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A lot of people take the summer off. That is they don’t put much effort into finding a job or building their business. After all, it’s summer. Nobody’s around. A bunch of folks are on vacation. The rest are taking advantage of summer hours. Even business associations put their monthly dinner events on hiatus till September.
What they don’t realize is that summer is full of “hidden” networking opportunities. Along with warm weather, summer brings all sorts of events which are perfect setting for making connections. Not in the negative glad-handing, pass your business card around the table kind of way. (Not the best networking behavior anyway.) It’s about meeting new people and reconnecting with friends in a relaxed atmosphere.
What’s on your social calendar this summer? What local events are happening? My community has weekly concerts at the beach. What about yours? Here are eight ideas to get you thinking about summer networking:
Besides hopefully being fun, these are all potential networking opportunities. They offer you the chance to catch up with old friends and make some new acquaintances. Keep an open mind. You never know who you may sit next to at Cousin Emily’s wedding. Or who you might run in to at the Italian Festival.
Just be sure to have a few business cards with you in case someone asks. If for any reason you don’t have a business card – you’re out of work or your company doesn’t supply them – get one. A simple card with your name, contact information and a few words about what you do – marketing professional, social media expert, savvy salesperson – is sufficient. The important thing is to have one.
When it comes to summer activities it’s simple. Keep your eyes open for local events. Put a few on your calendar. If you get an invitation go. Take the initiative and organize a block party or a beach bash – invite five people and have each of them invite five people. Before you know it you’ll be hanging out with a group of friends and potential new ones.