Love this great article from Entrepreneur!

‘Tis the season for holiday parties. And like every great entrepreneur, you might want to pull out your festive tie or jingle bell-inspired earrings so that you can work a room.

Surely you want to make the most of each networking event so that you can walk away with more than just holiday cheer. A pocket full of business cards representing potential clients is always one of the best takeaways from holiday networking events.

In that spirit, here’s my insights on how to work a holiday party, Santa style.

1. Go it alone.

Resist the temptation to bring a wingman to your networking events. I find that I gain more from a networking event when I go it alone. Then I’m forced to work the room and introduce myself.

If you bring a pal, you’ll probably just end up in the corner talking to your friend. So if you’re making a point of attending an event for business, leave your friends at home.

You don’t see Santa hauling along his besties to help him deliver gifts on Christmas. No, Santa knows that if you want to focus on getting the job done, it’s best to go it alone.

2. Check your list.

My business manager, Mealea, taught me this trick and it’s brilliant. Prior to a networking event, call ahead and see if it’s possible to get ahold of the list of registered attendees. If this is a formal networking event, the organization will probably have such a list and may provide it.

That way you can create a strategy before walking in the door. When I attend networking events, I always have a hit list of the people I’d like to meet. I can google their names in advance so that I know what they look like and their interests.

This makes for more meaningful conversations and ensures that I’m likely to meet the right people at the right time for the betterment of my business and life. Like Santa, I work from a list.

3. It’s not about you.

Santa would never show up at a home and tell the children there what he wants for Christmas. That would be absurd: Santa knows that Christmas is not about him.

Likewise, the networking event you’ll attend is not about you. It’s about everyone else in the room. When you meet people at an event, ask lots of questions about what they do for work, fun and happiness. Inquire how you can help them achieve their dreams.

Then you’ll walk away from the party with a handful of cards from people with big dreams. I promise that if you help them achieve their dreams, they’ll probably help you do something similar.

4. Dress sharp.

Have you ever seen Santa in a sweatsuit? Of course not! He’s always looking dapper. And so you should be, too, especially when you’re out networking. Go out of your way to wear something that will set you apart from the crowd.

Wear a holiday tie, sparkly shoes or even a Santa hat. The beauty of a Santa hat is that it tells the world that you’re approachable. You’ll attract conversations by wearing it. Be bold, funny and cheerful by wearing your Santa hat and you’ll  never know where a conversation will lead you.

5. Believe.

The outward manifestation of your life is a by-product of what you believe in your head. If you go to a holiday party convinced that you’re about to meet the client of your life, you will.

On the other hand, if you go to the event in a bad mood, reciting in your mind all the other things you should be doing instead of being there, nothing good will come from it.

Every new person you’re meeting is like a new door of opportunity. You don’t know where it will lead until you knock. Bring a positive mindset and a smile to each party you attend and you’re likely to make new connections that will set you on a positive path for the new year.

via 5 Steps to Working a Holiday Party Like Santa.

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