Professional Networking Tips for Weddings and Parties

by Robbie Schlosser

Selecting wedding or party music is a lot like Professional Networking.

Many tips I use for networking are also very helpful for planning wedding and party music.

Professional networking is one of the pillars in my marketing strategy.

With professional networking, I aim to keep the Magnolia Jazz Band “top of mind” with all my colleagues.  I aim to have people know me, like me, trust me, and, when the time is right, choose to do business with me.

Besides, I enjoy meeting with everyone often, to keep our relationships fresh and strong, so I attend several professional networking events each month.

Whatever business you’re in, you probably do professional networking, too.

Magnolia Jazz Band Professional Networking Tips for Weddings and PartiesMore about planing music in a minute.  First a story about a networking event, to show you how these skills help planning wedding and party music.

Here’s one networking event I remember well.

My friend, Duncan Reyes, threw another of his famous “Martin Madness” soirees.  A masterful event designer and wedding coordinator, Duncan celebrated his 53rd birthday by inviting every event professional in the San Francisco Bay Area to join his party in a chic SF cocktail lounge.

Here’s a few photos of me, Lolita Wong (of the Lafayette Park Hotel), and Duncan at the beginning of the evening.

What a night!  Maybe a hundred of us showed up, to enjoy food & drink, music, and GREAT conversations with old and new friends.  At the start, we greeted many friends we’ve already worked with, and at the end most of us knew nearly everyone there.

Professional networking events like this are such a gift to our industry.  They help pros like planners & coordinators, caterers, florists, photographers, DJs & musicians all work together more smoothly, more effectively, to please our clients.

Recalling my own experience there, I’m listing a few tips for what seemed to make it so successful.  Many people speak and write about how to work a room, and they list many more tips, but here are four of my favorites.

1.  I plan who to meet.  Ahead of time, I find out who will be attending and I contact them.  Then I prepare a few good stories to share once we’re together.

2. I act like the host.  I feel responsible to help everyone mingle comfortably and meet good contacts.  I smile and introduce myself to someone standing alone.  I introduce newcomers to regulars.

3. I come prepared, with plenty of my business cards.  I tell everyone “Thank you” or “Congratulations” for something they’ve done, and I follow up with everyone the next day.

4. I circulate all evening, meeting as many people as I can.  I aim to share at least a few words with everyone there.  I keep myself bright and upbeat by alternating between serious conversations and brief, light banter.

 See how these tips can help you planning wedding or party music?

1.  PLAN what highlights will need special music during your celebration.

2.  ACT with your guests in mind.  Put yourself in their shoes.  Your celebration will be successful when everyone there has a wonderful time.

3.  PREPARE with a list of your own favorite music, not only songs that suit the occasion, but also songs that you know your guests will enjoy hearing.

4.  CIRCULATE throughout your celebration.  Imagine not only how you want everything to look, but also what you want your guests to be hearing.  Think of all your senses:  What aromas will your guests enjoy?  What flavors will they be tasting?  What textures and temperatures will they be feeling?

 

Now back to networking, and it’s YOUR turn.  What’s YOUR favorite tip for professional networking?

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CLICK here to tweet this post, and join our Magnolia Jazz Band fans on Facebook.  You’ll receive daily tips for planning wedding and party music, and you’ll get reminders for our public events.



The Magnolia Jazz Band entertains at weddings and parties throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. If you are ever nearby, you’ll love catching us in action, seeing and hearing us create a great mood.

Thanks for reading this article. I appreciate your interest and hope you get a few good ideas here. Do you know a friend who needs help selecting wedding or party music? Please do them a favor: SHARE this article.

Or POST in on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+. Or write me a little COMMENT and I'll reply to you. And if you find my blog useful, please LIKE it, TWEET it, and SUBSCRIBE for more ideas. Use those cute little icons below.

Magnolia Jazz Band Professional Networking Tips for Weddings and Parties

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Christine Brady August 4, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Hi Robbie,

Back when I was in real estate, networking was a big part of my day to day activities. I think you made some great points – trying to at least make small talk with everyone at an event is very important. It’s difficult sometimes, but making sure you at least meet as many people as you can is my favorite tip.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

~Christine

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Robbie Schlosser August 7, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Thanks, Christine. You say “back when I was in real estate”, and I could say “back when I was a school teacher”. Whatever we did once upon a time helps prepare us for what we’re doing now. Which in turn is preparing us for what we’ll be doing 5 years from now. The people skills we develop for networking will continue serving us in dozens of ways. How are they helping you these days?

