Christmas Party Networking
At this wonderful time of the year, our diaries start to fill up with invites and there are plenty of parties we are being invited to.
Your boss tells you to go off and network and be 'jolly'. Here's some tips to make it a fun even in a business setting.
Added on 18.11.2019
Value your time
Choose to attend the parties that you feel you will enjoy and get the most from and will help you connect with the right people.
Make some objectives
It's not all mulled wine and mince pies after all: this is a business opportunity.
Determine how many contacts you'd like to meet and make. Prepare some 'safe' topics to discuss. The last thing you want is to introduce yourself and your mind goes blank!
Don't stay frozen like Frosty
Mingle, melt in and ask people 'May I join you?' Introduce yourself, have a nice firm business handshake. Find commonalities to chat about by inquiring about the connection to the host or event.
Here are some ice breakers:
- What are your plans for Christmas?
- What are some of your family traditions?
- How has your year been?
- What's on your radar for next year?
- Have you faced any challenges this?
Try to talk to as many people as possible
Don't stick with one person because you feel comfortable with them. You never know who a talent or connection will have to guide you to you next contract or client.
Try not to overextend your time with someone you just met
Spend 15-20 minutes with someone. When there is a lull pull out your hand and say 'It was a pleasure to meet you. Have a wonderful Christmas'. Or, you can introduce that person to someone else.
Be on the nice list (shift from selling to serving)
The secret to being a successful networker is for you or someone in your network to be able to help your newly-met contact. Offer gifts of advice, connections and opportunities.
Do follow up
Sort out the information you got. If you made a promise, deliver on it. You can keep the conversation going by:
- sending a Christmas card
- connecting on LinkedIn
- following on Twitter
- emailing an article (or some information you feel would benefit them professionally or personally) arising from the conversation
Thank the organisers (this is a must)
Networking doesn’t have to be petrifying. It's all about hopping around to build your community and do some mutually beneficial connecting, human to human – the new old fashioned way. Good luck!