How to Host the Most Inspirational Networking Event

Idea Party: The Networking Event with a Twist

The Invitation: Idea Party

I invited local business owners to a different sort of networking event in Wallingford. And what a sweet, inspirational twist it was!

We had an IDEA PARTY!

Ahead of the event everyone was briefed to bring two things – beside their business cards & their awesome selves:

  • 1 goal, wish, dream or idea, and 

  • 1 major obstacle to achieving it

After the initial meet & greet we kicked off the Idea Party by introducing the ‘rules’.


Everyone is allocated 5 minutes, and first get the chance to introduce themselves, present their wish, as well the obstacle that’s preventing them from having, being, or doing it. That part they is best keep snappy, for their own sake. The important bit is to keep any answering to the minimum.

The room then was invited to brainstorm any ideas, insights, actions they can think of.

With my phone’s timer at the ready, we got started. 

While the collective came up with oodles of fabulous inspirational ideas, there was frantic scribbling for the person who’s turn it was. 

Keeping it short & sweet per person kept the energy levels high, and the ideas flowing! 

To be honest, we ran a little over the 5 minutes per person, but that was time well spent!

What’s the Idea Party’s Success Secret?

I believe Idea Parties work so very well because of these four successes it creates:

  1. People typically feel a sense of fulfilment when they get the chance to help others. So by being invited to share constructive pearls of wisdom on how others can overcome their obstacles, everyone taking part is feeling needed and contributing.

  2. With everyone openly sharing their dreams and obstacles, you create an immediately sense of community with the joint purpose of helping each other. It does require everyone taking part to be vulnerable, but the payoff is a stronger connection & support within the group than is typically created in a ‘normal’ networking setup.

  3. Everyone will have something to contribute, and with that everyone can feel like an expert. We have have far more knowledge and insights than we often give ourselves credit for. The format of the Idea Party opens up opportunities to share your personal insights for the good of others.

  4. Last but not least, everyone walks away with their personalised list of inspirational ideas on how to overcome their obstacles. Some will be entirely new ideas they hadn’t thought of. Other ideas they might have had already, but that get extra support by being mentioned again. Sometimes introductions are being offered to open new opportunities, partnerships are being started and accountability teams are being created. #priceless

What’s the Feedback?

"So many great ideas from a small group. I really enjoyed meeting everyone and can't wait for the next one!" ~ Jane Webber, Nutritionist @ Jane Webber Nutrition

"It truly inspiring meeting." ~ Anna Rowe, Bookkeeper @ Balanced UK

"I attended an amazing IDEA party 💡organised by Carola Moon. I met amazing women running their own businesses. We brainstormed so many ideas about how to overcome obstacles on the way to our goals. I got home buzzing with ideas, and with more motivation and enthusiasm." ~ Ela Wassell, Women’s Leadership & Empowerment Coach @ Truly Boldly You

“Thank you so much for Friday’s Idea Party Event, I have spent the whole weekend reevaluating our business plan having heard such good ideas and advice from the amazing women. It was incredibly instructive to hear from women who have been in my position. Inspired!” ~ Lucinda Powell, working to with schools and young people to improve mental health and wellbeing @ StudySkillsAcademy.

The Idea Party’s Origin

Barbara Sher is the lady invented the Idea Party idea. Here are two two introductory articles by Barbara explaining how they work, and how to best run them:

Endorsed by none other than Oprah!

Even advocates the idea in this post.

Want to join the next Idea Party?

To find out the details for the next Idea Party and similar events local to Wallingford, just sign up for info below.