The Art of Corporate Gifting

Corporate gifting is a fun and captivating way to show appreciation for colleagues and clients. Gift giving is also a powerful investment tool for your business. Take a moment and think about how important it is to recognize those who keep your business running.

You are creating a personal connection to people you work with by giving gifts. These individuals will feel more valued and appreciated as they receive a thoughtful gift. And, there is no better way to strengthen a business relationship.

As such, corporate gifting has been on the rise for the past few years. This rise happens as more business owners discover the benefits of thanking their customers, employees and other business partners with a simple gift. No matter the present, how you give to those keeping you in business says a lot about you as a professional.

corporate gifting to employees

What is corporate gifting?

Corporate gift giving is an effective way to sustain your customer and employee retention. Giving these gifts will help you build critical relationships with customers and colleagues. And, most importantly, it will allow you to express your gratitude to the company’s employees. It is a simple concept to show appreciation to your professional network and will increase your business opportunities.

According to numerous surveys, most business gifts are given to major clients. After that comes employees, then prospective clients. Reasons for gift giving range from thanking long-standing customers for their business to recognizing a valued employee for working on a weekend. The basic reason is the same: to affirm relationships and enhance the personal connection between the giver and recipient.

Gifts differ from incentives in that they’re offered with no explicit preconditions for performance. They differ from ad specialties in that they don’t contain any blatant imprints or advertising. They differ from recognition in that they’re not part of prescribed programs.

But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a bottom-line benefit to be derived from corporate gift giving. Just about everyone agrees that when done correctly, gifting is a cost-effective way to build a sense of partnership with valued associates. And, they know that the primary reason for gifting is to acknowledge relationships and improve personal connections.

Why should you participate in corporate gifting?

For some companies, corporate gifting is an essential part of their marketing strategy. It is, by far, one of the most productive ways to grow and sustain your business. And, for many companies, giving is a fundamental detail within their business model.

Most business owners would agree that, when done correctly, corporate gifting provides an opportunity to connect with their clients and strengthen employee ties. And, while there are many reasons for corporate gifting, the underlying goal is to sustain relationships and deepen personal connections between the business owner and their colleagues. Retention, recruiting and business development are three other great reasons to give a gift.

Show how much you value the relationships you have built through your business by handing out corporate gifts. By doing this, your bottom-line becomes a social, rather than a financial benefit. But don’t just give a gift because you think your clients and employees expect it. Give because you want to sustain these relationships.

Because of your corporate gifting, your business transactions increase and so does your customer retention. By giving corporate gifts to your business associates, you continue to develop a positive image in your customer’s mind. So, customers who receive thoughtful corporate gifts from your business tend to buy more products and request services from you.

However, many corporations don’t understand that gifts and incentives contribute to maintaining a business commitment. Corporate gifting helps maintain the relationships you have already worked so hard to establish. It also helps the recipient remember your company because you gave them such an enjoyable and memorable gift.

We are social creatures who express our feelings by giving gifts.

It can be any occasion, be it a birthday, anniversary or to even show love and gratitude, giving gifts is an activity we all do. Let us go back in time to find the origins of gift giving. Giving gifts is one of the oldest human activities; it may have started just after the origin of our species. Even primitive beings gave gifts to one another; often tribe leaders awarded tribe members for any achievement that is gain for the entire tribe.

Earlier gifts used to be a little unusual, but these were the only precious things available at that time. Unusually shaped rocks, a tooth are some examples. These things came naturally from nature and were given without any modification. As we developed tools, holes were drilled into these rocks or a tooth to use them as necklaces or bracelets. Then idols gifted were made from carving wood or stone for as idol worship started among people. Later, people used to offer each other good luck tokens; these token were given as presents. Even today, corporate gifting is part of our everyday culture; it is a means to express our feelings for one another.

So then, to whom should you be sending these gifts?

corporate gifting should include everyone who is important to your business

Your gift recipient list should always include significant clients, business partners, valued suppliers and especially your employees. After all, your employees are your most valuable asset, so you want to show how much you appreciate them. Other notable people to consider sending corporate gifts can include prospective clients or new customers.

