It’s that time of year again – the silly season when our diaries fill with festive gatherings. Colleagues, neighbours, friends and family get together to celebrate the year past and plan for the year ahead. Do you see these gatherings as an opportunity to spark positive change? We do.
This resource will help you think about how you can make the most of coming together with like-minded people, to tell your story and raise a glass!
Here are our ten tips on how to make the most of the festivities and do some great networking:
1. Have fun. Networking can feel like an intimidating and alien concept to some of us, but at its core it’s just a word for what we love to do naturally – connect with likeminded and interesting folks. Think of it this way and have fun meeting some great people.
2. Share your story when you’re out socialising – don’t keep ‘networking’ for work-related or project-related events. Tell people what you’re up to with your project, you never know who could hear your story and help you achieve even greater things.
3. Introduce yourself to others – say hello and make connections. The people that surround you are the best people to share your knowledge and experience with. Give people your contact details. Don’t forget your business cards, if you have them. Or take a notebook and pen, if you don’t.
4. Look up the speakers and organisations that will be attending events you’re going to. What are their backgrounds and areas of work? Chances are there will be people attending who share your passions and have knowledge that could help you.
5. Use social media – tell your story on social media, believe that it’s an interesting story worth telling. When out at events this holiday season, share on social media that you are at the event. Use the event hashtag and tag the event organisers and any interesting people that you’ve met. This could help you to connect with them after the event.
6. Ask questions and be interested in others. Really listen to others when they talk. You never know what the conversation will uncover.
7. Networking is about giving as well as receiving. Remember you also have skills, expertise and connections that can help others.
8. Have confidence in who you are and what you do – believe in yourself and your project as much as we do.
9. Share your challenges as well as your successes. We all want to show ourselves and our work in the best light but actually the best connections and opportunities for problem-solving are when we’re honest about our challenges. You won’t be the first person to be experiencing that challenge and chances are you’ll meet someone who has a skill or idea that could help you.
10. Bonus tip: Follow Semble on social media. We share community news and opportunities from community projects, partners and other awesome organisations. Keep your eyes peeled for opportunities to connect.