The holiday season is busy for all of us. There are personal and professional social events, endless to-do list, and, oh yeah, your work responsibilities. Even though you might want to pass on all those holiday invites, don’t. Whether you are looking for a new job or trying to expand your network, the holidays are a perfect time to build and reconnect face-to-face relationships. Many local industry organizations and associations host holiday networking events. This is a great opportunity to go out, have fun, meet new people, reconnect with existing connections and identify business opportunities. Warm up your holiday networking with these tips*:
1. Attend Holiday Gatherings
This is an obvious one, but shouldn’t be overlooked. Think quality over quantity meaning that you don’t have to attend every event that you are invited to. Choose those events in which you will meet and make the most valuable connections. Also, seek out your local industry organization and associations events. These are often to open to members and non-members and could offer a great way to get more familiar with that organization and/or meet some its members.
2. Send Holiday Greetings
Your company might send out paper or electronic greetings, but make sure that your contacts get a personal greeting from you. In networking, it is essential to stay connected continually and the holidays are a perfect time to reach out to your contacts in a very non-threatening, non-salesy way.
3. Personal Networking
Set up lunch or coffee dates with your contacts during the holiday season. For some, business tends to slow down (or give the appearance) of that during the holiday season. This is a perfect time to schedule some additional face-to-face time. Use this time to catch up, swap ideas, or share an interesting lead. Also, make sure that you are generous with your time and willingness to get that check.
4. Don’t Always Talk About Business
The holidays are great time of year to get to know people on a more personal level. Go beyond the regular business talk to get to them outside of business. Great holiday conversation starters include holiday traveling, traditions, worst/best holiday memory, etc.
5. Don’t Drink too Much
Attending soirees with great holiday drinks make sure that you are treating these functions like any other time of the year. Be on good behavior!
6. Be Genuine
As with all other networking, you should approach holiday networking with the mindset of how you can help others. Your motive should be how you can help your contacts, not what can you do for me.
7. Have Fun!
This is the most important tip of all. While networking is a serious activity that take a lot of work, make sure you relax and enjoy yourself during this time of the year. Since networking is more relaxed during holiday functions, you may find your interactions to be more social. As long as you are still acting professionally, give yourself permission to have fun!
Put your holiday networking skills to work at these holiday functions around town. Please feel free to add your organization and firm’s holiday event information in the comments section.
SMPS Central Florida – Holiday Social
- Tuesday, December 4, 2012
- Free to attend!
- 5-7pm Ice Skating in Winter Park ($10 each)
- 7-9pm Drinks and Socializing at Eola Wine Company (One free drink ticket and appetizers available)
- Magic Ticket Giveaway
- For additional details and to RSVP
CREW – Industry Holiday Party (Members Only)
- Tuesday, December 11, 2012
- 5:30pm – 7:30pm
- Country Club of Orlando
- More information here
American Marketing Association in our Around Town event
- Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012
- 6:00pm-8:00pm | Happy Hour Pricing til 8:00pm
- Brio Tuscan Grille, Winter Park Village
- More info here
Winter Park Blue – Evening Under the Stars at the Maitland Art Center
- Thursday, November 29, 2012
- 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
- 231 Packwood Avenue, Maitland, Florida 32751
- RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org
I work with principals to implement disciplined approaches to their sales and marketing efforts throughout the Southeast US. Most of my experience has been for transportation planning and engineering. Similar to selling services, I have also help clients market their projects to the communities, stakeholders, and elected officials. Using similar focused plans and strategies, I work with agencies to develop public outreach campaigns and tailored messaging for large infrastructure programs. I love my family, the Gators, Rays Baseball, the beach, and a good glass of red wine. Connect with me at Lindsay.Diven@tylin.com, 407.563.7113, @LindsayDiven, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Pinterest.