For many people, this week’s Thanksgiving holiday marks the official start of the holiday season. It’s typically a time for crazy busy schedules in your personal life, but sometimes the work grind slows down a little and there’s time to catch up on things.
That’s what makes the holidays an ideal time for business networking. Here are some holiday networking tips to put into action over the next several weeks.
Attend Holiday Events
Even if it’s just a quick drop-in, plan to attend a few holiday parties and other end-of-year celebrations. Work the room – introduce yourself to people you don’t know, keep the conversation light (no sensitive topics), listen more than you talk and hand out your business cards (make sure you get theirs as well). Follow up with your new connections after the holidays and keep the relationship growing into the new year.
Host a Thank You Lunch
Plan a casual thank you lunch or happy hour for your colleagues, clients and promising business prospects. Show your appreciation for their friendship and don’t expect anything in return. If your wallet allows it give a small, personalized gift to everyone who attends.
Re-Connect Through Email
If you wanted to re-connect with a few people this year but never got around to it, the holidays are the perfect time to do so. Send out a few emails to those you’d like to re-connect with and keep in touch with in the coming year – a previous boss, old client or former co-worker. You’d be surprised how many people you can reach out to if you just take a couple minutes over the holidays to send out a few friendly email messages.
Polish Up Your LinkedIn Profile
Now is a good time to give some TLC to your LinkedIn profile or whatever other channel you might use to connect with people in your industry. Make sure your profile pic is recent, update your work experience and skills list, promote your projects, join some LinkedIn Groups and make sure all your contact info is on your profile (tel numbers, email, website, etc.)
Have any other holiday networking tips? Share them with us!