Three reasons why Summer is the best time to network. And a few hot tips, to help you do it right.
- People are happy, which makes for better conversation. Networking is about building meaningful relationships over the long term. The best way to initiate a new relationship, or deepen an existing one, is to develop personal points of interest. Would you rather talk about process improvement – or share piña colada recipes? You can learn interesting details about people by comparing notes on your family vacations. Would you like to hear about my hometown of Montreal? It’s the host of the Just for Laughs Festival, and the Jazz Festival, and the birthplace of Cirque du Soleil. We can talk about our favorite comedians, jazz musicians, theatre and the arts. Such topics are far more engaging and memorable than chit chatting about the weather, or complaining about crowded subways. These connections set the stage for long-term relationships. These relationships can lead to client development, job leads, recommendations, promotions, board positions, and many more business and career opportunities.
- There are many different types of outdoor activities to help you network, socialize, have fun, and even learn stuff. So RSVP “Yes” to summer barbeques, rooftop wine tastings, golf outings, and Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center. Having an activity gives you a structure to engage with people, and makes it easier to make conversation. You can get the chance to learn some sassy new salsa moves, taste the difference between hot sauce and fireball hot sauce, or compliment your client on her golf swing.
- The weather is welcoming. It’s beautiful outside, and everyone wants a good reason to get out of the office. Offer to meet for iced tea at Bryant Park, take a stroll down the street for a walking meeting, or organize a lunch at an outdoor cafe. Your networking calendar will be full, and fun, all summer long.
These are the reasons why Summer is the best time to network. And so are Fall, Winter, and Spring. Because meeting new people is always in season.