A professional social event can be great for your success and your stress levels. Happy hours, mixers, receptions and other after-hours events are great opportunities to network, learn from your peers and have a good time. You should plan to attend them regularly, but be prepared to put your best foot forward. Maintain your reputation and get maximum benefits from the time you dedicate by following these tips.
Don’t Drink to Your Limit
If you can normally drink three drinks before feeling intoxicated, stick with only two. Don’t push yourself to the limit, because many factors could be involved. For example, what you’ve eaten that day, nerves, or even the bartender pouring stronger drinks than you’re used to consuming. The risk of embarrassing yourself is not worth taking. Once you have a drink in your hand, sip slowly and pace yourself to make it last longer.
Don’t Arrive Without a Goal
Just because you aren’t over consuming doesn’t mean you’re networking correctly. It’s important to go into every event with a goal. If you don’t know why you’re attending this event, you won’t know what to do when you get there and you will wander aimlessly. Prepare yourself ahead of time by determining what you hope to achieve from the event, who you want to talk to, and how long you plan to stay.
Don’t Take Photos Without Asking
Don’t be tempted to snap photos of others and put them on social media. Often, professional pharmacy gatherings have big-name players from the industry in the mix. It’s easy to feel a little star struck. Although this is true of any public event, it’s especially important at professional gatherings not to take candid photos on your phone. This is highly inappropriate and an invasion of privacy. Ask first, and be sure to let the person know if you plan to use the photo publicly.
Don’t Constantly Look for the Next Conversation Partner
Make the effort to establish a real connection with people during the mixer, instead of just throwing your business card at someone and moving on. While you may want to make as many useful contacts as possible, never look past the person you are talking to find someone better to connect with. This will come off as being extremely rude and will certainly not win you a stellar reputation if it happens often.
Don’t Spend a Lot of Money
Even though it is a business expense, there are many ways you can spend too much on a professional happy hour or reception. If the event is not affiliated with an industry conference, there may be a ticket charge to attend. If you are nervous and unprepared you may be tempted to spend excessively on drinks for yourself and others.
Your after-hours behavior can have a huge impact on your career, so make sure it’s a positive one. Happy hour is the “perfect storm” where you can make a lasting impression, in either a positive or negative manner. Remain professional the entire time and you will have nothing to worry about. These type of events provides a great chance for friends, colleagues, and industry professionals to meet and learn from each other in a relaxed, casual atmosphere.
The best event for socializing with independent pharmacy leaders and learning from your peers is the Independent Pharmacy Together Toward Tomorrow Conference. Attend this year’s event in Orlando, Florida and put your networking skills to the test. Click here to learn more and register now.