Networking Beyond the Office: How to Host Events That Advance Your Career

Even if you’re a total star in the workplace, there are always ways you can take your job performance to the next level, even outside of traditional office hours. Throwing a work event is a great option for those who are trying to get to know their colleagues more. It is even better for those who are looking for ways to advance at their company or in their career. Let’s examine why hosting a work event is such a great idea 

How Work Events Can Help Your Career

Hosting a work event is a great way to show off skills you may not get to exhibit in the workplace. If you have a position that renders you behind a computer or working from home for the most part, you likely don’t have much of an opportunity to present your social skills. 

Hosting a work event also gives you the opportunity to get some face-time with important figures in your workplace or industry. You can have a brief one-on-one discussion with a chief officer that can transcend the way you’re perceived in the work environment. You may also get the chance to chat with folks outside of your immediate department or connect with others in your industry, in a way that is casual and doesn’t have the seriousness of an interview.

Hosting a networking event allows you to create connections and bond with your colleagues, something that ultimately boosts productivity and creates comfort in the workplace. 

Types of Networking Events to Host

There are several different types of events that you can choose to host, from more formal dinners to celebrations of workplace milestones. 

Dinner Party

A dinner party is a lovely, low-stress, and intimate way to gather your colleagues for a night of lively conversation and delicious food. You can go the extra mile and make all the food yourself, which will surely impress all your guests, or you can order a catered dinner. Opt for multiple courses, including an appetizer option that allows your co-workers to walk around and mingle before the main course. This everyone a chance to speak to each other. 

For a more formal networking event, consider a wine dinner, which is a great way to introduce your co-workers to different types of food and wine pairings. You can either opt to serve wines that you have selected yourself or work with members of a wine club to create optimal pairings. 

Work Anniversary Party

Throwing a party that celebrates the anniversary of you or a co-worker joining the company is a great way to show your supervisors and colleagues how much you genuinely care about your team. It can also create an employee advocacy opportunity that your company will surely appreciate as well.

This opportunity is a great idea for those who are approaching their one-year anniversary or even five-year. It’s also a good opportunity to celebrate your team’s accomplishments. 

Outdoor Brunch

When working in an office, you’re likely stuck indoors all day throughout the week. An outdoor brunch gets you and the rest of the companies a rare chance to enjoy nature together and encourages more mingling through the open space. 

You can create an inviting outdoor environment for your guests with comfy, yet sturdy patio furniture made of weather-resistant materials. Utilize an aesthetically pleasing, decorated shed to store extra chairs, beverages, and other items. Adding outdoor lighting to the space is a good way to keep the mood fun and allow the party to continue after dark.

event planning  tips

Other Party Essentials

When hosting a party, it is important to show your guests you care about them having a good time, both during and after the event. Here are a couple of ways you can show them you’re thinking of them.

Party Favors

Ideally, you should offer your guests something that will help them remember your thoughtfulness and attention to detail. Consider gifting individual jars of a special sauce or jam sealed with the decorations you designed. A gift like this exhibits your creativity in ways that can be invaluable to your career.

Mocktails and Allergy-Friendly Foods

Not all of your colleagues will want to drink at the event, so keep this in mind when curating your menu. Don’t simply leave out assorted juices and sodas while your other guests get to sip on gorgeous cocktails – leave a mocktail list available that has fun mixed drinks and alcohol-free wines and beers available.

Also, ask all of your attendees to include their allergies and dietary restrictions when they RSVP so you can plan accordingly. Even if nobody claims to have restrictions, avoid common airborne allergens like nuts.

Planning a party for your co-workers is a great way to network with other departments while showcasing your skills in an out-of-office setting. With some attention to detail and appropriate preparation for networking beyond the office, you can host an event to remember. 

This guest post was authored by Ainsley Lawrence

Ainsley Lawrence is a writer who loves to talk about how business and professionalism intersect with the personal, social, and technological needs of today. She is frequently lost in a good book.


Ms. Career Girl strives to provide valuable insights you can use. To see more from our columnists and guest authors, check these outOr subscribe to our weekly email featuring our latest articles. We’re also present on Medium!

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.