We, unfortunately, have not seen the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, but with vaccines and other treatments now at the ready, and being armed with more information on how to return to regular activities more safely, we’re starting to slowly get back to more “normal” activities.
That means returning to the workplace for many, and thus, also to in-person networking events. Are you anxious about starting to meet with groups of people face-to-face once again? Here are some tips that might help.
- Remember the benefits. Socializing and networking can be rewarding for your career and can help to move you forward professionally, can benefit your business, and can spark brainstorming sessions while you may have felt “stuck” flying solo for an extensive period of time.
- Come armed with questions. Feel like you’re starting this networking thing all over again and that you’re back at step one? Consider writing down a list of questions you think you’d like to ask others and work with that list in private, committing it to memory so you don’t feel like you’re going in cold. Remember that the pandemic has been an experience we’ve all gone through collectively.
- Have fun. Remember you aren’t just there to talk business. While you might not want to dole out hugs and handshakes, reconnecting and discussing common interests, hobbies, family topics, and more while face-to-face solidifies relationships and can help us to feel better, and offer a sense of relief and release.
- Decide where you’re comfortable. Perhaps you would feel best meeting others outdoors the first time you dip your toes back into the networking pool. There are surely ways to do that (our event this October is one of them). Think about where your comfort level lies and go with that. Feel free to ask questions about what safety protocols may be in place at the event if it will help you decide whether or not you can attend and feel good about doing so.
- Keep the networking going. Keep connecting on your calendar. Set times to touch base with others, perhaps over lunch one-on-one, or even virtually if it is more desired or more convenient.
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.