The next few weeks might be busy. If you run a business, or work as an entrepreneur, you might have massive amounts to do, preparing to take time off, or fulfilling orders and services before the holidays. But it’s not all work. You’ve probably got at least one party to look forward to. You might have family parties, festive networking events, and parties hosted by other companies, clients, suppliers, and business connections.
You might worry that you haven’t got time to attend parties, with so much to do preparing for the holidays, both personally and professionally. But, some of these parties will be more than just a way to let your hair down. They could also be excellent networking opportunities, a chance to make useful contacts, and a way to meet people who could help you to grow your business in the new year. But, networking at holiday parties can be tricky. Here are some tips to help you.
The first thing that you need to do is actually attend the parties. You might think that they aren’t worth it. Or that you just don’t feel like it after a busy week at work. But, you won’t get anything out of them if you don’t go. You certainly don’t have to attend every party that you are invited to. But the more you participate, the more you are likely to get out of it. Sometimes, this might mean pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. But remember, you don’t have to stay long, and it could be exceptionally beneficial to your business. Think of it as work if that makes you feel better about it.
If you feel uncomfortable networking at parties, why not host your own event, with this in mind? It doesn’t have to be a party. You could fly your connections with an Air Charter Service for a short Christmas break or shopping trip and just spend the downtime networking. Think outside the box and try to offer your guests a chance to relax as well as network, which is probably what they need more than anything else at this time of the year.
Be careful how you dress for work Christmas parties. You want to let your hair down and have some fun. You certainly don’t want to look like the grump who didn’t want to come. But, you are selling yourself and your business, so you want to look professional and trustworthy. Make an effort, get into the party mood, but remember you are networking and treat it as a working event. One way to kick things off right would be to offer some of the attendees who may know of you but not "know you well" a chauffeured pickup and ride to the party with you! A limo or luxury vehicle service like https://www.limofind.com/tx/plano-party-bus-rental/ can be just the ticket to help you make a good impression.
Think about how you are going to introduce yourself. If you go in self-effacing or start out on a negative, you won’t make the right first impression. You need to get people interested in you and your business from the off. So, plan this introduction. Think about your elevator pitch, or how you would sell your business in a short sentence. That’s how you should lead. Even better, try to get someone else to introduce you, with the promises of doing the same for them later on in the evening.
There might be people that you know at the party. There might be people that you work with regularly or even people that you work with day today. Some guests might be your friends outside of work. These are the people that you will naturally gravitate towards. But will this help your business? Chat to other people, get to know people, stand on the outside of groups so that people approach you, and remember, the action is often around the food.
Don’t be the person that walks from person to person, introducing themselves, and handing out business cards. That’s just annoying. Instead, listen to what other people have to say. Learn about what they do and ask interesting questions. They’ll be more interested in you if you show more interest in them. You’ll also have more chance of finding useful connections if you listen to what they are telling you.
Don’t move on from a new connection until you have a business card and details. Then, follow up with a “thanks for the chat”, or “nice to meet you” message shortly after the party. You could even pop them a Christmas card in the post to make the first move.
It is a party, after all. Let yourself have fun and enjoy the atmosphere. But, know your limits, and don’t drink too much.