How to make the most of your holiday parties

Christmas balls with ribbon on snowThe holiday party season has begun. The food! The decorations! The chance to catch your editor wearing a Santa hat! In anticipation of the next couple of weeks of merriment, and especially as we look forward to PWAC Toronto Chapter’s own event on Monday, December 4th (Pogue Mahone at 6:30 – RSVP to VP Special Events and Networking Carolyn Camilleri c.camilleri@pwactoronto.org), here are some thoughts on making the most of holiday parties.

 

Choose your fun

Just like any other time of year, think about your reasons for attending an event. Is it to catch up with your contacts? Is it to stretch yourself and network with a new group you’ve never met? If you have a bunch of party options this season, consider choosing events that meet your goals.

If you’re torn between two events on the same night, consider whether another party on another night might equally meet your goals. For example, if your options are an association party and a client party, see if there’s another association event where you can network with your peers later.

Make the most of your night

Just as you choose goals for your overall party schedule, you can choose goals for each night. You might aim to make three new contacts, for example, or to meet one person who works outside of your writing niche, so you can learn about a new-to-you market.

I have to admit, at holiday parties I’m more about catching up with peers than expanding my network, so I’m happy to just hang out, relax, and strategize for the new year.

Show your gratitude

What makes the holiday party season special is that we’re all a little merrier, anticipating some time off (and, let’s face it, presents). So, take the opportunity to make someone’s week even brighter by saying thanks for the good that has come your way. If you see an editor who has given you lots of assignments, or a peer who has passed along paying gigs or helpful advice, it’s a nice moment to tell them you appreciate it. Then, if you need a new topic of conversation after sharing that sappy moment, suggest brainstorming resolutions together for an even better year next year.

Happy holiday season, everyone! Don’t forget your business cards, your elevator pitch, and your candy canes. See you at the PWAC party.