Holiday parties are a great opportunity to network. This time of year is the perfect chance to meet new people, socialize, and make contacts that could help you in the new year. We’ve put together a list of 10 networking tips to help you navigate and effectively network at every party you attend this holiday season. These tips are simple and if followed will help ease you into networking and help make connections that could benefit you as we enter into the next calendar year.
10 Networking Tips for this Holiday Season
1. Attend the party
We don’t always want to go to every party we’re invited to. Or we say we’ll go and end up regretting the commitment come the day of the party. The best networking advice is to go! You’ll never make new contacts if you don’t attend the event. Convince yourself that this party is worth it in the long run and then make the most of it. You don’t have to stay long but putting in an appearance will help, trust us!
2. Say hello
Attending the party is important but it will be a waste if you don’t mingle with the other guests. Most guests at a party don’t know everyone invited so the easiest way to start a conversation with someone is to walk up and say hello! They’ll be glad to have someone else to talk to.
3. Introduce yourself
Make sure the other guests at the party know who you are. If you want to broaden your connections it is important that people know who you are and what you’re about. Having a business card on hand is a great way to get your information into the hands of acquaintances you’d like to have remember you. People will remember you if you make an impression so make sure to introduce yourself to everyone and let them know your story.
Everyone is at a party to have a good time. Don’t be the person that sits in the corner by themselves. Smiling and being happy at the party will attract other people to you. Being personable is a great way to let other guests know you are open to a conversation. In addition, smiling and having an approachable persona at a party means people will be more likely to mingle with you and share their story.
5. Ask easy questions
A simple way to start a conversation is to lead with a simple question. These questions help get the conversation started and allow you to learn more about the person you are speaking with. ‘May I join you?’, ‘How do you know the host?’, and other similar opening questions help to ease the tension and help to get the other person talking.
6. Talk Less, Listen More
While it is important to help move the conversation along and have a back and forth with the person you’re talking to, it is also important not to hog the conversation. Actually listening to the answers someone else gives you is crucial to networking. It is important to give them their time to speak and give yourself time to listen to their responses instead of waiting for your turn to speak. Listening to someone’s response means you can gear the conversation based on their reply, instead of interjecting with your next thought or response.
7. Share your passion
While it is very important to let others speak and to listen to them talk it is equally as important to share your interests and passions with the other guests. When you are passionate about something and share that with others it shows. People respond to how others speak so when you speak with joy and enthusiasm others will respond positively to that energy and will have positive interactions with you.
8. Watch your body language
Non-verbal cues are just as important as what you say when you are networking. Make sure to portray confidence in your body language and to keep your arms uncrossed. Maintain strong eye contact and keep your physical appearance clean to portray a strong, kept, and confident demeanor.
9. Limit your alcohol
Getting drunk at a party where you are trying to make business contacts is a terrible idea. Make sure to manage your drinking in order to make a favourable impression on the other guests at the party. No one wants to be the person who makes a fool of themselves and ruins their networking opportunities.
10. Follow up
It is important to follow up with any good contacts you make at these holiday parties. If you have a good connection with someone and are given a business card or any indication they would like to hear from you be sure to follow up in the new year. This will open the lines of communication and show that you were listening and are sincere in your intentions to connect with these individuals.