Holiday Party Networking: 9 Dos and Don’ts
When the line between personal and professional blurs at an evening company holiday party, know how to act. Remember: The boss is always watching. Holiday party networking should be causal and simple, with respect to the company hosting the gathering.
- Do talk with people from other departments in the company. This is a great way to learn more about the business and meet more people, especially if you’re a newcomer.
- Don’t linger by the appetizers or bar all night. Although you should have a good time, limit yourself to two alcoholic beverages and a few plates of hors d’oeuvres or you might start acting a little too casual.
- Do share your business card with outside guests at the party. This helps them easily connect with you later during business hours to follow-up on ideas discussed at the party.
- Don’t run to your office for paperwork or reports. Holiday party networking is about establishing connections, not doing the dirty work in a social atmosphere. Plan a lunch date later to go over documents.
- Do learn names. After chatting a while, thank the person for his ideas or express gratitude for the chat, and use his name. This creates a personal connection and shows a genuine interest.
- Don’t do all the talking. Listen to what others are saying and doing at the party. When in doubt ask an open-ended question and sit back and listen.
- Do have a two-sentence explanation for your position and goals. What will you say if the boss introduces you to a new colleague? Know your role well.
- Don’t dress too informally. This is still a business function–with flair. Think business casual with a nod to the holiday. A shimmering metallic purse or sequined seasonal top is an appropriate touch. Leave the jeans and funny holiday sweatshirts at home for the weekend.
- Do take notes about people you want to connect with later. Use a simple notepad app on your cellphone to write down topics, interests, or follow-up questions for people you’ve met.
As the invitations start stacking up, get ready to RSVP. You’ve got this! Be sure to make a statement with a professional business card from Paper Direct. A variety of full color, bordered, and patterned business cards are available to print from your desktop or have shipped to the office. It’s your choice!