Most of us know there's much more to networking than cordial introductions and surface conversations. To ensure you're getting the most out of networking opportunities, prepare by making note of who you want to speak with, take time to see what value you can provide, and figure out what exactly you want to gain from the interaction.
Networking is one of the primary reasons why all spa professionals from across the globe gather at the annual ISPA Conference & Expo. The event is designed specifically for today's spa leaders to interact with like-minded industry professionals, sprouting ideas and inspiration you wouldn't otherwise obtain.
In order to make networking worthwhile (at Conference or elsewhere), keep these three things in mind:
Prepare talking points
Odds are that you have some key topics in mind that you are determined to talk about and gather information on. Perhaps that includes wanting advice on how to better manage your team, make your next project unforgettable or add a new product to your retail lineup. Whatever you are yearning to resolve, be sure your ideas or issues are developed and ready to be heard.
Don't make it all about work
As the concept of work-life integration continues to replace the work-life balance mantra, networking too has evolved into a more relaxed, fluid approach rather than a stiff, "What is your five-year plan?" question. Find common ground with the person you are engaging with regarding hobbies or family life to let the other person get to know the whole you - outside of your numbers for the quarter.
Following up shortly after a meetup is a crucial, and often overlooked, last step in networking. Email whomever you spoke with letting them know you enjoyed the conversation, and thank them for their authenticity. Also, being specific goes a long way. Tell them what particularly piqued your interest and explain how you are going to implement their suggested strategy or carry out the career goal you disclosed. If it's a new business relationship you want to flourish, a handwritten note always leaves a lasting impression.