Gift these gifts as employee recognition. Some companies give managers a discretionary budget that may be spent on gifts to recognize employees for exceptional behavior. Actions worthy of special recognition include going “above and beyond” to please a customer, putting in long hours to complete a project on time, making a cost-saving or productivity-enhancing suggestion or completing a big sale. Some executives would argue that such actions are expected as part of an employee’s job and should be rewarded at performance-review time. Yet, the evidence suggests that carefully timed and appropriate gifts not only make people feel appreciated for their performance, they also increase the chances people will feel good about going the extra mile in the future.

When giving gifts for a special performance, make sure the gift is appropriate to the employee receiving it, and the presentation is made in a personal and, if possible, public forum. The recipient and his or her colleagues must know why the gift is being presented. Publicity in the company newsletter, or even an announcement in the lunchroom, ensures that people know the types of behaviors the organization wants to promote. Employees typically receive gifts as awards for years of service.

Now, sometimes the hardest question: what do you give as your corporate gift?

Don’t make showing appreciation with corporate gifts for your customers, clients and employees complicated. Company branding is important to remember while you are giving your corporate gifts. And when gift giving, branding is crucial for all corporations. These gifts help to promote a company’s brand and provide continued employee loyalty. And, in the past few years, personalized gifts are replacing other gift types.

No wonder that the customized corporate gift acts as a brand tool and creates brand awareness among the receiver. Gifts given away as a promotional item with the company’s logo and tagline helps create brand recognition. The best way to create awareness is by giving small promotional gifts as it not only attracts more people but helps to retain your brand in the market.

Remember to choose gifts that will assist in cementing business relationships and boost your sales and service requests. The best gift option is something that will be meaningful for your recipients. So, make sure to do your research before selecting what you are giving away. What works for one client may not work for your employees. Frequently, businesses must decide on several gift types to accommodate all of their recipients.

Businesses have a lot of different choices for what to send people as corporate gifts. As a rule of thumb, think about how professional you need the gift to be. And, consider if you would want to receive the gift as well. Remember not to overstep your bounds if you are trying to personalize these gifts. Keep in mind that this is your opportunity to connect with an individual using marketing strategies.

personalized ribbon tied around a chocolate treat for corporate gifting

P.S. Don’t forget to personalize your corporate gifts!

Attach a personalized handwritten note to every gift for an added touch so your colleagues and clients will remember you for years to come. Oh, and hand deliver each one so you can continue to strengthen every business relationship you have.

How To Connect with Your Customers

Every great business person knows that the best way to keep their company around is to connect and engage with their customers. People buy from other people, they request services based on experiences and they look for companies that they can trust.

You learn a lot of information and how to connect with your customer by merely listening to them.

“I think it’s important for brands, especially brands [that] are really consumer-centric, to stay connected. Customers tell you so much from their behavior and how they shop with you.”
Jessica Alba, founder and CEO of The Honest Company

What is Relationship Marketing and How to Use it to Connect With Your Customers - Neil Patel

The first and most popular way to connect with customers is social media.

Using LinkedIn, Twitter and every platform in between, it seems that everyone is on social media. Even businesses have joined in on the social parties. Facebook groups, Snapchat filters and Instagram nametags are all ways to connect online with your customers. Each platform provides methods for both consumers and businesses to interact and grow together. 

Social media outlets are where the masses are, so you, as a business, should be there too. Utilize this tool and take advantage of everything they have to offer. Try sharing fun and silly tidbits about your products. Or send individual messages quickly to your customers. No matter what, use everything provided by your chosen platforms to improve your connection with your customers.

BUT BE CAREFUL. Not all platforms are suitable for every business. It has been said that everyone is on Facebook, but that doesn’t mean your business will thrive by using it. Consider all of the pros and cons of using social media before setting up accounts everywhere. Remember that there isn’t an easy or direct formula to matching your business to the right social platform. That is something that you, as a business owner, will need to figure out.

Social media is a great tool to use when connecting with your customers, but only if you use it properly. Make sure to do your research and that you have time to spend on each chosen platform. Think before you post, and make sure you are listening to your audience. Tools such as social media only work when used properly.

Focus on the customer’s experience with your company.

