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How to work the business cocktail party

In the world of business, networking is everything. Among the most valuable venues for networking are after-hours business cocktail parties and receptions.

These events provide opportunities for meeting new people and establishing relationships. The key is knowing how to work the event.

When you join a group, shake hands with each person and introduce yourself clearly. Credit: sxc.hu

That’s right. Work.

Just because an event takes place after hours doesn’t mean you’re off the clock. In fact, the time you spend at an event may be the most valuable time you put in that day and in your career.

Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch used to hold cocktail parties specifically to vet junior executives. He looked for budding professionals who knew how to make the most of the moment versus those who only had eyes for the open bar and buffet.

Here are my tips for making the right impression at an after-hours event no matter who’s watching:

1. Before the Event: Prepare for Success

2. At the Event: Make the Right Impression

Making the most of an event doesn’t have to be difficult. Just remain mindful that it’s a professional event and do your best to make a positive impression that indicates doing business with you is a pleasure. – Reuters

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