December 18, 2015 12:33 pm

Parties around the holidays can be a great place for inventors and entrepreneurs to network and interact with other individuals. Whether it’s attending a holiday event in your local city or a small get-together held by friends, you never know who you might run into. However you don’t want to come out too strong when talking about your business or invention, but mention it briefly to get in the minds of others. Here’s a few tips on how to network and ‘talk up’ your invention at your holiday parties this season.

Don’t have a business conversation

It’s a holiday party not a business meeting. People like to talk about themselves, so listen to what they have to say whether it be a story about their personal life, or a story related to their career and job industry. Make sure to enjoy your time with others and not to focus on your invention or business the entire time. Even if you are excited and motivated to find mentors or colleagues, avoid full-court business networking. Once you listen about what is going on in their life, mention the start of your business or the production of your invention. Touch on if what they just shared with you about themselves will help you in the process.

Have topics & questions prepared                                  

Think of topics that you could talk about with family, friends and strangers, and how to incorporate your invention into those topics.  Start off with nonbusiness topics to get to know the people you are connecting with. Jonathan Long on Entrepreneur.com suggests, asking about current events, which can lead into a question to get the other person talking. There are hidden benefits to being an inquisitor, says Kathleen Brandy on the Huffington Post. By asking questions that are focused on others and their work, allows you to uncover if that person would be able to help you with your invention. Then slide into topics that you think they might know about within your invention or business.

Pass a business card when you exit

Since you are hoping to meet someone that is able to give you advice or help you with your invention, make sure you have a business card to hand out. When the conversation is coming to an end or if you feel you are holding the person up from the rest of the party, ask to stay in touch and offer your business card. Don’t be afraid to ask them for a business card either; If they do not have one on them, simply ask for their phone number. Nancy Collamer on Huffington Post, says wait until  after the holidays are over to follow up. When the New Year starts send an “It was nice meeting you!” email, along with a note referencing when you met.

Set goals

Set personal and business goals for yourself to achieve before arriving at the party. Arrive with goals in mind, such as connect with three people that could lead to a business relationship or to not talk about my invention the whole night. The keyword is “lead” to business relationships. Make personal relationships by getting to know the people around you. Be your personal-self in this setting, rather than your business-self. Once you make the connection with someone, you can follow up with them later for a more business-like conversation. Having goals such as these can try and help you get through the event at ease and have a good time.

While talking and networking, remember to not be business-driven but to listen and be personable to the people you meet. Hopefully, these tips can help you have a conversation with various individuals at your holiday parties this season. They might end up being your new business partner, or introduce you to someone in your industry.

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