You have can pin a nametag to your chest, grab the next drink that comes along and introduce yourself. While this is a tried and tested formula for making contacts during business networking events, making critical new connections should not be limited to the four walls of a hotel function room or bar. Here are four creative ways to networking outside the box.
1. The Sauna
While many professionals prefer to dress to impress as they meet potentially new business partners, in Finland, the attitude is less is more. When you travel to the country, temperatures are usually just above freezing and sauna is a traditional means of keeping toasty warm in the most frigid days. This is not only an activity the Finns enjoy with their friends; it’s also a way for meeting and mingling with business associates!
While sweating in the nude may not sound like a great way of selling your ideas, it’s a definite icebreaker that will get the conversation going. In fact, the Finnish believe that the beauty of the sauna is that it equalizes everyone. In the sauna, you do not meet a person behind a suit or titles, but an individual.
2. During Transportation
While a majority of people will avoid eye contact and engaging with other passengers, striking up conversations with strangers on buses, planes or trains can easily result to helpful business leads. Several apps are available to help business people make the most of their plane travel time, turning them into networking opportunities. KLM’s Meet & Seat and Planely allow you to share your profile and travel information with travellers, and then arrange for you to sit with those you have the same interests.
However, just be careful about how much information you divulge or you’ll require the services of attorneys like Oberheiden & McMurrey. The informality of such a meeting means that you can bring the conversations round to your industry, skills and talents more naturally than if you had met in a structured networking setting. If you put a little thought behind your approach, travelling from point A to B could easily yield great business benefits.
Are you capable of networking over yoga or weights as easily as you can nibble on canapés and sipping a glass of wine? One of the latest trends in the US is combining your workout session with an opportunity to make business connections. Sweatworking works on the philosophy that time costs money and even a circuit training session may be used for growing your business – it helps time-poor business owners and entrepreneurs combine their fitness regimes with all critical networking.
Apart from losing weight and saving time, networking in the gym offers you several benefits. It becomes easier for you to make genuine connections with other people. The business bond will form faster as individuals share the success of pushing and challenging themselves through a set of challenges in class.
4. At the Beach
The beach is for the dip in the sea, the ice cream and lots of sunbathing. However, it’s also a place where business owners are networking as they work on their tans. A fast search on Google yields many options for beach-bum business owners looking to create new connections in various sunspots from Long Beach, California to Cannes, France.
The beach is a great place for men and women that allow plenty of time to chat and get to know other beach goers – making it the perfect opportunity for making new business contacts. Unlike formal networking events, there is no pressure – it is just informal and really friendly.