It’s the holiday season, which means a slew of invitations and merriment are heading your way. Holiday parties are not only a great way to relax and grab a few cocktails with colleagues, but can provide fertile ground for networking. This is where you should start thinking outside of the box – parties at this time of year provide easy opportunities to connect with other entrepreneurs in and outside of your industry.
Prepare yourself for each party so that you walk in confident and able to talk your way around the room with finesse and grace.
- Be Prepared. This means doing a little homework to find out who will be there, what they do, and what you can bring to the conversation. Definitely have a few good ice breakers tucked in your sleeve, and try to learn some names beforehand! Check LinkedIn and Facebook for information on attendees.
- Limit your alcohol intake. No more than two drinks period. You don’t want to have alcohol on your breath when you’re speaking to someone, nor do you want to appear a bit fuzzy during your interactions. First impressions are the only ones you get – don’t blow it.
- Know your worth. Go over your accomplishments and future goals with a friend before attending any party. Speaking about yourself or your business can be intimidating, especially when it’s with someone more successful than you. Go into the party standing on a firm foundation of your business and what you can offer.
- Shoot for post-party meet ups. The goal of party networking is to establish a future working relationship. Suggest a future meeting but let it come about naturally in the conversation. The original goal is to enjoy the party so you never want to awkwardly push a situation that doesn’t fit.
- Ask questions. People love to talk about themselves. Anything from “Seen any good concerts lately?” to “What is your most valued accomplishment?” will do.
Arming yourself with these five tips will ensure a successful holiday season for you and your business. Leave a comment below and let us know what tactics work the best for you!