We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon

Customers want to buy from a business that treats them well. So, don’t use a one-size-fits-all approach. Make sure you are listening to every customer. Treat them as the individual they are; don’t lump your customers into a bundle just because they are all interested in your product or service. They aren’t looking for a bundled experience; they are looking to be given an individualized experience.

You can make your customers happy by focusing on their experience with your company. Don’t put all of your focus on only the product or service they are buying. Connecting with your customers on an emotional and personal level is important. If you do, they will be more likely to recommend your products or services to their family and friends.

It is crucial to make an effort to connect with each customer.

Get to know your customers on a personal level. And, make your service or product as relevant to them as possible. Everyone likes to feel as if they are important enough to remember. So, make them feel that way with as much personalization as you can. Use a customer’s name during their shopping experience. Remember little details and tidbits they have shared during prior visits. This way, you can make an effort to connect each time they come back.

“It’s not enough to know just the demographics of your customers. Age and location data doesn’t tell you what you really need to know. Instead, you need to know your customers on a personal level so that you know what they want, why they buy, and why they don’t buy. Otherwise, you have only a superficial understanding of your customers.”
Neil Patel – 7 Brilliant Ways to Connect with Your Customers on a Personal Level

Show your connection with your customers through appreciation.

We understand that connecting on a personal level with your customers can be difficult, but it is also necessary to stay in business. You need to humanize every experience that your customer has with your business. In other words, be relatable. And be grateful. Showing your customers that you care they are buying from you will keep them coming back. The message is in the details, or something like that.

connect with your customers through handwritten notes

Sending handwritten notes, making a phone call or sending a private email are all great ways to connect with your customer. But, put some thought into your actions before performing them. After a purchase or rendering of service, thank your customer by sending them a thought out, well-worded letter. Don’t rush these notes as they will mean a great deal to every recipient. And, they could mean continued business for you. 

This also works for phone calls and emails. Make sure you think about what you want to say before hitting that send or dial button. Proofread everything you write before you send it. And, most importantly, make sure you personalize it. Don’t get in the habit of sending out so many of these messages or phone calls that they become autonomous. Always remember that you are addressing an individual, and they should be treated as such.

Provide unmatched customer service to keep them coming back.

Let’s try an experiment. Find the customer service number from any of your favorite companies and call them. What happened? Let’s assume you got through to someone, eventually, but you were still treated as a number in a cue. Or worse, you got stuck at a call center with someone reading from a script that didn’t answer your question. How did that make you feel? We know that no one wants that experience. 

Take us for a better example. Here at Coller Industries, when you call or choose our online chat feature, you will always be connected to a live person, and quickly. Every one of our customer service representatives has been trained to treat you as an individual. And, you will feel that way, guaranteed! Your order is processed like it’s the only one, and it’s handled with care and accuracy. We wish you had this kind of experience everywhere else. But, at least you know that with us, you’ll always get what you want and be treated with respect. 

One of the most powerful tools any company has is how they treat their customers during the business process. Providing the best possible customer service experience should be your number one priority. From responding quickly to customer requests to making sure you have a live person on the other end of the phone line, good customer service is how you retain your clientele. 

How will you implement these standards into how you treat your customers?

Here’s some advice, go that extra mile. By making sure that your customer service team responds to your customers personally, you solidify your business connections. Acknowledging questions and concerns from your customers will reestablish the trust you have already built. It will also help strengthen the relationship and connection with your customers and anyone they know. This, in turn, will bring in more clientele and business. So, the bottom line should always be to leave the customer grateful and satisfied.

Don’t underestimate the power of your customers.

Make sure you are asking your customers questions and continually searching for feedback. Finding out after a transaction happens that something went wrong doesn’t help anyone, especially your customer. Connect with them by asking for feedback before, during and after all transactions. But don’t become a burden. There are people who feel that businesses can be too personal and are afraid of what you might do with their information. So, make sure that when you ask questions, you are also being considerate.

Now that you have answers and feedback, make sure you are responding appropriately. If you receive positive reviews, give positive affirmation back. Tell your customers how happy you are that they are happy. Give your customers thanks for being there for your business. If you get a negative review, take it seriously. Respond politely and work with your customers to correct things.

