Holiday Party Networking Tips

Happy Thanksgiving! With the holiday party season starting next week, it gave me an idea – holiday party networking tips.

So, I contacted some of this area’s networking experts and master networkers and ask them to provide their top tips. This is what I received back:

Toni J. Chanakas- A master networker (compared to myself), Independent Marketing and Nonprofit Consultant and volunteer at Seeds of Literacy:

“When you have collected all those business cards, what do you do with them now? Send holiday cards. It’s a nice way to remind the individual you met that you’re still looking, plus adding a festive touch. This works. A few people appreciated the gesture.”

Jeff Nischwitz – Founder & Chief Question Officer at Think Again and one of the Three Guys of Three Guys Presents, “Hosting unique events with a focus on interesting people, their passions and the power of relationships”:

“Thanks for your note. My top tip is similar to my non-holiday event tip, which is to plan ahead with different questions that will take the conversations to a deeper, more meaningful level. Networking is about beginning relationships, and relationships are based upon connections. Different and deeper questions allow the opportunity for these connections to take place. One of my favorite questions is ‘What do you like to do when you’re not working?’ Specific to a holiday event, I’d modify the question to ‘What do you like most about the holiday season?’ or even better, ‘What’s your favorite holiday memory?’  Creating a dialogue that’s more meaningful is one of the clear paths to relationships.”

Susie Sharp- Social Media and Online Content Diva at Social Zense Media and master networker:

“Better to have a ho-ho-ho time than to be the party ‘hoe. Ladies, dress conservatively, showing a minimum of cleavage, scent and makeup. You want folks focused on your face, not other ‘assets.’  Avoid the dreaded Christmas sweater and leave the giant bag at home. If you need holiday frou-frou, stick to some themed, non-glowing, non-blinking earrings. Remember to carry plenty of business cards, work the crowd and don’t monopolize conversations. Oh – and girls – DON’T travel in packs. Show your confidence by circulating solo. And whatever you do, stick to a one to two alcoholic-drink limit.”

Industry Events

11/23 Akron-Canton Web Meetup Group, 6:30 p.m., Blue Frog, Akron, RSVP,www.meetup.com/akroncantonweb. Guest speaker: Marc Canter. Several of my contacts are interested in this event.

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11/23 American Marketing Association Akron/Canton Chapter Local Marketing With Chipotle, 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m., The Winery at Wolf Creek, Norton, $40 nonmembers, RSVP, www.akroncantonama.org.

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11/29 Sales and Marketing Executives of Cleveland Networking Lunch, 11:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m., Windows on The River, Cleveland, $40 nonmembers, RSVP,www.smecleveland.com. Speaker: Umberto Fedeli, President/CEO, The Fedeli Group, on Relationships And The Power of Networking.

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12/01 Communicators Holiday Party, 5 p.m.-9 p.m., City Club, Cleveland, $30,2010communicatorsparty.eventbrite.com. THE holiday party for communications industry. This year, Society for Professional Journalists (SPJ), Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Cleveland chapters are coming together for this annual event. The annual planner/host is Jerry Masek, who had a health scare before the event last year. I hope there is a better turn out this year than 2009.

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12/01 Northeast Ohio Communication Advocates (NOCA) OneIndustry Forum: 2011 Marcom Industry Forecast, 7:30 a.m.-9 a.m., The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, $20, RSVP, onenoca.org.

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12/07 American Advertising Federation Akron Chapter: Leveraging Social Media For You And Your Clients with David Bowman, 11:30 a.m., Musica, Akron, $35 nonmembers, RSVP, www.aafakron.com.

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12/07 Cleveland Digital Publishing Users Group (CDPUG) Annual Meeting and Holiday Party, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., Mavis Winkle’s, Independence, $15 nonmembers, RSVP by check or PayPal, www.cdpug.org.

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12/07 Greater Cleveland Writers Meetup Group, 7 p.m., Lean Dog Software, Cleveland, $5, RSVP, www.meetup.com/cleveland-writers-forum.

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12/08 American Advertising Federation Cleveland Chapter Holiday In Cannes, 6 p.m., Capitol Theater, Cleveland, $45 nonmembers, www.aafcleveland.com.

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12/08 Press Club of Cleveland Holiday Party and Annual Meeting, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., Nighttown, Cleveland Heights, $30 nonmembers, RSVP, www.pressclubcleveland.com

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12/09 American Marketing Association Cleveland Chapter Mingle Bells Holiday Mixer, 5:30 p.m., Wolf Lodge, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, $40 nonmembers, RSVP, cleveland.marketingpower2.com.


Nonindustry Events

11/23 Greater Akron Business For Breakfast (GABB) Networking, 8 a.m.-9:15 a.m., Panera Bread, Fairlawn/Akron, free, on LinkedIn events. Topic: Strategy and Vision for the New Year with Rami Awadallah. Networking group for Akron-area business professionals. Some of my contacts are interested in this event.

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11/30 COSE Arts Network Holiday Social, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., Zygote Press, Cleveland, $10 nonmembers, RSVP, www.cose.org.

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11/30 Heights-Hillcrest Regional Chamber of Commerce Holiday Mixer, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., Claddagh Irish Pub, Legacy Village, Lyndhurst, $20 nonmembers, RSVP Karen, hrcc.org.

