How to Run a Successful Mentoring Event

Do you want to: boost engagement with mentoring, spread the word about your mentoring program, and celebrate your wins? Well, you might just want to run a mentoring event.

We all know the benefits of mentoring. From 87% of mentors and mentees developing greater confidence to 67% of businesses reporting an increase in productivity due to mentoring, starting a mentoring program is a no-brainer.

At Guider, we support hundreds of mentoring programs across a range of industries and audiences through our innovative mentoring software, so we know the key to running a successful mentoring scheme. This is where factoring in mentoring events can help you to level up. A successful event will build excitement around your mentoring program and can help prevent program fatigue down the line.

So, with National Mentoring Month (January 2023) on the horizon, now’s the perfect time to get planning! Find out the Why, When and How of running a mentoring event below.

Why should I run a mentoring event?

There are a number of reasons why you should run a mentoring event. Whether it’s to promote your mentoring program or to celebrate your mentor and mentees, there are a number of benefits to mentoring events. Remember: these benefits apply to mentoring events for any of the types of mentoring.

These include:

  • Increasing awareness of mentoring and your program
  • Answering questions and recruiting mentors and mentees
  • Creating a mentoring community
  • Creating content for PR and comms campaigns
  • Generating buzz and excitement for the program

Ultimately, the reason to run an event will depend on your program goals. It’s important to weigh up the benefits of the event with how much time and resources you have to ensure it’s a success. To do this, we recommend starting by identifying why you want to run an event.

We’ve identified three key times to run events and the reasons why below to help:

Awareness and launch

Before you launch your program, it’s a good idea to raise awareness of mentoring and how people can get involved.

If you’re running a program for the first time, your ‘why’ might be that you want to build excitement around your program. To do this, running an awareness or launch event is a great way to bring people together and spread the word about mentoring.

You can also use this opportunity to answer questions, gauge interest in the program and gather photos and quotes to use in your promotional materials.

This is a great time to educate your audience on the benefits of mentoring, what’s expected of them, and break down any common misconceptions associated with mentoring. You want to get people excited about mentoring so the moment the program launches, they are itching to sign up!


During the program, mentoring events can help boost engagement and participation. By bringing people together to celebrate mentoring or to recruit new participants, you can re-invigorate your program and keep up momentum.

If you find that, after the initial excitement, program sign-ups have decreased or session numbers are slowing down, then an engagement mentoring event could be the answer! This is a good time to strategically inject some new energy into your program, whether it’s from new participants or from incentivising your existing ones.

For programs with no end date, this is particularly important. It helps to add a little fuel to the fire during your program to prevent drop-offs.


Finally, a wrap-up or end-of-program event can be a great way to close a program – especially if you’re planning to run another mentoring program after.

Wrap-up events can be used to reward participation in mentoring, celebrate  wins and spread the word about the next program. It’s important to recognise endings and give people the chance to properly thank their mentor or mentee.

They’re also a great way to gather photos and quotes for next time too! Here you can identify the next mentoring champions that will help you to scale or replicate your mentoring program.

You don’t need to run mentoring events at every milestone! It’s a good idea to assess your resources and program goals and think about why you might need an event and which one is the best fit.

Top tip: Set a goal for your mentoring event to help you to measure its success

A woman smiles while looking at a laptop. An ad for Guider mentoring software.

How do I make the most out of a mentoring event?

Events are an excellent way to launch, promote and re-engage participants. However, there’s no one-size fits all way to utilise mentoring events in promoting your program. To make the most out of your event we recommend tying it into an awareness day or wider comms campaign.

Key awareness days throughout the year are an ideal opportunity to run an event on mentoring. Make the most of wider interest and promotion of mentoring by scheduling your event around:

If you are running a diversity and inclusion mentoring program, then look out for awareness days that support your community. For example:

  • International Women’s Day, 8th March 2023
  • Menopause Awareness Day, 18th October 2022
  • World Mental Health Day, 10th October 2022

Alternatively, you can sync up with Employee Resource Groups or your wider company events and comms strategy. Getting more people on board with promoting your event will help generate interest.

