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It’s no secret that networking is one of the most crucial business skills anyone can have – what you know matters, but so does who you know. While it may seem intuitive to connect with others in your immediate workplace, when you’re travelling, it can often fall by the wayside because you’re “too busy”. It’s important not to fall in this trap – having a familiar face in the company you’ve got your eye on or an insightful mentor could make all the difference when it comes to your next big move.
Networking doesn’t have to mean pressing your business card into someone’s hand either. Striking up a conversation is all that’s needed to gain a connection, and best of all it has the benefit of integrating you into the city like a real local and stave off loneliness. In a new city, you never know what kind of exciting new ideas or connections are just around the corner if you just say hello. Here are some easy ways you can start expanding your social circle while on your business trip or temporary assignment:
Being mere centimeters away from another person on a flight is a good opportunity to strike up a conversation on just about anything. If you hit it off, you could have their contact info in your hands by the time you land. Just be sure to pick up on any cues that your seatmate might not be in the mood to have a conversation!
EventBrite and Meetup are great ways to look for social gatherings in your destination. EventBrite is particularly good for finding business events, allowing you to sort through events by category and event type. With an endless list of events and conferences, one is sure to catch your eye. More social, group events are Meetup’s specialty. Their aim is to revitalize the local community, make face-to-face connections, and make it easy for anyone to organize a local group based on their interests or find one. Even checking the Facebook events in your area or any related Facebook groups can bring about a number of interesting opportunities to get to know people! Either way, with modern technology and social networks, networking has never been easier.
Hotels serve only one specific purpose – to give clients a place to sleep. Choosing more personalized accommodations like a fully serviced apartment not only gives guests a convenient residence to stay in, but also a community environment and meet up opportunities. Short-term rental companies often try to integrate and provide exclusive insider knowledge about their cities to fully immerse visitors and make them feel at home. For instance, CorporateStays.com often hosts networking events, cocktail hours, and even cooking classes for all of their guests (see a list of their Facebook events here or more about what life is like with CorporateStays.com here).