Category : Blogs
Ok, hands up who’s already put their Christmas tree up?
* raises hand *
I thought so. There’s just something infectious and cheerful about the Christmas season few ca resist. And as the year draws to a close, we start to look back on the year and remember all those people who have helped us make it a success. If you’re an avid networker, many of those people will be fellow business owners who frequent the same events as you. So this year, why not show them how much you appreciate their support, and make the most of the Christmas season, with our festive networking tips.
Steer Away From Work Talk
While the idea behind networking might be all about generating business, the real value has always been in building relationships. So if you’ve spent 11 months talking about business, customers and strategic alliances, take December to do something different. Whether you’re at a Christmas networking event or your groups Christmas meal, get to know the people around you on a personal level. Talk about your families, what you’re doing for Christmas, your hobbies. By spending the time getting to know the people behind the business, you are building stronger relationships based on mutual like and trust – a key essential to successful networking!
Don’t Drink Too Much
Particularly when it comes to December, many networking events will bring out mulled wine and minced pies for their final meeting. This is a great way to get people chatting, reward them for coming along and start a lot of great conversations. But they are also a bit of a risk. Christmas dinners or free drinks can spell disaster for anyone who tends on a bit overboard, or just doesn’t keep track of what they’re drinking. No one enjoys watching someone humiliate themselves after one too many drinks, and it will do a lot to harm your professional reputation. So, if there is alcohol available at your event, just be sensible with it.
Work The Room
It’s all too easy to get sucked into a conversation with the first person you see, and suddenly realise the whole event has gone by. Festive meetings are usually a lot busier than usual, so use the opportunity to work the room and talk to everyone. Try and find people you haven’t met yet, or had more than a brief ‘hello’, and get to know them a bit more. Don’t end up as a conversation hog – it’s not good for you or the person you’re monopolising!
Above all, relax! Christmas is a time for fun, laughter and wine. (But maybe not too much of the latter, as we explained earlier). Festive networking is often the time that even the most staunchly professional let their hair down a bit and unwind. So don’t try too hard, and don’t send yourself mad trying to figure out how you can crowbar in a festive joke that also promotes your business (trust me, it rarely ends well). Instead, just focus on relaxing, chatting with people and having a good time. After all, it’s what Christmas is for!
At 10-12, we’re all for having a bit of festive fun. It’s why we’re currently gearing up for our annual Christmas lunch, which brings together members from all of our groups in one place for a full Christmas meal. Complete with crackers, secret Santa and, of course, plenty of laughter. If you would like to try out 10-12, December is one of the best months to visit. Just take a look at our meetings and choose one to come along to. We can’t wait to have you!