Most people think parties are great only to get drunk or go wild. But there’s a lot more you can do at a good party. Find out how to network at a party. By Keith Brown
Do you understand the real potential of networking at a party?
I know a good load of people who hate partying and clubbing.
It’s generally understood that parties are just a way to spend time, get drunk or lose a good evening of watching the television.
But partying and meeting people at every opportunity you get can do a lot more good than bad, if you really know how to network at a party.
For many party animals, fun wild nights top their list of priorities on a night out.
To me, the high point of my unbuttoned-collar night out is when I meet people.
And by this, I don’t mean beautiful women with heaving bosoms.
I mean meeting people. People, who matter to me, people who can do more good to my existence than an aching hangover the morning after.
How to network at a party
We’ve heard that this is a small world, but how small is it really?
How many times have you wanted to meet someone, but couldn’t get a meeting fixed? Or how badly did you want to meet the celebrity who just signed you an autograph and didn’t look back once? You see, it’s not easy to meet interesting people when all of us are locked up in our office cubicles for almost the entire day.
But the world definitely does open up at dusk. People get home, deck up, and drive out to a watering hole in hordes. At this time of the day, you’re no different than the guy up on the twentieth rung of the ‘richness’ ladder who’s come down to relax over a drink, after work.
Meeting people at parties is like meeting new friends at a friend’s birthday bash. Designations and formalities are washed down with a drink, and it’s pretty much the time to unwind for everyone. Most new entrepreneurs who have just started off their organization rely more on making hierarchical contacts at cocktail parties rather than sitting in the receptionist lobbies of bigger organizations waiting for an appointment that would never come.
Let’s face it, it’s better to be acquainted as a friend before proposing business at a power meeting. Being personal friends always helps because people are willing to listen to your idea completely before they make up their mind.
Party networking and meeting people at parties isn’t really one of the hardest things to do. When you’re attending parties initially, it may feel quite odd to be the loner standing at a party, and quite frankly, you may not really like partying very much to begin with. If you can relax at Starbucks alone, why can’t you do it at a swanky whisky club?
If the thought of hanging out alone is unbearable for you, then go with your partner or a friend.
As you attend parties more frequently, you would be able to recognize the different people who are regulars, the ones who just ‘hang out’, and the ones who come to establish contacts.
And the coterie of regulars would recognize you back. What you need to focus on are the ones who come to these clubs to network and make new professional friends. These people are the ones who hold a drink in their hand and walk around, mingling with different people. They are usually ready to talk to you, if you work your courage up to talk to them. Even if you’re the new guy or girl who’s into a partying circuit, it’s a lot easier to meet people and mingle around than you would think.
How to start networking at a party
There are a few things you should know before you hit the street to paint the town red. For starters, it’s always the finer aspects that you should focus on, if you want to be taken seriously.
Dress appropriately. Never overdo it. If you’ve got a good body, wear something that will emphasize it rather than reveal it. And guys, lose the body-fit-shirt-silk-pants combo.
Those things are what college kids and wannabes wear. You’re a professional. Dress in subtle colors that will enhance your assets, make you look good and at the same time, make you look, most importantly, rich! Designer cuts always help, but if you can’t afford it, ditch it. To show that you’re class, remember subtlety is the key. Anything overdone gives your trashy attitude away.
Yep baby, you need wheels. A good one. Don’t take your broken down jalopy to a party. And don’t even dream of going there on two wheels. No one goes clubbing in a two wheeler. If you have a car that’s war-wounded on the road, see if you can park it in a distant corner, so you can take a quick walk into the lounge or star hotel. As long as you carry yourself off the car with dignity, you’d still be able to shine yourself off the black soot and glow in the party.
When you’re trying to network at a party, you need to behave in a comfortable manner. Be open to meeting people, but sit back and watch others around you calmly.
Don’t ever make it look like you’re trying to scrutinize another woman’s attire or a man’s conversational abilities. It would only make meeting new people a lot harder, and other people may avoid you like a cold sore. Most importantly, one of the clear giveaways that you’re a nervous beginner is when you start fidgeting, tugging or wiping sweat beads off your forehead.
Learn to stay calm and look confident when you’re out trying to network at a party.
Understanding how to network at a party can be a breeze if you know these tips for starters. Read the rest of the sneaky tips in how to talk at a party and make an impression.
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