There’s networking, and then there’s networking with craft beer. And if you were lucky enough to attend KR’s recent Beer Bash, then you know that small detail makes a world of difference. Read ahead for some tips on navigating the new style of networking that is (thankfully) shaping the way people make connections.
What I once dreaded back in my corporate days has become a necessity for someone with an independent work status. Networking is a crucial part of meeting people and establishing meaningful work relationships. But back in my office setting, networking had never been as enticing as it is now. The attention is finally shifting from stiff, awkward gatherings to relaxed interactions.
Take, for example, the recent Beer Bash put on by Kaufman Rossin. Conceptualized by one of its millennial leaders , the gathering not only successfully brought together 200 eager young professionals with a genuine mutual interest, it also managed to join everyone with the common thread of appreciation for the local beer community.
Wynwood Brewing Co., Concrete Beach Brewery, Michael’s Genuine Home Brew, Biscayne Bay Brewing Co., Gravity Brewlab, and 4th Age Brewing all served up their finest for tasting while Harry’s Pizzeria dished up some of the best meatballs anyone could ask for. To add to the festive ambiance, Miami Photo Booth Party set up shop with props and signs to capture the fun of the evening. If this is any indication as to where networking is headed, then someone, please sign me up!
Of course, it can’t just all be about food and drinks (though I’d love it to be). The point is to meet, mingle, and actually build mutually beneficial work relationships. So, though the ambiance may be festive, there are still a few things to keep in mind when attending events. Read ahead for some tips to navigating the new settings of the forward-thinking networking environment.
1. Dress the part. Suits may not necessarily be required but a professional and polished look that’s appropriate for your industry definitely is. Don’t slack on the outfit. It will leave an impression. Whether it’s a good one is entirely up to you.
2. Bring business cards. Yes, it’s true that it’s easy to find pretty much anyone’s business information online. But there’s something about handing someone your business card or accepting one from them that makes the transaction a bit more personal and memorable.
3. Socialize. Don’t just stand awkwardly by the food or beer (though that may be tempting). Go out and talk to people. See who you meet. Make an effort to come out of your comfort zone and at least introduce yourself to two new people.
4. Keep it casual. Just because it’s a networking event doesn’t mean you have to only talk about work. Don’t force the business talk. Start with casual conversation and see where that leads. What you do for a living and what industry you’re in will make its way into the conversation organically. No need to make it cut and dry. Everyone is there for the same thing.
5. Keep your poise. The drinks and food may be fun but too much of either can lead to unflattering results. Above all else, stay professional and polished.
6. Have fun. Still, after reading the above, that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t have some fun. Loosen up, get into the flow of the event, and enjoy yourself. No one wants to talk to the stiff suit in the corner who can’t crack a smile.
To stay up to date with Kaufman Rossin’s events, click here. Got any tips for networking from your own personal experience? I’d love to hear them!
Thanks to Kaufman Rossin for putting on one of the most enjoyable networking events I’ve ever attended. Craft beer and good food are a definite winning combination.