77% of consumers will read an online review before purchasing. Now consider the flip side. In most cases, negative reviews are the fastest way to derail a new purchase. A Zendesk study showed that 90% of positive reviews impact purchases and 86% of negative ones do also. Another study showed that even a single negative review has the power to destroy 70% of purchases.”
Neil Patel – 7 Brilliant Ways to Connect with Your Customers on a Personal Level

No matter the type of review you get, making sure that you respond is vital. Building trust establishes your personal connections with your customers. And, these connections are the only way to stay in business. Customer retention and development rely heavily on these reviews. So, make sure to keep on top of them. And if you can’t, delegate someone who can.

What is your preferred way to connect with customers?

With so many ways to connect with customers, your success depends on the method you choose. Before making any final decisions of where you are more likely to connect with your customer, do your research. Don’t join Facebook just because everyone else has. Determine how your customers want to communicate, and then put those methods into action. Build that trust, and the connections will flow naturally.

Harnessing the Power of Personalization

In order to harness the power of personalization, you must understand the relationship between a company and an individual.

Yes, many who read this are most likely representative of a corporation or business. And, yes, many will look at this information from a marketing standpoint. After all, personalization is a powerful marketing strategy that is easy to incorporate in daily business. But, the trick is to remember that the power of personalization applies to everyone in everyday life, especially the little guy.

Personalization should also be on a business level. This includes a company’s brand. Your logo communicates not only your company but also your brand and overall commitment to your clients and customers. And, creating consistency by adding your logo to everything you personalize (from name tags to corporate gifts), lets people know you’re proud of what you stand for.

By defining your brand upfront, you help establish your company as an industry leader and key influencer. So, making sure that your logo balances your brand at the top of your industry can be quite the process. Many businesses use networking as a key factor in their marketing plan. It helps to develop a strong feeling of trust between those involved (consumers and colleagues) and plays a big part in raising the profile of a company.

First, let’s look at the advantages of personalized marketing.

Marketing is a business promoting and selling their products or services. This promotion also includes market research and advertising. And, what better way to advertise than with personalization. Whether that’s your branding or remembering the little guy, you need to focus on what best suits your company goals and your customer’s needs and happiness.

standing out in a crowd and remembering the power of personalization

Remembering that little guy is often a struggle inside a business model. But, it is one of the most essential tasks any CEO or higher-up can accomplish. After all, it’s those little guys who make your business grow from day to day. So, marketing to them is necessary to stay afloat in today’s business world.

Your key to keeping clients and customers happy is simple, yet powerful: PERSONALIZATION. With the rise of the digital world and all the technologies that come with it, your marketing must evolve to match. And, the best way to grow is to harness the power of personalization. Find and understand your customers’ individual needs and desires. Once you harness that, personalization will start to flow naturally.

It’s all about knowing who your customer is.

There is a growing intolerance on the part of customers to have fragmented experiences when doing business. And, there is a price to pay for doing so. Research with the CMO Council found nearly half of North American and European consumers will abandon a brand and take their money elsewhere if they repeatedly encounter “a poor, impersonal or frustrating customer experience across channels of engagement.”

Personalization means all the difference in business goals and customer retention. Companies must modify all of their interactions individually to ensure a personalized customer experience. And, if done correctly, there is an undeniable power of personalization that becomes an incredible tool for marketers. Entrepreneur also says, “The first task of effective marketing is to get noticed and stand out from the clamor of competing advertisers.”

So, it is your duty as a business to get your customer’s attention and then keep it. Most companies thrive with this vantage point only because of the power of personalization. Whether it’s an emailed marketing message or a salesperson personally reaching out to a client, personalization is critical in all communications.

Remember this: people will always buy from people, not companies. And, most importantly, people who they trust. Sending handwritten notes or small, personalized gifts is a little extra touch that shows we pay attention to our customers. The beautiful thing about this is that it’s never just an advertising ploy. You really do have to get to know your clients to know about their special events, and that’s when personalized marketing becomes a genuine relationship.

