Holiday parties aren’t just for merriment; they’re also a great opportunity to make new connections. Here are some tips to take full advantage of these networking occasions.
Do Your Research – When attending a party for a professional organization, check out the group online. Make sure you know the organization’s mission or product as well as their big projects for the year. You may even be able to find a list of people attending the soiree. Make a mental note of key attendees you want to meet.
Be Fashionably On Time – Don’t be late to the party. You don’t need to be first through the door but arriving on time can give you a chance to get comfortable and ready to mingle. Know the party dress code and act accordingly. Looking put together will give you added confidence.
Prepare an Elevator speech – Having a plan to introduce yourself can ease your nerves. Start off with casual conversation but be prepared to tell new acquaintances about yourself in a succinct and professional manner.
Keep it Classy – It may be a party but it’s still a professional setting. Know your alcohol limits and if you aren’t 21, don’t partake.
Exchange Contact Information – Don’t leave home without a handful of business cards to exchange with new friends. When you get home, make notes on the back of their card with where you met and main points from your conversation.
Follow Up – Always follow up with new contacts. Reference the party you attended and notes from your chat to refresh their memory. If you’re interested in continuing the conversation, ask them to meet for coffee. This is your chance to turn a party acquaintance into a professional colleague or mentor.
Hope you make the most of this season while enjoying the holiday festivities!