Mixer Etiquette and Tips for First Timers
The Chamber and our members periodically have mixers or special events. Many of these events are free and are a great way to meet new members and businesses thinking about joining the Chamber.
Every Chamber event is a networking opportunity. The cardinal rule is to remember that no matter how festive the occasion, it's still about business, relationship building, networking and prospecting.
Here are some tips:
- Have plenty of business cards, and short 30-second elevator speech ready when introducing yourself to others. See the Chambers networking tips, for other great advice.
- Your goal should be to build relationships and make connections, not to close a sale on the spot or party. Many attendees are turned off by these behaviors.
- Eat, drink and network. Chamber events are attended by new members, prospective members, city officials, CEO’s, etc. But remember if you choose to drink, do so minimally.
- Dress appropriately for the occasion. Chamber mixers are not social events. You have worked hard to create a professional image, and you want to come across as a competent professional.
- A Chamber event may be the only time you see a CEO, elected official, or other VIP in person. Introduce yourself. This is a great opportunity to become visible to others in the community. At the very least, don't spend the entire evening with your regular chamber buddies; get in the networking spirit and mingle with other people. Go out of your way to seek out new members and people checking out the Chamber.
- Find out who can come to the event. Because free mixers are a benefit of Chamber members, spouses and significant others are not always be on the guest list. Check beforehand to avoid a potentially uncomfortable situation.
- Pay attention to the time you arrive and when you leave. Don’t arrive too early for the event to get a jump start on your happy-hour experience. Avoid arriving 20 minutes before the end just to make an appearance. On the flip side, don't party into the wee hours either.
- Some mixers provided a cash bar, some may be hosted. If you must drink, remember note to drink to excess. Don't fall off the fast track to success or risk damaging your professional reputation in one evening of inadvertent blunders, crude comments, all because of alcohol.
- Be sure to thank the company hosting the event. They likely put in a great deal of effort hoping you would have a good time. Remember they also are advertising their business and more than likely want your business as well. Not only is saying "thank you" the nice thing to do, but it also makes you stand out from the many members who don't.
- If you are at a restaurant the food is often free, but you may have to settle your drink tab before you leave. Please remember to leave a generous tip for your wait staff.