While we certainly haven’t seen the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, with vaccinations on the rise, life is starting to feel a bit more back-to-normal these days.
Businesses are open more fully, and that may include your very own workspace. This may have you wanting to get back into the swing of things when it comes to networking, too. Just how do you go about it? Here are some tips…
- Access your comfort level. Are you okay with meetings in person? Is it only when limited to a certain number of people or if those people are vaccinated? Or do you feel good with most situations because you, yourself are vaccinated? Seek out what suits you best and start slow, scheduling just one event to start. If you feel like you need to know more about what the event will entail, you should have a point of contact you can reach out to for answers.
- Remember your conversations are most important. Don’t feel like you have to go into an event expecting big results or follow-up meetings galore. Easing back into networking during a pandemic necessitates understanding on everyone’s part and what’s really important at the jump is to simply re-connect. Remember you likely haven’t seen these people face-to-face for quite some time. You may be eager, but cautious, and they may feel the same. But surely everyone has plenty to discuss! Ice-breakers should be easier now more than ever.
- Be flexible. Remember that COVID-19 has created complications for everyone in all-new ways to some extent. Businesses are experiencing staffing shortages and increased supply expenses, and parents are experiencing childcare changes, education disruptions, and more. It may be harder to follow up with your contacts post-event to get another meeting on the books, but be sure to give your connections – both old and new – grace.
- Continue to leverage virtual connection options. Now that we can get together, it doesn’t mean we should forget about those options that helped keep us connected in times we couldn’t be in the same room. When needed, use Zoom, Facebook groups, and professional social networks like LinkedIn to your advantage. And don’t forget to pick up the phone and email, too! Technology is still your friend.
We’re getting together in person. Join us! Learn more about Pagoda Business Network online at pagodabusinessassociation.com. We’re planning to meet on Oct. 13, 2021 at Manor Golf Course. Hope to see you there!
Nikki Murry is editor of Berks County Living magazine and a freelance writer, editor, proofreader and blogger. In her free time she is an active dog rescue volunteer and enjoys spending time with her 16-year-old son, Riley, and her three dogs: Buddha and Shelly, French Bulldogs, and Bruno, a Boston Terrier.