Further top tips: 

  • Get senior leaders on board to champion your mentoring program and mentoring event!
  • Spread the word through managers and team leaders
  • Factor in seasonality to make sure the most people are able to attend
  • Take photos and get quotes to promote your program after the mentoring event

Banner advert for Guider's referral scheme with images of people connected by lines. Click here to find out how to refer a friend.


How do I run a mentoring event?

Running an event takes some careful planning and promotion, but it is possible to do it right. Once you have set your event goals and chosen when to host it, it’s time to get creative!

Below we outline three mentoring event ideas that you can run in your organisation. There’s one for kick-off, another for mid-program engagement and an end-of-program celebration.

Awareness mentoring event: National Mentoring Day speed mentoring

National Mentoring Day runs annually in October. It aims to spread the word about the benefits of mentoring and is the perfect time to promote your program.

Mentoring event idea: Run a speed mentoring event for your target program participants. Bring together a group of potential mentors and mentees to try out mentoring. Arrange mentors and mentees in pairs at small tables and set a timer for 2 minutes. At the end of the time, mentees must move to the next table and chat with someone new.

Benefits: Give people a taster of what mentoring is all about and introduce them to potential mentors or mentees. Use this time to let everyone know about your program and how to join, as well as offer the chance to ask questions and chat.

Things to think about: Remember to take photos and gather feedback to use in promotional campaigns later on. You can also ask senior leaders or mentoring champions to introduce the event and show they’re committed to the program.

Engagement mentoring event: mentor coffee morning

At the midway point, an engagement event will help you to re-invigorate your program and remind people of the benefits of participation.

Mentoring event idea: Bring together the mentors in your program for a coffee and chat event. Whether in person or virtual, mentors can swap stories, share tips and get advice on how to be a great mentor.

Benefits: Your mentors will benefit from networking with like-minded people and gaining insight into how to mentor effectively. These events are all about building community and making sure your mentors know how much they’re appreciated.

Things to think about: Take this as a chance to get insight into how your program is going and whether mentors need more support. Don’t forget to thank your mentors too and make sure they feel valued for their time.

Wrap-up mentoring event: end of program party

Ending your program on a high is important, especially if you’re planning another program. A good end-of-program event will leave people feeling valued and rewarded for their participation in mentoring.

Mentoring event idea: Plan an end-of-program party for all participants. As part of the event, you can hand out awards for most sessions and ask participants to publicly thank their mentor or mentee.

Benefits: If the budget allows, giving small tokens of appreciation for participants to keep is a great way to give people lasting rewards that remind them of mentoring. You can also use this event to identify new mentoring champions, encourage mentees to become mentors next time around, take photos and gather testimonials, build your mentoring community and announce your next program.

Things to think about: For an ongoing program with no end date, you can still run a celebration event. This will help re-invigorate your program, particularly if it’s followed by a re-launch campaign.

As you can see, running a mentoring event has plenty of benefits. It’s a great way to promote, invigorate and celebrate your mentoring program. It needn’t be a hassle either! If you need more advice on how to set yourself up for success, including advice on program timelines, events and promotion, then get in touch with our mentoring experts today.

Need help designing your mentoring program? Chat with our mentoring guides and find out how Guider’s mentoring platform can help you to get mentoring right in your organisation.


Menopause at Work: Breaking Stigma and Retaining Top Talent With Julie Dennis

Episode 7 of the Guided podcast has landed.

This week on Guided, we have a World Menopause Day special with Julie Dennis, Director & Lead Trainer at Menopause at Work.

In this episode we discuss the importance of awareness and training around menopause all year round, and how it’s far more than an issue affecting ‘women of a certain age’.

Menopause initiatives at work could be the key to retaining top talent, as well as creating more inclusive workplaces. If this is of interest to you, get in touch with Julie to find out more.

Listen and learn with us below

Advice for Mentors

The Keys to a Good Mentoring Relationship

With National Mentoring Day 2022 on the horizon, we want to celebrate mentoring and all the people that make it such an effective tool for learning and personal development.

But how do mentors and mentees ensure that they get the most out of mentoring and make sure they hit their goals?

