Monday, December 17, 2007

'tis the Season to be Merry

As we enter the last week before Christmas, you're possibly in the midst of event after event, from work Christmas parties, through awards dinners to catch up lunches with a host of clients.

Naturally the prime aim of these events is to have fun and let your hair down (for those of you lucky enough to remain sufficiently hirsute that is!). We can't ignore, however, the fact that you will be faced with a host of networking opportunities, both in terms of relationship building with colleagues, clients and suppliers but also the chance to meet new contacts.

If you get an invite to an annual dinner or awards event, how can you make the most of the opportunity?

One idea is to take a guest with you. Someone who is already well-connected in the local business community. As people tend to stick more closely to their own crowd at such events, if you attend with a 'connector', you will find that they will introduce you to a host of people you didn't previously know.

One client recently introduced his brother-in-law to one of his team who is based in the same area and who is responsible for business development. When the two met, they found that they both have very extensive networks locally and, between them, they know most people in the area. They now have plans to attend a range of networking events together, introducing each other to people in their network. What a great way to share their respective contacts.

So, when that invite next lands on your doorstep, ask yourself...who can I invite?

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