Make it about your customer.

the power of personalization shown on two mugs with one featuring an individual's name

Let’s take into consideration what the effect of someone’s name imprinted on a gift or award does for them. Dale Carnegie famously said, “Remember that a man’s name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” With that in mind, remember that someone will more frequently drink from a mug with their name on it than one with only a logo or brand. By adding an individual’s name to a gift (even if it also features a corporate logo), it adds personal value and meaning.

Personalization is a popular trend that enhances the customer experience. It starts with knowing the customer, or maybe a better way to say it is remembering the customer. Virtually all (96%) marketers agree that personalization advances customer relationships. Eighty-eight percent say they’ve realized a measurable lift in business results from their personalization campaigns. The power of personalization improves visitor engagement and the customer experience, which leads to more sales.

Making a connection is important at the customer level. Each consumer will see personalization as your way of including them in an essential business circle. Personalization essentially means interacting with your customers and meeting their needs. And, when you use the power of personalization to include everyone in this process, any business will flourish.

Identifying and meeting your customers’ needs.

When handled well, personalization will always strengthen a customer’s experience and, in turn, increase your sales. From offering related products in an online shopping experience to remembering a customer’s name, personalization comes in all forms. So, show your customers that you know and understand their needs and that you have their values in mind when doing business.

From name tags for employees to something a bit more personalized (like a mug) for your customer, everything with a name on it is essential for any business. And don’t forget that this personalization drives instincts, urges and repeat purchases. The more you know about your clientele, the better you can mold their experience.

So, sound off with your customers in mind. After all, meeting your customer’s needs adequately and proficiently is what personalization is all about. Add their names to your products, or simply use their names while doing business with them. Open your doors with a greeting saying, “Welcome, David!” Or, try engaging your online customers with email blasts that are tailored specifically to them. But always start by acknowledging the recipient by name!

The Power of Personalization

an oval name tag showing the power of personalization

Consider this: would you want to hear your name as you walk into your business or a simple, “Hey, you?” The answer is that everyone wants to hear or see their name. Admit it, we all walk into that souvenir shop while we are on vacation and spot the carousel display with the keyrings. We instinctively walk over and peruse the names. And, when we find our name, we’re excited! It doesn’t mean we’re going to purchase the keyring or other souvenirs, but we love to see our name emblazoned on something.

So, how do you think your customers feel when you use their name? Today, personalization is more important than ever as consumers have access to content from a plethora of channels. Among this overload of information, personalized content manages to attract consumers’ interest. While all other information hits them in the face and still gets ignored, personalized content talks directly to them.

Don’t ever think that the power of personalization lies in your marketing schemes. It is not, after all is said and done, about you, the business owner. It is always about your customer and their needs. Now, that isn’t to say that your brand isn’t important; it is. But, remember that little guy? He’s what is keeping your business alive. See him, acknowledge him and most importantly let him know he is wanted.

But, remember that personalization goes both ways. Treat your employees the same way you would treat your customers. Make them feel just as special with using their name in meetings, during conferences or simply in daily greetings. Your personalization of your employees will translate into business models and deals and thus reflects onto you as an owner. And that’s the best kind of advertisement. See, there is power in personalization!

Lastly, consider the effects personalization has on people.

There are always challenges associated with personalization because there is no magic formula that will make it right. At best, there are educated guesses about what your consumers want. If consumers feel a brand is being too pushy, they are more likely to unfollow it. Always try to keep yourself in the shoes of the customers and try to think from their perspective. Personalization helps consumers discover new things and often leads to unplanned purchases. When executed correctly, personalization can have a great impact on your bottom line.

You can’t deny that the customer knows in the end that it is all about them. So, play to that knowledge. Whether it’s your employees wearing name tags and promoting your brand, or a personalized gift wrapped in special ribbons, remembering your clientele individually is the name of the game. At the end of the day, that little guy is the most important person in the room.

So, keep them entertained with your business. Let them know how much they matter. And, it’s simple: just use their names! The power of personalization is truly all about the customer helping you stay in business.

Networking & Getting Your Brand Noticed

First things first, what is networking?

Networking is key to your branding strategyNetworking is a supportive system of sharing and exchanging information and services among individuals, groups or institutions that have a mutual interest. Specifically, it is the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business. It is fundamental to note that networking is also an active development of these current business relationships.

