Twelve Tips for Networking at Company Holiday Parties

Topics: Agent Tips

Summary: Holiday parties are the perfect time to network with co-workers, executives and potential customers. Many parties were cancelled last year due to COVID-19 restrictions. This year, parties are back to a limited degree. Learn twelve tips for networking during holiday business events.

Last year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, holiday business events were held virtually, if they were held at all. With employees returning to the office, declining coronavirus cases, and vaccinations and booster shots on the rise, the 2021 holiday season is seeing a return of some in-person company parties.

Companies are putting more thought into where and when they host their holiday parties by choosing outdoor venues or moving company gatherings to other times of the year. Parties could be limited and some could continue to be virtual, based on a business’s state COVID-19 guidelines for gathering. If you are attending a holiday party, check with the event hosts to see if vaccinations, testing, masks and other COVID-19 safety precautions are required.


Tips for Networking at a Company Holiday Party

In-person or online, holiday parties are a good occasion to network and make connections for future new opportunities. Networking during a pandemic brings challenges, but the key is to plan and reach out to people and follow the basic networking rules.

Below are some tips to help you make the annual company office party a successful networking event:

Networking Tip #1: Go to the event with a positive attitude 

It will be obvious to everyone if your attitude shows that you don’t want to be there simply by the look on your face. Party attendees will not want to associate with someone who has a negative look.

Networking Tip #2: Set goals or a strategy for the event 

Do your research about the event and its attendees. If you're invited to multiple holiday parties, make sure that attending a certain party will serve a purpose other than just to have fun. Go into the party with your goal. For example, create a list of people that you want to talk to at the event and try to make those connections.

Networking Tip #3: Network with the right people

While it is comforting to stick with your usual clique of people at the holiday party, it is important to break out of that group and socialize with others. In doing your research, you will find the people that you need to network with to meet your goals.

Networking Tip #4: Stay off of your phone

Office parties are time to relax and enjoy the moment, not surf the web. Plus, checking your phone every few minutes gives the impression that you’re distracted and unapproachable.

Networking Tip #5: Participate in the event 

Participating in the event goes along with attending with a positive attitude. Join in the fun of the theme, such as wearing an ugly holiday sweater or taking part in the white elephant gift exchange.

Networking Tip #6: Don’t hover around the food table

Don’t spend too much time standing around the food table. The purpose of the party is to talk to people and expand networking opportunities.

Networking Tip #7: Bring your business cards

Make sure you have business cards on hand, but don’t overdo it by handing them out to anyone that will take one. Keep them in a pocket until someone asks for one. After you give the card out, ask the person for their card in return.

Networking Tip #8: Utilize your business contacts

Ask a business contact or coworker to help with introductions to a person they know on your goal list. When a mutual acquaintance makes introductions, it tends to be less awkward.

Networking Tip #9: Be conversational and listen

Start a conversation with current topics (not business-related) after you introduce yourself. Ask friendly questions and pay attention to the person you are speaking with. Always treat everyone with respect and attention.

Networking Tip #10: Know your alcohol limits

Set a limit to two drinks at the party. You don’t want to be remembered because you overdid it at the company holiday party. You want to make a great impression so people will remember you.

Networking Tip #11: Know when to leave the party.

Note when the party seems to be slowing down and make your exit in a timely manner.

Networking Tip #12: Say thank you

Personally thank the host of the party before leaving and follow up with a thank you email or personal note the next day. Send follow-up emails or make calls with the people that you spoke with at the party. Also, connect with party attendees on social networks, especially LinkedIn.

Enjoy Your Holiday Parties this Season!

Use the above tips to help you create a smart networking strategy so your company holiday party is worth attending. Hopefully, you'll make some great new connections or business opportunities – and have fun while doing it!

At AmTrust, we appreciate our agents the whole year through. For more information growing your book of business with our small business insurance options for your valued clients, please contact us today.

This material is for informational purposes only and is not legal or business advice. Neither AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates represents or warrants that the information contained herein is appropriate or suitable for any specific business or legal purpose. Readers seeking resolution of specific questions should consult their business and/or legal advisors. Coverages vary by location. Contact your local RSM for more information.

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