A reunion is a typical Networking event. It aims to gather the graduates of a certain class to help them refresh their recollections, while creating an environment where new connections are established. A sense of belonging for our school is a heart-felt connection that most of us would like to have throughout our lives.
As years pass by dealing with our lives and careers, we are allured by the 'lullaby' of metropolitan cities. There is always little time but a lot of things to do. If this is the case, we need to make the most of some golden opportunities that we face. Attend the festivities, reunions, or any other events organized by your college to contribute to your network.
You may call your best friend from the college years to make a plan to go together. If you go alone, you will for sure find some other loners like you. However, avoid the risk of hovering over the beverages stand until you "bump into" a peer of yours.
The rules for other types of meetings also apply to this organization. Smell the environment, first. What is the atmosphere like? Who are the ones you have not seen for ages? What do they do now? There will for sure be some contacts that you'd like to rekindle. So, do have a business card with you.
Even during a quick chat, you can arrange a meet-up for a coffee in near future, and set a date for a gathering in a smaller group. The larger the group is, the harder it is to set a common date everyone agrees on. Plan somewhere central for the gathering so that transport is convenient for everyone. Moreover, take into account the business hours and lifestyles of those you're planning to meet up with.
Why do you attend the wedding ceremonies of your employees? Just because they invited you?
Weddings may be very boring for some people. Imagine a ceremony during which you saw sulky people seemingly trapped by their suits and ties, sitting alone the entire night. "If they were planning to resent all night, they should not have come", you probably thought.
I am sure this was what they were exactly thinking as well. After all, a wedding day is the "best day ever" only for the groom and the bride. Not for other invitees! Attending wedding ceremonies is important, though. Being a witness to their special day, sharing their happiness is just a message showing that you care about them. For this particular reason, "senior invitees" get on stage for 5 minutes and deliver an ordinary speech before disappearing.
Networking opportunities a wedding ceremony can provide are limited. After all, you attend the ceremony together with the people you already know and socialize within not quite an inclusive group. Wedding organizers have already arranged your seating. Unless there is a cocktail thrown before dinner, the only opportunity would arise when unknown people are seated at your table.
Questions like “Are you from the bride's side?" or "What is your connection with the groom?" are among the icebreakers to deepen a conversation. If you find the chat effective enough, you could ask the contact information of the other.
Despite the limited chance it offers to meet new people, a ceremony is highly likely to refresh older connections. Distant relatives, friends from a former school or former coworkers are brought together, in a way getting the chance to reconnect. If names are written on the tables, or if there is a list of invitees at the entrance, do have a look. Maybe a potential contact you've been seeking after is invited, as well. Who knows?
Old friends don't only meet up on good days. Sometimes, you're supposed to be "there" for your friends on sad days. Without a doubt, the passing of a mutual acquaintance cannot be considered as an opportunity for networking. However, even in funerals you may encounter former mutual friends with whom you can share the sorrow with, later on to keep going with where you've left your connection.
Ertugrul Belen & Optimist Publishing House