Think for a moment. What does good networking look like? How do people act while networking? What are their attitudes? Most people would agree that a good networker is sincere, friendly and outgoing, supportive and a good listener. It isn’t just about staying in touch. It goes beyond that. A good networker is someone you want to trust and be friends with.

A business network is a type of social network which is developed to help business people connect with other managers and entrepreneurs to further each other’s business interests by forming mutually beneficial business relationships. Several prominent business networking organizations create models of networking events that, when followed, allow the business person to build new business relationships and generate business opportunities at the same time. A professional network service is an implementation of information technology in support of business networking. Chambers of Commerce and other business-oriented groups may also organize networking activities.

So, how do you apply yourself to the networking mantra?

Here’s the scenario: “You have just arrived at your weekly, cookie-cutter networking event, and after walking up to the registration table, you proceed to search across a sea of identical plastic name badges with tiny print for the one with your name and company printed on it. You’ll affix this name tag to your shirt at the least awkward angle you can finagle, and proceed into a crowded room of people all arching their necks to scope out the people worth chatting to while trying not stare at someone’s chest for too long. And most likely many have chosen to position the name tags to be hidden in the folds of jackets or flipped around entirely making them impossible to read. Good luck with that one.”

And, whether you are wearing a name tag for an event or work every day, chances are you don’t realize the impact which you are making. In social settings, name tags can level the playing field. They are also free advertising for your company. And, they inspire people to be more approachable.

using name tags for networking and branding should include your name and titleWe’re here to offer a perfect solution with a particular product line which facilitates networking and promotes making those meaningful connections. For many people, the idea of wearing a name tag evokes the stale idea of the epic “Hello, my name is…” variety you might find at an awkward mixer or high school reunion. But a name tag is a valuable tool and, when used in fresh and creative ways, it can be a useful tool in helping people interact with each other.

But, more importantly, we are here to offer support and trusted services to help you in your networking efforts.

Many businesses use networking as a key factor in their marketing plan. It contributes to developing a strong feeling of trust between those involved and plays a big part in raising the profile and brand of a company. Suppliers and businesses tend to source business and suppliers through their existing relationships. These relationships tend to be open, random and supportive, while those relying on hierarchical, traditionally managed approaches are closed, selective and controlling.

Networking in 3 Easy Steps

Step One: Always wear your name tag. It’s the key to great networking.

A name tag reminds you to be open and honest. You can’t hide behind it. And, it gets you to network, to put yourself out there, and to make new friends. It gives you the opportunity to brand yourself, your image, and your company, with honesty and trustworthiness.

Laser Engraved Plastic name tags are perfect for branding with your logo for networkingYour name tag is your best friend for several reasons. A person’s name is the first thing that most people forget upon the first meeting. Without the aid of a name tag, people are less likely to approach if they don’t know or have forgotten your name.

Consider all of the commitment you have access to when wearing a name tag. Networking isn’t easy, but when you are willing to put yourself out there, others around you are apt to feel more at ease and will connect better and more frequently.

Step Two: The most important thing is to get your brand noticed.

Networking only works when you use your name tags correctly with logos, titles and names. Your name tag reflects who you are and humanizes you to others. Most people tend to judge on first impressions, especially when everyone in the room is a stranger. But, if you have a way to make yourself stand out, your brand will become recognizable. And, it helps to make others more at ease around you.

If name tags are provided at an event, use them. Don’t be a name tag snob. They are there to make greeting others easier. They reduce possible awkward moments and help you remember names gracefully.

Step Three: Talk to others and, as always, wear your name tag.

It will help you be fearless. Wearing a name tag in a room full of strangers is an invite for people to talk to you, and for you to talk to people. You don’t need someone to introduce you, so be fearless and take networking into your hands.

And remember that networking only works when you use your name tags correctly with logos, titles and names.


Business Networking

“It isn’t what you know, it’s who you know,” is an ideal we all strive to make work for our companies. Business networking is the low-cost, effective way of utilizing this expression. LinkedIn is an excellent example of this. It is a great marketing method for developing business relationships to gather sales and contacts.

