We have talked previously about taking advantage of holiday networking at christmas parties and how to make the most of holiday networking, but what about networking while on holiday – for example while on a summer holiday abroad? You are probably taking a holiday to “turn off” and forget about work (hopefully), so you may think the last thing you want to do is networking. So I use the term loosely – what I am really talking about here is meeting new people, striking up conversations and small talk with other holiday goers and people you meet while you travel but NOT talk about work. Just chat.
Where are there opportunities?
There are a number of ways that you might bump into other people while on holiday the two classics being on a cruise trip or on a resort holiday. This is because you are likely to meet the same people and have time to build up a bit of engagement and have multiple conversations rather than have a one off conversation. These trips/locations also have a wealth of things going on which can make great conversation starters. They key thing is to make sure you keep it light, informal and don’t invade on their private/personal/family time and also bear in mind that they might just be being polite.
Another alternative is the one-off / chance meetings that could happen on any trip, any where. Look out for pockets of dead time, where someone might be happy to strike up a conversation – examples might be while travelling / at the airport, waiting in queues etc. This is where the opportunity to make small talk lies.
Of course one of the hardest things in all of this is the follow-up.
Many of these interactions may not be long enough to build up a rapport and you may never have the opportunity to meet them again – however, this also means that there is no harm in trying if you think there is an opportunity to develop the relationship further post-holiday.
To do this you will need to either get their business card or give them yours. If they don’t have a business card grab their full name and contact details/email with their permission. As with any networking exchange of details and follow-up: it is important to give / add value, and give them a reason to share their details. It might even be as simple as staying in contact depending on how well you get on.
And of course finally… actually do what you say you are going to do.