking value, Yeung suggests that attendees should host pre-event meetups. This not only helps the attendees but also builds anticipation and increases the quality of interactions at the main event.

Social Media Announcements:

A week before the event, put out a post on LinkedIn or Twitter inviting other attendees for a smaller get-together. Use relevant hashtags and mention the main event to attract attention.

Quality Over Quantity:

Keep these pre-meetings small and focused. Screen attendees to make sure they align with your or the main event's objectives. The idea is to have a quality conversation rather than meeting as many people as possible.

Credit: Andrew Yeung

Chapter 4: Real-World Application: How to Implement These Strategies

Start Small:

Your first event doesn't have to be a grand spectacle. A smaller, well-executed event can create more buzz than a large but poorly organized one. Focus on delivering quality experiences and use the success as a stepping stone for larger events.

Budget Wisely:

Create a detailed budget plan covering everything from venue to snacks. Use tools like Excel or budgeting software to keep track. Always have a contingency fund for unexpected expenses.

Staffing and Logistics:

Assign clear roles to your team members. You'll need people to handle guest relations, manage the audio-visual equipment, oversee food and beverages, and so on. Use project management software to track tasks and deadlines.

If you’d like to connect with venues, sponsors, DJs, and more in the POSH network for an upcoming event, book a time with us here to speak with our resources team about finding the right fit.


Andrew Yeung’s success isn’t accidental; it’s the result of a calculated focus on the attendee experience, honed by relentless attention to detail and a clear understanding of what people seek in networking events.

Whether you're a seasoned event organizer or just getting started, applying these principles can set you on a path to host events that are not just well-attended, but genuinely unforgettable.

So the next time you find yourself involved in event planning, remember that the best events don't just happen—they're designed.

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