Just one look at your calendar will tell you that the holiday party season is in full effect. From branded events to friendly gatherings, working the room like a true party professional is an important skill that can definitely work to your advantage. Yes, walking into a room full of business folks is intimidating but if you play it cool, you could walk away with more friends, potential business partners and business deals in the works.
Turn up the charm this holiday season with these successful partying tips:
- Familiarize yourself with the brand representatives and PR people: You know that scene in The Devil Wears Prada where Anne Hathaway's character has to memorize the entire guest list of a big soiree two hours before the event in order to keep her job? Well, we don't want you to do that but you get the idea. Identify who the party's key players are, know their names and show them that you know your stuff. Remember, this is your chance to demonstrate your expertise and to position yourself in the best light.
- Streamline your introduction: Can you deliver your name, profession and relationship to the hostess in literally 10 seconds flat? If not, get skilled. A speedy yet clear introduction is best, no matter the party. Keep it short and sweet. And if the other half wants to know more, they will ask.
- Don't hide by the catering table: Parking yourself next to the catering is the surest way to leave a party basically unnoticed. How can you charm business folks with food in your mouth?! This is the time to mingle with new and old peers, congregate with those influencers who can make or break your blog business. And you know what? Those influencers will not be at the catering table. (and if you are that hungry, befriend the waitstaff and have them walk your way with the appetizers. Works every time.)
- Listen more, talk less: The easiest way to win friends at a party is to ask questions and actually get to know your fellow guests. The surest way to make enemies? Talking about yourself, over and over again. Make it a goal to walk away from each conversation with knowing two to three key facts about the other person.
- Leave your ego at the door: Rolling into a party like you own the joint is probably fine for your own party, but not for a brand event. No one appreciates (or respects) a cocky blogger so keep the ego at home. Treat fellow attendees with respect, don't be rude to the waitstaff, avoid making outlandish scenes. Seems like common sense, I know but it bears repeating. You never know who is watching your behavior and you don't want to make a bad first impression. Don't forget, how you act at a party will determine if you get an invite to the next party.
- Be clear about the party's theme. Some holiday parties are down right rowdy while others are more refined. Do your homework and analyze the brand's corporate culture. You are far better off with more insight about the party. You'll know how to dress, who else is attending, when to show up and what the party's vibe is like.
- Be yourself: People have a pretty good bullshit radar and if they can sense you being fake, they will walk away from your conversation with a bad taste in their mouth. Authenticity reigns supreme when it comes to first impressions so be yourself. Stop with the fake laugh and be genuine.
- Do the follow-up: Have you ever gone to a party, met a cool person and then immediately forgotten their name? yeah, don't do that. After talking with a PR person or business colleague, either grab a business card or put their name into your phone and ask the hostess the next day for contact information. Then send a brief follow-up email that states how glad you were to meet them and how you hope to further discuss potential opportunities. The major tidbit here? Do the follow-up within 1-3 days after the party. If you wait any longer, the other person may not remember who you were and won't respond.
For more networking tips, you can brush up on our networking guide that will get make you a party-charming natural. Do you have any tips for the holiday season? Or have you seen something that other bloggers should NOT do?