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{VIDEO} 7 Tips To Connect At Holiday Parties! - Debra Trappen
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{VIDEO} 7 Tips To Connect At Holiday Parties!

I was recently interviewed by Debra Helleren on her Secrets Unplugged series for Homes.com.  She wanted to talk about pro tips for networking – especially this time of year with all of the holiday parties happening.  

I hope you enjoy our “under 11 minutes” chat…


If you don’t have time to watch the video for the tips, or want to review the notes from our chat, you can read them here:

Networking… oh, bittersweet networking!  It can be awkward, not many people are “good” at small talk, and meeting strangers makes most of us anxious.  However, when looking back on the events we DID attend, most of us do not have regret about that time spent with others.  They may not have been a blast, especially if  connecting with others does not come naturally to us, but with practice and preparation they can help each of us feel more comfortable (and successful) in those situations.

Now is the time to lift your confidence, put on your best bling, and set yourself up for success in the new year at your next holiday party!




1. Define Your Objectives

Know what you want to accomplish, who you want to meet, and be prepared

  • If the event is on Facebook/Eventbrite: review the attendee listCreate your FOCUS LIST.  3-5 people with whom you want to build a deeper connections
    • Note: this is also why it is important to RSVP!
  • If there is a hashtag for the event – search/review/engage before you get there.

Social Media Review Pre-Eventreview11posts

  • Review their last 11 posts to find out what they have been up to lately
  • Make a note or two about each person on your “focus list” and pop it in your phone

2. Choose Your BEST GUEST!

As important as it is for you to know who the “key people” are at an event, the same holds true for your guest. The person you have chosen to accompany you to a business function, and how they behave, reflects directly on you – whether positively or negatively.

  • Arm them with some basic knowledge of your focus connections
  • Know exactly how to introduce them to others…
  • Make sure you both have a few great stories to share about the other person – just in case you are at a loss for words
  • Have a signal for when you can’t recall a name so they know when to jump in and introduce themselves (and uncover the name!)




No need for random small talk with those on your FOCUS LIST.

  • Connect on topics from their last few social media posts…
  • Share about a recent post you read that would be of interest to them… 

4. Everything in MODERATION

There is no quicker career killer than public displays of drunkenness at a business function. Don’t embarrass yourself by dancing like a crazy person… or worse – get caught in inappropriate situations or act aggressive in any way.  This also goes for too much sugar.  Not only will it hurt your waistline and sleep… it will kill your productivity the day after!

Quick Tip: Have a glass of wine and a rich nibble… then switch to club soda with a twist of citrus.  Still festive, but hydrating! 


Being memorable is key at social gatherings.  We are all meeting ooooodles of new people, so how can you stand out?  Consider a couple of these tips:

  • Give a memorable takeaway… ditch your boring business cards and try something new like moo.com‘s mini moos!  You want to not only remain top of mind, but also completely accessible, post-event.
  • Mesmerize with interesting, intriguing and inspiring words!Share a great story about your guest… or have them share one about you!  You will both elevate your memorability factor!
    • Instead of always answering “what do you do” with your basic reply, replace the answer with your niche statement!
    • Ask a different question when you meet new people.  Try asking “What do you do for fun?” at your next event and see the conversation spark with energy! 


6. Follow Up (tomorrow… not tonight!)

  • Send a thank you note.  If you have a snail mail address – post one.  If you don’t, email will do.
  • Connect with them ONLINE
    • Check out their website and sign up for their blog post RSS feed!
    • Request to connect LinkedIN if they are someone you want/will be doing business in the future.IF there was a personal connection, send them a friend request on Facebook.  Don’t forget to include that personal note!
      • Be sure to include a PERSONAL NOTE reminding them of where you met and what you spoke about… Do NOT assume they will remember you. Please.
    • If they have social icons on their site – follow them on other social media platforms you have in common like: Twitter, Pinterest, IG, Tumblr, etc.
    • Mark your calendar to connect with them in the next 11 days…
      • Ideas for connecting: schedule a coffee chat, send a blog post they would enjoy, follow up on the conversation you shared… The idea is to keep TOP of mind with them!

7. Post your photos (yes, the day after!) Don't post online RULE

Why not?  You don’t want your judgment impaired or reputation marred… or anyone else’s who may be in (or in the background of) your pics.  Remember, not everyone is getting the tips we shared about moderation!

A few other tips:

  • Make sure each person in the photo looks FAB.  No belly rolls or double chins please.  You want people to be HAPPY you posted the photo, not immediately un-tagging themselves.  Simple ask: would you want it posted of you and post accordingly!
  • Make sure to TAG each person in the photo
  • Pay attention to the conversations your photos spark.  Acknowledge the comments by liking and responding to them!  PLEASE do not post and RUN…The “post and run” is like hosting a cocktail party, decorating the house, opening the front door and then running up to hide in your room all night!  

#MoxieMemo: When attending an evening social event – don’t post online after nine or two glasses of wine. (click to tweet)

 It was my heart’s desire to share some of my fun networking tips for your next party.  

If you have a fun tip, trick or truth you use, please share it in the comments below!


Video originally appeared on homes.com!

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