This time of year is great for so many things, but in the age of constant digital connection, it’s the real human connections that make this season great. That endless list of holiday parties provides you with plenty of chances to socialize, and chilly days are the perfect excuse for follow-up coffee meetings with anyone you connect with who you're interested in engaging with professionally. That's why, as a business owner, it’s important to prepare ahead of time so you can maximize these rare in-person interactions. Here are OTR's go-to strategies for maximizing those holiday connections.
Set goals. Since the new year is looming, this is a great time to sit down and take stock of where you are in your business vs. where you’d like to be. Similar to what we wrote about in a recent post, take some time to look over your budget, client list, and whatever other documents help you understand where you’ll finish the year. From there, decide what you’ll need to line up to get the next year started off right. Whether it’s a few new partnerships, industry connections to make your job a bit easier, or even some new freelancers or staff members, having an idea of your needs can help shape your interactions with others. Looking for a great planner where you can (gasp) write out your goals and plans? Check out the fully-customizable options from Erin Condren.
Do a little digging. Before you head out to a party, think through whom you could run into and do a little research. We like to think about what industry the host or hostess of the party is in and read up on industry current events and trends. This helps us prepare for conversations and get comfortable with insider language. Check out Trendspottr for in-depth information, and be sure to do a quick check of Reddit in your area, and in any pertinent industries before heading out so you've got the most up-to-date info hidden in your back pocket.
Plan ahead. Make sure you’ve got a stack of business cards with you wherever you go. For cool, original designs, check out Moo.com. Also, be sure to load your phone with portfolio images, just in case. You never know when you’ll run into someone who wants to know a little more about what you do. We also love to make sure we feel good. So, treat yourself to a manicure, a blowout, or whatever makes you feel like you run the world! Our latest favorite obsession is rent the Runway Unlimited. You can have endless work outfits, or that special party dress for a flat fee per month. That is cause to celebrate!
Stretch those run-ins a bit further. If you meet someone who you’d love to learn more from, or someone you think could become a client, don’t be afraid to ask him or her to join you for coffee (or tea). Take initiative and offer to call or email to set something up, and when you do, make sure the plans are simple and to the point, suggesting times you are free, and something you would like to discuss.
In random run-ins and planned meetings alike, always remember to keep this question in mind, “How can I help you?” This is the single most important question anyone, random run-in, friend, or client alike. After all, that's all we really want, isn't it? Just a little help from our friends.
Happy December, Folks!
Want to see what else On The Run Events has been up to? Check out our portfolio here. Dying to say hello? Click here to drop us a line. We look forward to connecting!