Unmasking Networking Guidelines: How to Reconnect After a Year in Isolation
Yesterday I attended an event with over 500 people—without a mask! What a joy to see these colleagues and friends. 😊
But, I also noticed that we forgot what we used to know so well which is how to make a connection. Let’s review what works and what’s new:
1) Ask About Shaking Hands/Hugging
Even though in most states vaccinated people are welcome indoors without a mask, stop and ask before handshaking or hugging. I noticed a number of folks still wearing masks and reticent about close interaction.
2) Bring Business Cards
Needless to say, most people showed up without business cards. Why? We all simply forgot after months of isolation. And, yes, you still need them. Trying to connect with someone on LinkedIn once you get back home is difficult, especially if his name is Bob Smith.
3) Bring Your Name Badge
What? You don’t have one? Who wants to promote the association brand when you can promote your own. Resolution for today: go get a customized name badge for a mere $5.
4) Wear Comfy Shoes & Clothes
Am I really mentioning this point? Uh, yep! Make sure you feel comfortable in your own skin and heels. If you think it’s too short, it is; if you think it’s too tight, if you think the jacket clashes with the shirt, it does. Feeling your best makes for a happy event.
Unless you’re seated, I recommend forgoing food. After all, eating and juggling a glass, a handshake, and new experiences is often complicated and messy. Further, why consume extra calories when you can later sit down for a quality meal later. (Hint: eat before you leave your house.)
Want more networking ideas? Drop me a note.
Here’s to seeing your happy, smiling face soon!