Let’s explore the ways in which you can create a good mentoring relationship…

The desire to grow

Mentoring is a powerful part of personal development. You might find yourself stuck in a rut, not sure where you want to take your career, or maybe you have a clear goal but you don’t know how to get there.

Mentoring is the opportunity to learn from a more experienced individual and gives you new insights into personal development. It’s not just about wanting to grow, it’s about taking action.

By actively seeking information about mentoring you’ve already taken the first step in taking personal responsibility in your personal development! It’s also a fantastic way to foster continuous learning, a lifelong habit that’s essential to build.

Before your first mentoring session, think about your goals and previous experiences. What do you want to achieve from your mentoring relationship? What are your goals for the future? Show that you’re curious and willing to learn.

And if you’re a mentor, science shows that we feel better about ourselves and more energetic when we help people, and when we feel good, good feelings spread.‍

📖 Find out more about what a mentor is and their purpose in our guide 📖

The desire to inspire others

A mentor is a trusted individual who through years of experience has gained access to knowledge and experiences that the mentee doesn’t. And with that, a unique point of view. Whether its confidence in meetings, organisation skills, or growth within a company, you’ve reached a goal the mentee wants to achieve.

One great way to do this is to learn about the mentee and see if you can relate to their experiences, through this connection you can inspire. Evidence shows that those who are inspired are more receptive to new experiences and become more motivated.

Through mentoring you’ll teach by example and develop empathy and understanding for different points of view. Help the mentee craft a clearer path towards personal development.

Check out our guide to being a good mentee and good mentor

Get to know each other

You might feel that you have a limited amount of time and will want to get straight to business, but learning about each other is an important part of developing a strong mentoring relationship.

While it’s important to have an effective matching system, mentoring is about the people involved, so will still require active relationship nurturing. A great way to do this is through finding common experiences, aspirations and interests. This makes it easier to understand the other person and where the mentees issues lie, but also how to best help the mentee from your own experience. It also creates moments for the mentee and mentor to joke and bond.

Some people have found mentoring as a great way to connect with other employees, especially due to remote work, so be open to being honest and sharing opinions. It’s through these open discussions that you best learn about another person. Through constant communication, mentoring acts as a way to improve your communication skills.

A black woman in an orange shirt stands next to an asian man on his laptop mentoring him.

Active listening

Active listening is an important part of mentoring and communication in general.

Active listening is when you listen to understand before responding, as opposed to listening just to respond. If you have something that you really, really want to say feel free to jot it down and bring up the point a little after.

Verbally reflect on what the other person has said not only to show that you’re listening, but as a way to reinforce what you’ve picked up from the conversation. And if you need clarification, don’t be afraid to ask. It’s important you both understand each other especially when it comes to goal setting to ensure that the target and path is clear.

Note for mentees: Don’t be afraid to ask questions and contribute your own thoughts. Everyone has their own experiences and holds unique points of view. Your mentor can’t cover everything so questions are the best way to get an answer. Having a back and forth feeds into creativity and inspires new ways of thinking and reflection.‍

Time investment and commitment

An important aspect of developing a strong mentoring relationship is by understanding that you’re both busy people, so try to schedule ahead. Iron out which times work for you and be honest. Maybe you’re not a morning person, or maybe you get tired late into the afternoon. Consider how often you’ll meet and what you’ll discuss during the next session.

Some people want more contact than others, but it’s important that both the mentor and mentee put time aside to ensure regular meetings, and try to give as much notice as possible for cancelations.

Celebrate success!

Finally, don’t forget to celebrate success. Positive feedback is useful for both the mentor and mentee and reinforces what was learnt.

Through celebrating success, the mentee becomes more engaged and finds their self esteem boosted. In turn, they find more meaning in their job and become more motivated to continue on the path of self improvement.

Mentoring is about learning, development and future growth so make sure to celebrate the small and big milestones.

Effective communication is a key aspect of developing a successful mentoring relationship. Some things might be obvious, but when you’re worried about career goals or current deadlines, it’s easy to forget.

