Professional Networking is one of the pillars in my marketing. I aim to keep the Magnolia Jazz Band “top of mind” with all my colleagues. So I’m eager to meet with everyone often, to keep our relationships fresh and strong.
Whatever business you’re in, you probably do professional networking, too.
I attended a wonderful professional networking event yesterday. 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.
YOUR turn. What’s YOUR favorite tip for professional networking?
Thanks for reading my blog. I appreciate your interest and hope you get a few good ideas here. Please comment and continue this conversation. I’ll reply to you, and so will others who share your interest. You’ll make new connections.
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The Magnolia Jazz Band entertains at weddings and parties throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. If you are nearby, you’ll love catching us in action, seeing and hearing us create a great mood. In the meantime, please join our Magnolia Jazz Band fans on Facebook to receive daily tips for planning wedding and party music and to receive reminders for our public events.