The holiday season is upon us, which means lots of eating, drinking…and networking, of course. The company holiday party is a great opportunity to build new professional relationships. And, if it’s done correctly, you can walk away with valuable contacts.
Here are some quick networking tips to test out at your next holiday bash:
Forget the elevator pitch. As professional marketers, it is our natural instinct to give the 30-second rundown of our accomplishments. However, it is easy for your pitch to get lost among the holiday chaos. Instead take the time to listen to the conversation and make note of the important topics you can follow up with.
Connect others. People typically reach out to those they need – harsh, but true. Connecting people makes you a valuable resource and shows that having you as a contact is beneficial. And the fact that you are not actually doing any of the work is just an added bonus!
Work the room. Don’t spend all of your time talking with one person. Take the chance to meet as many people as you can. Mingling with many of the guests is a great way to get your face recognized and get people talking about you.
Have your business card at hand and ready. When you give out your business card others will do the same. It is an easy way of getting someone’s contact information without having to ask or seem unprofessional.
Follow up. Holidays are hectic and it is only a matter of days until your meeting was forgotten. Following up in a timely manner is the first step towards staying in touch. Add details of the conversation in the follow-up. It is a good way of helping your contact remember you and it shows that you appreciated the conversation.
**BONUS TIP** Immediately after walking away from someone you’ve just exchanged business cards with, write down a small piece of information to help you remember them and what you talked about, directly on the business card. That way you won’t forget or mix up contacts, and you’ll have something to say in the follow-up email!
Happy Holidays and Happy Networking!
– Courtney Brocco, Social Media Assistant