It’s good to be able to discuss this with someone you relate to and someone who understands you. By putting in the time and effort to learn about the other person and by going into mentoring with goals and drive, you’ll create a strong mentoring relationship.

Read our tips on How To Be a Good Mentee, How To Be A Good Mentor, and How To Start A Mentoring Program

Advice for Businesses

Why Mentoring Programs Fail

We all want our mentoring programs to be successful, it’s why we set them up and why we invest in mentoring software to support them, but there are key problems that can turn a mentoring program from full of promise to a total flop.

That’s where we’re here to help. Because while some mentoring programs may fail, yours doesn’t have to!

If you want to reap the rewards of mentoring in your organisation, such as increased employee engagement, lower employee churn and higher employee satisfaction, then it’s important to anticipate challenges before they happen. By understanding some of the common mentoring mistakes that can lead to program failure, you can set your workplace mentoring program up for success.

Why mentoring programs fail (and what to do about it)

There are a number of reasons that workplace mentoring programs can fail, from lack of direction to loss of mentoring momentum. Thankfully there’s plenty that you can do to ensure your mentoring program is set up for success.

So, let’s look at the most common workplace mentoring mistakes and what to do about them:

1. Not setting clear goals

Starting a mentoring program without a clear goal in mind is a common mistake. A mentoring program that doesn’t properly outline what it wants to achieve will by default fail. We need to know where we are going in order to know when we get there!

So, by setting clear mentoring program goals, it’s much easier to measure your success.

Example goal: 

  • To run a 6-week cross-company reverse mentoring program to support BAME employees career progression. The program will reach X number of senior leaders to increase awareness, cultural competency and encourage action in tackling systemic barriers and bias in the organisation.

What’s the solution? ✅

Spend time outlining your program goal or goals. It’s best to do this in the design phase, but you can always retroactively define your goal if your mentoring program has already started.

Some key questions to ask:

  • Who is the program for?
  • Why do you need a mentoring program?
  • What will success look like?
  • Will I utilise mentoring software?

As with any goal, it’s important to make it SMART. This stands for, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. Using the SMART framework to set your mentoring program goals will help you to measure progress and stay on track.

When you have a clear goal set out, it’s time to sense check that your plans align with the people that you’re aiming to help. This way you can be confident that your program will have impact and maintain momentum later on.

Find out more about designing a mentoring program for success in our guide

2. Low sign-ups

Another key problem that programs can face is low sign-ups. For many of us, mentoring sounds like a great idea in theory but this doesn’t always translate to people signing up for the program in practice.

There can be many reasons for low sign-ups. Whether it’s a lack of knowledge around what mentoring is, what the commitment of the program is or its potential benefits, there are many reasons people may be reluctant to commit.

What’s the solution? ✅

First up, it’s important to check the facts. Are the group or groups that you are aiming to help getting the information they need to understand what the program is?

When launching and maintaining a mentoring program, it’s important to be realistic about the amount of promotion you need to do to get people involved.

Here are our top tips for increasing sign-ups for your mentoring program:

  • Spread the word: Through your company intranet, internal comms, Employee Resource Groups and newsletters
  • Find your advocates: Get senior leadership on board and identify mentoring champions to help promote your program
  • Articulate the value: Through comms or events, it’s important that everyone understands what mentoring is and why they should join the program
  • Remove barriers to entry: Look at your program from the outside, is it easy to sign-up? If there are barriers to entry it’s important to identify and remove them where possible

Remember: When running your first program it’s better to have a small number of highly engaged participants over hundreds of less engaged people that don’t actively participate!

Focus on getting mentors and mentees that are enthusiastic and committed on board. These people will then become advocates of your program, spreading the word and helping your program to grow!‍

3. Disconnected mentors and mentees ❌

By disconnected, we mean mentors and mentees that are not engaging with the program or each other. They may have joined with good intentions but find themselves struggling to make time for mentoring – meaning fewer mentor matches and fewer sessions.

Sometimes mentoring can lose momentum. When this happens there are a number of ways you can revitalise your program.