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Rowena August 4, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Excellent tips Robbie. I add ‘listen more than you talk’ and have good eye contact.

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Robbie Schlosser August 7, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Thanks, Rowena. Two more excellent suggestions. Especially about making good eye contact and using all the other aspects of body language, too.

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Julia August 5, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Great tips Robbie. I do those and ask lots of questions. People love when you want to learn about them and from them and when you contact them again, you can identify yourself by saying, “I’m the one who asked you . . .”

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Robbie Schlosser August 7, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Thanks, Julia. Wonderful suggestion about starting a follow-up conversation. Like you say, ask questions, then stand back and listen a lot and talk a little, like Rowena just said.

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Lisa Lindsley August 6, 2012 at 10:12 am

Make sure you get their card and then contact them and let them know it was fabulous to meet them. BTW, your hints have been really helpful for me. I am a singer and musician, it can be challenging at times as you well know.
Lisa Lindsley

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Robbie Schlosser August 7, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Thanks, Lisa. Glad you enjoyed these tips. You’ll find a few more great ones in these comments. BTW, I recommend welcoming those challenges you mention. They’re always coming at us, and meeting them makes us stronger.

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Steven Blake August 7, 2012 at 8:53 am

I found that listening to what people are interested in and then sending them links to relevant material as I came across it led to them reciprocating and a relationship building without it being based on “what’s in it for me”.

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Robbie Schlosser August 7, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Thanks, Steven. What a wonderful suggestion! Haven’t heard it before, but it’s a great win-win.

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Amethyst Mahoney August 7, 2012 at 2:29 pm

I find that in my business meeting just a few key people who I really connect with is far better than circulating and handing out business cards. (Understandably, in your position things are different.)

However, at large social networking events if I meet 10-12 people that are strong connections, it is a huge success. Many of us get irritated with people going around throwing their cards at us and talking about themselves. I’m sure you don’t do this, but I have to say at most networking events the majority of people do it all wrong and actually turn off people who could be their most important contacts.

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Robbie Schlosser August 7, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Thanks, Amethyst. I completely agree — how we stay connected with how many people depends entirely on what serves our business best. All the details are largely the same, but fine-tuned for each of us.
So you find that the majority of networkers do it badly? I’d expect these folks would either learn to improve quickly or else go out of business quickly. In my experience around here, it’s the former. Veteran colleagues help the newbies, because we ALL have more to gain from all our successes.

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Amethyst Mahoney August 8, 2012 at 10:50 am

Maybe I just tend to meet a lot of new people, and that’s why the majority are doing it badly. But I think a lot of times many people can hang on in their business for several years no matter what crappy things they are doing. :-)

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JulieJordanScott2 August 7, 2012 at 2:56 pm

What great tips. There is one I learned at a women’s conference years ago and it always helps build relationships at networking events rather than just reciting one’s elevator speech or thirty second pitch.

The trick? Ask the person you are speaking with where they are from – and then ask them questions about this in relationship to who they are and what they do and within those first three questions you will find something in common probably unlike anyone else has gleaned all evening. This works very well at a table if there is a sit down meal, soon everyone is interacting with everyone as the discussion moves beyond just the facts and into the relationships.

Great to find such great blogs on the KABN network today!

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Robbie Schlosser August 7, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Thanks, Julie. Glad you enjoyed these tips. You’ll find a few more excellent ones in the comments here.
Your suggestion is particularly good, I think, because it creates an unusual opportunity for people to talk about themselves and some things they’re interested in.
Yes, I’m also looking forward to reading many interesting blogs on the KABN.

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Gordon Bryan August 8, 2012 at 2:02 am

Hard to think of a short sharp tip that you haven’t already mentioned! Great ideas, and if I had to come up with something it would be to listen. Genuinely listen to what others have to say about themselves, and engage with their individual stories, as this creates big empathy in their minds. Cheers, Gordon

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Alana August 8, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Great tips Robbie!

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Amy Putkonen August 9, 2012 at 8:42 am

Hi Robbie,

I loved this post, mostly because I loved imagining how fun it would be if your business life were filled with fun parties and true connections. It would be fun to work with your friends and have parties with them and help each other to grow your individual businesses. What a great idea.

I think what I read through the comments speaks to where people are at these days with connections. We want them to be real and not just feel like we are one of the many on the list to check off at the event.

I loved the idea of following up with links and ideas that might be helpful to people. Having the intention of finding ways to help everyone at an event leaves people feeling good about meeting you and that is ultimately what you are going for. The business deals can come out of that later.

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