As social events take reign on the calendar, you may think it's time to leave your business cards and elevator pitches at home. Think again.
Networking opportunities via social occasions are abundant! Plus, you're likely more relaxed and less likely to feel "on," and therefore, more authentic.
Just take it from Diane Lyons, founder of FestiGals, an annual empowering women's getaway weekend held every June in New Orleans. For instance, Lyons planned a morning outing to Café du Monde for beignets, carriage house tours, and an empowering luncheon featuring keynote speaker Hoda Kotb. All events lent themselves to not only having fun, but networking, as well.
"As women, we need to support each other. All the arrows start to fall in place in the right direction when you make connection after connection that leads you to your goal," Lyons says. "Talk to each other, talk about business plans and help each other's business grow by trading ideas."
It could be as simple as striking up a conversation with someone new. For instance, in an antique store, you don't need to be in full-on business networking mode to succinctly strike up a conversation and remark on a beautiful jewel, Lyons advises.
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Of course, the key to effective networking is asking questions of the person you're speaking to such as finding out where they're from, what they do for a living, and being able to ask for help if you need it. This can happen anywhere - in the golf clubhouse, in an antique store, and even while waiting on a long line at the beach concession stand.
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Vicki Salemi About the author: Vicki Salemi is a career expert who taps into her 13+ years of experience as a human resources/recruiting executive at KPMG and Deloitte to enlighten and empower people. She's an author, journalist, public speaker and the author of Big Career in the Big City: Land a Job and Get a Life in New York and The ABC's of College Life.