The definition of network in itself reminds us that it consists of connecting lines, like a railway or canal system, which run in different directions. Especially when it comes to a business network, these lines are crucial, and without them, this system no longer exists. These lines, commonly referred to as a relationship or communication, are the most important thing to maintain a network. If you don’t have a good set of contacts, a network will fail. And a good network is created, and networking succeeds, by the application of hard work.

Networking with Name Tags

networking with name tagsLanyards, name tags, reusable badges and even signs are useful tools for any conference or convention.

And the corporate event name tag is one detail that has been overlooked too much. For years people have been dealing with this awkward situation over and over again at event after event. As such, setting the stage is just as important as attending a conference or networking event. However, there are many roadblocks along the way.

Still not convinced? Here are some creative ways to use any name tag or reusable badge to help eliminate this awkwardness.

Try omitting titles and company names. Use this as an effort to associate people more with what they love to do, or excel at, than what they do for a living. Focus on the individual.

Move beyond the work domain. Try using reusable badges with a catchphrase or other conversation starter to get people to mingle.

Incorporate a theme. It doesn’t matter what the theme is, just as long as it is geared toward getting people flowing through the masses and making those necessary connections.


Daily Networking Tips:

Remember your business cards. Start carrying business cards with you everywhere. Keep some in your wallet or purse, your car and in your pocket. Take your cards to the gym, the grocery store and even to parties. You never know who you will meet or be able to talk with. And, if you don’t have your business cards with you, an opportunity may be missed.

Join new groups. From book clubs to civic organizations, networking opportunities are everywhere. So, find a new group in your area, or stretch yourself into new areas. But, no matter what, get yourself out there. Make sure to join groups that will benefit from what you have to offer. Don’t just participate in a group because you think it sounds fun. Join somewhere that gives you back what you can give in return.

Give and get back. Networking is a two-way street. When most people network, they expect something in exchange for their contact information. Sometimes it’s as simple as an information exchange. Other times, they expect time or goods in return. And most often, they expect their business to grow. Make sure to follow up with new contacts and keep sharing information with them, and you’ll see that your effort is returned.

Be friendly and approachable. Pretend you are hosting the event. Make people feel welcome. Find out what brought them there, and see if there’s any way you can help them. Introduce them to others, make business suggestions or give them a referral. Not only will you probably make a friend, but putting others at ease eliminates self-consciousness. A side benefit: What goes around comes around. If you make an effort to help others, you’ll soon find people helping you.

Event and Convention Networking:

Set a goal. Whenever attending a meeting, convention or another event, set a goal for yourself to meet new people. With this goal in mind, greet people you have never seen before. Make it a habit to be open and welcoming to everyone. Not only will people start recognizing you, but your contact list will grow, and networking will become easier for you.

Other goals that you can set for your events include: keeping up on industry trends, connecting with peers, and looking for new business opportunities. Focus on these goals throughout the entire conference, and you’ll see your network start to grow.

Put yourself out there. Don’t sit by those you know. Find someone sitting alone and introduce yourself. Make sure you extend yourself to those around you, no matter their station or occupation. The chances are that if you’re at the same event, you’re looking for some of the same information.

If you are attending a multiple day event, sit with someone new every day. Or switch it up after breaks. Get to know as many people as you can. Be that person who exchanges information, and you’ll see that your approachability will expand. And from that, your business will flourish.

Be a leader. Don’t just attend your next conference. Get out there and get involved. Become a board member or join a committee. Volunteer your time and talents at your next event. Not only will this get you noticed by the event planners and hosts, but it will also provide those around you with the opportunity to see you lead.

Being a leader is a step to doing better business. Those who can lead stand out to others, and through this your business will not only flourish, but it will grow. Your network will expand. This also gives you a reason to reach out to others. It gets you involved and provides others a way to also get involved.

Networking isn’t always easy.

You have to extend yourself and be a leader. You may make a few mistakes as you get started, but that shouldn’t deter you. Just keep trying, and you’ll find it easier and easier to reach out and grow your contacts. And don’t forget, it’s important to remind yourself that without your contacts, your business wouldn’t be what it is now. But most importantly, remember that your contact has given you a gift. It’s the gift of communication and networking. This gift is truly the gift that keeps on giving.