The new year brings a fresh slate of events and opportunities, which means it is time to upgrade your approach to expanding the scope and diversity of your professional network. Let 2023 be the year that you add technology and intention to the tried-and-true fundamentals of building community using these three tricks:Skip the business cards; LinkedIn has you covered. Be honest. You do not need more business cards cluttering your desk. Bypass the mess and save a tree by using a LinkedIn QR Code to connect new contacts directly to your LinkedIn profile. Tap, scan, and connect – it is that easy.Bring LinkedIn connections to your inbox. Take your digital network one step further by integrating LinkedIn to your work Outlook account to streamline connections, find commonalities, and gather intel on new leads, all starting with your inbox.Choose croissants over bagels every time. Spoiler: This is not about carbs (kind of). When it comes to body language at networking events, expert Robbie Samuels encourages us to gather in croissant shapes. In his book, Croissants vs. Bagels: Strategic, Effective, and Inclusive Networking at Conferences, Samuels suggests that we avoid closed-circle conversations (i.e., bagels) and try to keep a portion of the circle open (a la croissant) to create open and welcoming spaces capable of figuratively and literally expanding our networks.Happy networking!
Networking in 2023 is more than business cards and handshakes. Digital tools combined with a clever on-site strategy can streamline our connections and create more openings for opportunities.