The holidays are soon upon us, which means one thing for many people, it is time for the annual office Christmas or New Year’s Eve party. While these events in the past may have been something that you tended to stay away from, this is not a wise choice. Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties provide the perfect opportunity to network and build connections with those around you. The holidays give a unique twist on the sometimes monotonous traditional networking events. Learn how you can seize all of the networking opportunities this holiday season.

1.) Do Not Come Unprepared

Do not assume that because it is a holiday party that you  do not need to come prepared. Many people make the mistake that a Christmas party is just a party. While you should strive to enjoy yourself, you must also remember that it is a networking event as well. Do not waste the opportunity to create a new business partner or connection simply because you were unprepared. Make sure that you have business cards on hand and a few topics that you can easily discuss with others while at the party.

2.) Do Not Get Sloppy

Many holiday parties come with an abundance of alcohol. However, be mindful that you do not drink too much. A business or networking Christmas party is not the time or place to go above your limits. The impression that you make at these parties can be a lasting one, try to put your best foot forward. While it can be tempting to have a few drinks while attending these events, always stay within your limits. After all, it is an opportunity to get to know others  while celebrating the holidays, it is not meant to be a drinking feast.

3.) Do Not Oversell

While you should utilize holiday parties as a networking opportunity, do not “oversell” yourself. Many people come to holiday parties as a way to relax and connect with others while enjoying the season. Avoid being too pushy. People will be turned off if you give the impression that you care more about selling yourself or your business than building a genuine connection. Also, be respectful of the host’s requests. If you are asked to attend a party in holiday themed attire, then you will want to do so if it all possible.

While networking can take place anytime of the year, the holiday season provides a unique opportunity to network in a whole new way. Be sure that as you prepare for this holiday season that you do not disregard a holiday party as something that is of little value. Some of the best connections can be made with others while you are simply “shooting the breeze”. Discover the networking opportunities that can be explored this holiday season. The relationships that you can develop from these events can last for years to come.