What’s the solution? ✅

There are many reasons for program drop-off and fatigue. When this happens why not try:

In the planning stages, try to be realistic about what internal comms you’ll run to promote your program. If this is a brand new scheme, you may need to run several campaigns to build excitement and awareness around your program.

Pay attention to matching too! Reminding participants that they can screen several mentors through chemistry calls will help people find the right match for them. Disengagement can happen when mentors and mentees aren’t connecting despite having shared experiences.‍

4. Not enough feedback

A solid process for collecting feedback on your program and using it to improve is one of the keys to success. By not factoring feedback into your program design you’ll be missing vital opportunities to guide your program.

While asking for feedback can feel uncomfortable, not asking is a surefire way to miss out on important information on the health of your mentoring program.

What’s the solution? ✅

Factor feedback into the design of your program. Use short strategic surveys at the start, middle and end of your program or at regular intervals for an ongoing program. This way you can find out how your participants are getting on and find any potential problems.

By using feedback effectively, we can better anticipate issues. It’s also valuable data to have to prove success and ROI, as well as collecting valuable marketing materials such as quotes.

Provide support to your mentors and mentees to run a productive session with our guide.

5. Not building for scale

Manually matching participants on your kitchen table may have worked well when you had 20 participants. What do you do now that your program has grown?

Sometimes too much success can be the cause of failure! By not anticipating success, we can create problems later on when we want to scale. If you want to reach more people, grow your program and impact more lives, then you’ll need to build your program with this in mind.

What’s the solution? ✅

This is where mentoring software comes in. With a mentoring platform, you can take the stress out of running a mentoring program. Leaving you to focus on making plans to grow your program!

Here at Guider, our smart matching algorithm does the hard part for you. You can trust that mentors and mentees will find the right person for them with our smart mentor matching, without the headache of managing the matching process manually. On top of this, our software integrates with your core tech, making it simple for any user to participate in mentoring.

Once you have a mentoring software solution in place, it’s easy to add more programs or expand the ambitions of your scheme. With our data reporting functions, you’ll be able to show the effectiveness of your program with ease too.

Read our guide to how mentoring software works to find out more.

By paying attention to these mentoring mistakes in the design of your program, you can anticipate problems before they appear! Remember, building a successful mentoring program takes time. You’ll learn more and more with every program you try and you’ll build a bank of mentoring champions along the way.

Ready to start your mentoring program right? Book a chat with our team to find out more about how Guider can set you up for success.


Skills Development

What Makes a Good Mentor?

Ever wanted to become a mentor?

It’s on a lot of our to do lists surely. Yet for many of us, identifying yourself as a mentor can feel… audacious. We get it.

Stepping into the role of the trusted advisor takes confidence. A common blocker is that many people just don’t see themselves as ready.

I mean mentors are older, grey-haired, all-knowing entities, right?


There are plenty of qualities that make you an excellent mentor beyond job title or years of experience.

In fact, you probably have most of these skills already. You just need to put them into practice by becoming a mentor!

So, what are the qualities you need to be a good mentor and how do you know if you make the cut?‍

What makes a good mentor?

You’re a great listener

Listening is not just a core characteristic of a great mentor but of a colleague, manager and leader.

As a mentor, a big part of your role is to create a space in which your mentee feels safe, validated and heard. While you will impart wisdom and advice, it’s important to remember that your job is to listen to your mentee first and foremost.

If you already count yourself as a great listener or are trying to grow in this area, becoming a mentor is a great way to do this.

Try practising the art of listening, validating and responding thoughtfully. It’s a key way to build positive relationships, show others that they are supported and prepare yourself for senior leadership in which listening is a key, yet underrated, skill.

You’re invested in others

Mentoring requires investment on both sides of the relationship to work. As the mentor, being able to commit time and energy to your mentee is essential.

If you’re someone that genuinely enjoys helping other people to learn and grow, and gets personal satisfaction from helping others in the process, then you could be a great mentor.

Investing in others also has profound benefits. Mentors report feeling less stress and anxiety than non-mentors, plus they often find a greater sense of meaning and satisfaction in their work.