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12/01 COSE: Sales and Marketing: Powerful and Productive Networking, 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m., Cleveland State University East Center, Solon, $20 nonmembers,www.cose.org. Learn the right way to network and attend events. Question – what makes this different from the free Coffee event Friday on networking?

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12/01 The Manufacturing Mart Launch Party, 4 p.m.-7 p.m., The Galleria at Erieview Tower, Cleveland, free, register, mfgmartlaunchparty.eventbrite.com, www.capitalofknow-how.com.

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12/02 Fairview Park Chamber of Commerce Holiday Party, 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m., Gemini Center, Fairview Park, $20, fairviewparkchamber.com.

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12/02 Northeast Ohio Software Association (NEOSA) Networking Night, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., Blue Canyon Restaurant and Tavern, Twinsburg, $10 nonmembers,www.cose.org. I went to one of these a long time ago. Good if you are in Tech. It’s right in my neighborhood this time; should go.

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12/03 Cleveland Professional 20/30 Club Around Town, 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m., Bar Room, Cleveland, free, www.cleveland2030.org. Happy hour and networking for young professionals. Also Stuff The Stocking Annual Charity Event.

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12/03 Cleveland Professional 20/30 Club Networking Breakfast, 8 a.m.-10 a.m., Grumpy’s, Cleveland, free, nonmembers welcome, www.cleveland2030.org.

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12/03 My Women’s Business Network Third Annual Holiday Event, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Acacia Country Club, Beachwood/Lyndhurst, $40 nonmembers, RSVP,www.mywomensbusinessnetwork.com.

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12/03 The Chipotle Networking Group: Final Carnitas and Connections 2010, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Chipotle, Hudson, free, on LinkedIn events. This is the Chipotle event I went to at the start of Summer. Not to be confused with the Cleveland-area one that recently surfaced. Networking with small business owners, job hunters and financial services types.

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12/06 International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) Cleveland Chapter meeting, 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m., Lean Dog Software, Cleveland, free, limited seating, RSVP, cleveland.theiiba.org

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12/06 Women In Networking (WIN) Holiday Benefit Luncheon, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Wyndham Hotel at Playhouse Square, Cleveland, $45, RSVP, www.wincleveland.org.

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12/07 Nordonia Hills Chamber of Commerce Annual Holiday Party, 5 p.m.-8 p.m., Gambitta’s Party Center, Northfield Center, $5 plus five non-perishable items, www.nordoniahillschamber.org.

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12/07 Working Women Connection Luncheon, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Rustic Hills Country Club, Medina, $25 nonmembers, RSVP, unitingwomenblog.com.

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12/08 Warrensville Heights Area Tri-City Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Networking, 7:30 a.m.-9 a.m., BJ Wholesale Club, Warrensville Heights, $10 nonmembers, RSVP, www.whacc.org.

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12/08 Young Professionals of Akron Holiday Networking Party, 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m., Akron Civic Theater, Akron, free, RSVP, www.ypakron.org.

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12/09 Canton Chamber of Commerce Stir After Hours, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., The Repository, Canton, $5, RSVP, www.cantonchamber.org.

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12/09 Cuyahoga Valley Chamber of Commerce Holiday Party/After Hours, 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m., Hoggy’s Restaurant, Valley View, $5 donation to Harvest For Hunger, RSVP, www.cuyahogavalleychamber.org.

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12/09 Rocky River Chamber of Commerce Annual Christmas Party, 6 p.m., Don Umerley Civic Center, Rocky River, $20 RSVP or door, rockyriverchamber.com.

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12/10 American Society For Training and Development (ASTD) Northeast Ohio Chapter Coffee Chat and Contacts, 7:30 a.m.-9 a.m., Akron General Medical Center Health and Wellness Center, Fairlawn/Akron, other details TBA, neo.astd.org.

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12/10 Canton Chamber of Commerce AultCare Fast Break Breakfast with Christopher Saffici, 7:30 a.m.-9:15 a.m., Courtyard by Marriott, North Canton, $25 nonmembers, RSVP, www.cantonchamber.org.

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12/10 Cleveland Professional 20/30 Club Networking Breakfast, 8 a.m.-10 a.m., Grumpy’s, Cleveland, free, nonmembers welcome, www.cleveland2030.org.

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12/10 NEO IT Think Tank and CIO 3.0, 1 p.m.-4 p.m., Corporate Plaza I, Independence, on LinkedIn groups and events sections. Topic: Your Future Concerning the Role of Information Technology: Five Major Shifts in IT Value, Ownership and Role of IT.

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12/14 COSE Swap 25/Power Networking, 4:30 p.m., Bucci’s, Middleburg Heights, $10, limited seating, RSVP, www.cose.org. The last COSE speed networking event for this year. Only 25 spaces available to network with small business owners. Fills up quickly. I went more than one year ago and need to get back. Just act as a small business owner with a message and you are in the club.

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4 comments so far

  1. Ed Byers on

    Only $15 for Press Club Members! 12/08 Press Club of Cleveland Holiday Party and Annual Meeting, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., Nighttown, Cleveland Heights, $30 nonmembers, RSVP, http://www.pressclubcleveland.com

    • Pat Ropchock on

      Dear Ed:
      Thanks for the additional information about party rate for Press Club members.

  2. Emily Kelly on

    Thanks SO much for all the dates! I know that’s a lot of work and I appreciate the summary! Hope you are well!
    Emily

    • Pat Ropchock on

      Dear Emily:
      Thanks for the comment.
      Hope everything is well with you as well.


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