Remember: It’s not just about the feel-good factor. Becoming a mentor ups your chances of promotion by 6 times and can increase your chances of a pay rise by 20%!

You have a growth mindset

Your job as a mentor isn’t only to give advice. There’s learning on both sides of the relationship. By adopting a growth mindset and an open mind, a mentor can benefit enormously from the relationship. This also ties into a commitment to continuous learning, an essential skill to foster.

Mentoring opens up your network to a range of different people and perspectives. Throughout the relationship, you will be working together to learn how best to achieve the development goals set out for the mentee. In order to do this, a mentor needs to stay flexible and attentive to how they too can adapt too.

Staying open-minded about what you can learn from your mentee will turn you from a good mentor, into a great one.

📖 These qualities are also important in a buddying system, find out more in our guide 📖

You’re respectful and responsive

Similarly, a good mentor is both respectful of others and responsive. Your mentee will bring with them their own life experience and perspective, the goal of a mentor is to help them grow and to do that you need to create space for them to be themselves and overcome limiting beliefs.

Respecting differences, whether it’s of opinion or life experience, creates the right environment for mentoring to work. Without this, the mentoring relationship would be negative and unproductive for both parties. Imagine sitting down with someone for a mentoring session only to find that they are disrespectful of your thoughts and opinions.

Respect and responsiveness are core skills needed as a manager and leader. Becoming a mentor is a great way to practice and nurture these important skills.‍

“Every day that you come into contact with different types of people and work through different challenges, issues, successes, you learn something. Every single time you have a conversation, you learn something about people’s behaviour, you learn something about their motivations, and you learn something about yourself…it’s rich, it’s rewarding…it’s a win-win.”James Newton-Brown, Head of Product Development at Marks & Spencer

Read more about our work with M&S here

You give quality feedback

We all know that feedback can be as tricky to give as it is to receive. But constructive, tactfully delivered feedback is essential for personal growth and development.

As a mentor, you need to be comfortable giving and receiving feedback so that both sides of the mentoring relationship can develop. Feedback isn’t a one size fits all process. There are many different tricks and techniques to doing it well, the key is to work with your mentee to find the right way to deliver constructive criticism.

Learning how to tactfully deliver and receive feedback is an essential skill. It’s also another vital skill in management and senior leadership positions. If this is a skill you have or are looking to grow, you might make an excellent mentor!

Hear first-hand from our fantastic clients Clyde & Co the benefits of becoming a mentor. Find out more:

You have relevant knowledge and experience

Last but not least, having relevant knowledge and experience that you can impart to a mentee is a must. But hold on before you think you need to be an expert in your field before you can become a mentor.

The point of a mentor is that you use your experience to guide others. This doesn’t mean having all the answers. Supporting someone to work things out for themselves is a more powerful way to learn than simply being told what to do.

As a mentor, you may have experiences that you don’t count as mentor ready yet. Completed a few rounds of appraisals? Managed a team? Successfully transitioned career? These are all skills that many people value and need advice on.

You don’t need 20 years of experience to become a great mentor, in fact, it can be more helpful to provide advice when you are closer to a specific problem or experience.

Remember: Knowing all the answers doesn’t necessarily make you a good mentor. Guiding someone to the right answer does!

📖 Find out more about how mentoring boosts employee wellbeing in our guide 📖

‍Becoming a great mentor isn’t about age or job title, it’s about your attitude and the skills you bring to the table. With some positive self-reflection, many more people will find that they have what it takes to become a mentor than they realised.

There are many different ways to mentor someone. For example, peer mentoring is an excellent way to develop your skills and confidence as a mentor before stepping into a traditional 1:1 relationship.

So, if you have some or all of these top traits then why not become a mentor today?

Looking to start a mentoring program? Talk to our expert guides today. 


Opening Up the Conversation About Equity and Equality With Marcel De Jonghe

Are you ready for episode 6 of the Guided podcast?

This week on Guided, we talk to the fantastic Marcel De Jonghe, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant at Capita, on equity and equality.

In this episode, we delve into what this two terms truly mean and why they should be at the forefront of every organisation’s diversity and inclusion initiative.

Tune in below: