Just Stop It: How to Have Better Etiquette At Networking Events

‘Tis the season of parties, celebrations and within those are, of course, the most worrying part- networking. Around Christmas is the time to be jolly, and we’re not stopping that, but things can get a little too jolly in areas that can potentially lead to uncomfortable or unprofessional behaviors. Remember always to consider the crowd and be respectful!

So, a company has treated you to a lavish venue experience –  the way you enter and leave those parties is important because it could go downhill quickly. Don’t worry, we’re not pointing fingers here – we’ve had our fair share of networking mishaps! – but are merely sharing from our own learnings to guide you through these patchy events. Let’s discuss the things you could find at these events that have a higher potential to go wrong – the presentations… the drinks! The people you may find boring are all factors that can cause slip-ups. Here are some pointers to walk you through a smoothly attended networking event.

Research Key Attendees Beforehand

There’s usually a list of attendees running alongside the company which attendees are representing, pick out the ones most valuable and do some prior research. LinkedIn is the perfect way to scoop some information about individuals, it also won’t hurt to research the company, knowledge will impress!

Don’t Be Late

Not only is this completely embarrassing, for you and you only, you’ve instantly given the wrong impression. You will be ‘that’ person for the rest of the evening and will have a stigma attached to you that isn’t professional. You will also be giving an impression that the event isn’t important enough to be leaving enough time for travel, or even good enough to show when it starts.

Go In With a Purpose

There could be many reasons you decided to attend this certain event – socializing, looking for a new job, company representation or just to meet a few more clients. Murray Newlands seems to know how to do the job fairly well, “Before you arrive at an event, ask yourself what you’re hoping to achieve and what you need to do to achieve it.”

Take Notes

If there is a presentation given, take notes. If someone says something interesting, take notes. Even if you had a great conversation, and you can’t risk forgetting the highlight of it, take a note. These will be very valuable to the aftermath of your networking event, reflecting on what you gained from attending and even remembering everyone you met.

Silence Your Phone During Presentations

Calls and texts are distracting to you and the others around you, another huge brownnose potential that you can live without. We’re not suggesting to turn it off, because that would be irresponsible, you’re about to share contacts or LinkedIn profiles and pictures of your cat. Keep it on but be responsible.

To Drink Or Not to Drink

Now we’re talking about responsibility, it’s up to you how to play this drinking card. Will you be drinking? And if so, how much will you be drinking? HR professionals have reported findings of when drinking is acceptable:

  • 2% acceptable at a meal with a coworker
  • 4% acceptable at a meal during a job interview
  • 14% said that drinking alcohol at a work-related event was never acceptable

The decision can boil down to the nature of work and the type of networking event because you do not want to be the liability of the group. This also depends on the amount you can handle, what is your drunken personality? If its giddy and slurry then your consumption must be minimal. But if you start to see the straight and narrow after a few, then let’s see what happens.

Ask Good Questions

Your peers are all in the same room for one reason, that’s already a similar preference to base a conversation. People enjoy speaking about themselves, within 60 percent of conversations, people are talking about themselves. Ask about family, but by no means ask about specific members. There are plenty of good questions to ask, just make sure it’s the right person and the right time.

Don’t Be a Pusher

Nobody likes a pusher. You could be pushing a product or just yourself in a certain manner that could be quite annoying. Networking leads to results, but only with the correct approach. Keep some distance between you and the person you’re speaking with, keep a smooth tone and keep your responses short.

Connect Like a Puzzle

If you’re asking good questions, you’ll naturally draw good connections between you and the rest. Maybe there are two people who have the same target client, or you can help people along the way make a connection with another attendee. This is ideally the main goal to achieve at a networking event, encouragement will always make you shine.

Never Ditch a Conversation For Someone More “Important”

An automatic fail, but understandably a temptation. If you see an important person walk through that door, remain calm and interested, but start drawing the conversation to a close when the time is right. But just remember if you abruptly end the conversation to speak with someone, in your eyes is “better” – this is a networking embarrassment.

No Card Spamming Allowed

Be specific and selective. Firstly, you don’t want to get rid of all your cards before the end, or before you reach your ideal connection. But you also don’t want the client with the most potential to see the force within. If you feel there hasn’t been a big enough rapport with someone for them to ask for your card, don’t offer one!

Be Yourself

You may be jumping into a new partnership and you don’t want it to start on a lie. Be genuine, it will show. Authenticity throughout will build a strong connection between you and the other guest, and these are the relationships you want to be keeping.

Shake Hands

This is the best part of physical contact to round off a great conversation, and shaking hands has a complete list of rules in itself. Research has found that shaking hands with someone may increase chances of a positive interaction and certainly diminishes the impact of a negative impression. So make it worth it!

The best way to overcome these common faults is to plan ahead. If you struggle with maintaining a conversation or have some difficulty with selling yourself, then your purpose is way more advantageous when thoroughly thought out before. Speak to your friends or colleagues for some advice, and take these factors seriously, because with these factors in place, you have all the tools for success.

Being based in San Francisco, Barcelona, and London, you can find us attending many networking events across these locations this winter. Where will you be? Comment below if you think there’s one we shouldn’t miss!

Net Neutrality – What Digital Marketers Need to Know

net neutrality

In the United States right now, net neutrality is in serious jeopardy. The Obama-era rule requires that Internet service providers treat web traffic equally, so they can’t do things to abuse it. Now with new leadership at the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), things could start to change. What many people, businesses and digital marketers like ourselves have had many questions about what it all really means, and what the potential downsides of losing net neutrality could be.

Breaking Down the Net Neutrality Issue

If you’re somewhat new to the net neutrality issue, or simply need a quick recap, AdAge put together this gloriously simple version of what’s really going on.

Renamed “Open Internet” a while back, net neutrality provided a regulatory framework that specifically prohibited:

  • Blocking: Broadband providers may not block access to lawful content, applications, services or non-harmful devices.
  • Throttling: Broadband providers may not deliberately target some lawful internet traffic to be delivered to users more slowly than other traffic.
  • Paid prioritization: Broadband providers may not favor some internet traffic in exchange for consideration of any kind. Internet service providers are also banned from prioritizing content and services of their affiliates.

In its place the FCC is proposing to “Restore Internet Freedom” as follows:

  • Reinstate the “information service” classification of broadband internet access service first established on a bipartisan basis during the Clinton Administration.
  • Restore the determination that mobile broadband is not a “commercial mobile service” subject to heavy-handed regulation.
  • Restore the authority of the nation’s most experienced cop on the privacy beat – the Federal Trade Commission – to police the privacy practices of ISPs.

Essentially, the federal agency wants to repeal the current net neutrality rules that ensure people in America have equal access to the Internet, by prohibiting internet providers from blocking or slowing down access to content online. The plan to repeal the existing rules “would harm small businesses and prevent new ones from gaining traction,” according to Media Post (and many others), as well as open up more opportunity for big-name providers to limit internet access as they see fit.

“Because of net neutrality, consumers and businesses have unfettered access to one another, increasing competition and consumer choice. An internet without net neutrality protections would be the opposite of the open market, with a few powerful cable and phone companies picking winners and losers instead of consumers.”

– Letter excerpt from Pinterest, Reddit and other companies to the FCC Chairman

What Does the End of Net Neutrality Mean for Marketing?

While the issue as a whole is on our minds as everyday Internet users, we also can’t help but be concerned about what it means for the profession of online marketing. So, what does the end of Internet freedom mean for us? A multitude of things could happen, according to many expert sources:

  • “Content marketing and inbound marketing may have to go back to the drawing board. That’s because their free white papers or webinars may similarly have to deal with competitive blocking, access fees or unequal availability to all potential customers.” (MarTech Today)
  • On the positive side, “opportunities for bandwidth offers could help brands position themselves as more trusted and reliable.” (AdAge)
  • “It allows websites to compete with each other without having to pay and without having to only serve different consumers who may be paying different rates to their ISPs.” (Moz)
  • User experience could be negatively affected as restriction are set in place, ultimately hurting brands. (AdWeek)
  • Service providers could make it more difficult or impossible to view certain websites or data. “For example, a provider that has a business interest with Hulu could severely slow down or block customers access to Netflix or Amazon Prime.” (Complex)
  • “ISPs wouldn’t have to provide access to the entirety of the internet. They might charge a minimum for access to giant sites and applications, like Facebook and Google, and then charge more for access to second tier websites, and then charge even more to have access to the entirety of the internet.” (Inc)
  • “Third-party services will likely have to charge more if they have to get guaranteed faster lane services. That means higher prices for all the outside services modern marketers employ — personalization, tag management, content management systems, customer relationship management systems and so on.” (MarTech Today)

 

Whatever your own hypotheses may be on how this will affect people, businesses, and marketers in America, we all can agree on the fact that if this repeal passes, things can start to change dramatically.

Via MarTech Today

Due Diligence: How to Contact Your Representatives

So far, Congress has blocked the FCC’s vote to repeal the net neutrality rules, but there’s more that we can all do to help keep them in place. Below are a list of resources for learning more, locating your representatives, supporting the right people through donation, and making your voice heard:

What is the most concerning, interesting, or wild thought you have about this issue? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.  

Research Reigns Supreme for eCommerce During the Holidays

We’re huge fans of research; as it turns out, so are consumers today.

Marketing Dive released a study based on some stunning new eCommerce data compiled by Rakuten Marketing. Here are the main takeaways and highlights that every online business needs to know for the hectic season of holiday shopping:

  • Click-through and ad engagement rates jumped 154% and 111%, respectively, during the week before Thanksgiving.
  • 46% of all page views occurred on a mobile device over the week of Thanksgiving. Mobile revenue was up 43% during the same period.
  • Combined online shopping revenue over Thanksgiving and Black Friday this year (2017) jumped 23% from 2016.
  • Online revenue and purchases on Thursday grew 28% and 35%, respectively, over last year, while online revenue on Friday increased 21%.

The article goes on to discuss what this means for digital marketers and advertisers:

Research from Yes Lifecycle Marketing found a notably undermarketed day was Green Monday, the second Monday in December. Just 6% of marketers executed campaigns on that day, but those that did saw a 50% higher conversion rate than business-as-usual email sends. Yes Lifecycle also found that Cyber Monday emails convert about 53% more holiday shoppers than Black Friday ones, pointing to the an opportunity for marketers to leverage in future years of the annual holiday shopping frenzy.

Check out all of the insights on the Marketing Dive site here. 

Need some help re-strategizing for the holidays? We’re here for you.

6 of The Most Useful Thanksgiving Apps for 2017

There are plenty of apps that assist daily life, your weekly routine or the exercise you’re about to embark on after your Thanksgiving dinner. But when times become stressful there is always a special array of apps that will relieve your workload and guide you to some sort of relaxation. With these 6 thanksgiving apps will cater to your ups and downs whether it’s a quiet family dinner or you’re hosting your wild friends.

  1. Google Maps

Stop! Don’t move. Unless you’ve checked the traffic, you should probably download the Google Maps app. AAA says the traffic this year will see a 3.3% jump from last and around 50.9 million people traveling 50 miles or more, so planning in advance will lift the pressure off your day. Even if you’re planning to pick up a takeout instead of dinner, or something similar, Google Maps features can calculate what the queueing time looks like at your local restaurants. Stress = relieved.

Download for iOS

Download for Android

via Fortune

  1. Yummly

There are millions of cooking apps out there which all work miraculously, but Yummly, in particular, is one to highlight in our run of Thanksgiving apps. Specifically chosen for when you expect guests, with different dietary requirements or just them picky eater, Yummly will assist every step of the way.

“Offering personalized guidance every step of the way”

via Yummly

Download for iOS

Download for Android

 

  1. Hello Vino

Where there is food, there comes wine. Do it right this time, this is one of the only Thanksgiving apps that will give you better matches than Tinder. Pairing you with a wine that will be the perfect company to any sprout or turkey thigh, Hello Vino knows best.

via Hello Vino

Download for iOS

Download for Android

  1. Family Feud

Ideal for any family gathering, if you can’t break it up then let this do it for you. Now there’s Family Feud 2, the levels are rising and the demand is stronger than ever. This app boasts graphics that will make you feel as if you’ve made it to Channel 5. With plenty of challenges and interactive profiles, you will get lost in this app for hours until you all need to say good night.

via Google Play

Download for iOS

Download for Android

 

  1. The Thanksgiving App 2017

Anything that you can possibly think of is within – this is the ultimate app of Thanksgiving apps. Think trivia, facts, a countdown and a classic animation of a turkey to keep you company. To set you off with some trivia, did you know the most common question asked around Thanksgiving is “how do I cook a perfect turkey?” forget the history – in modern times it’s all about the food. Gobble gobble.

via iTunes

Download for iOS

Download for Android

 

  1. TGI Black Friday

TGTO (Thank God That’s Over) now it’s time to prepare for the huge deals you can grab for this very special day. And thank god you can see it all on your phone. Beat the queues and shop online, you’ve already done a fabulous job with the wine matching your delicious chicken. You deserve a treat to come to straight to your door, nothing beats a brand new hoover. TGIBF will navigate all the deals by searching and comparing 10,000 deals to locate the cheapest items of the season.

Download for iOS

Download for Android

Now all you need is the turkey, access to wine and a smart device. If you download these before you leave the office, you’ll be impressing your guests with the such a simple thought. Apps are there to make lives easier, and all 6 of these Thanksgiving apps will be there when you most need them.

Happy holidays!

The Remote Working Movement Will Never Die

IBM’s decision to call its remote workers back to the office has left us feeling restless. Not just because our digital marketers are location independent and can work from anywhere of our choosing, but we feel a statement such as ‘Why Remote Working Will Die’ actually sends the wrong message about the remote movement as a whole. In short, remote working works and has opened up a way for our business to grow in leaps and bounds all over the world.

I, however, want to take a hot second to respond to IBM’s claim that productivity and innovation are weaker off-site than in the office, through the argument that remote working is still misconstrued concept.

To do this, let’s iron out some ‘remote working’ misconceptions:

Remote working is not an ‘all or nothing’ position.  

Think of remote working as a means to create the perfect equilibrium (or the ‘sweet spot’) between working onsite and totally remote. We understand the importance of contact time and aim to have at least 3 Skype calls and 1 face-to-face meet up every week. This timetable offers the best of both worlds but still keeps employees motivated for deliverables and engaged within the agency. Multiple studies have shown that this may be the ‘Goldilocks zone of remote working’ and have great productivity results!

The lost in-person collaboration is arguably not relevant.

Have you heard about this? One of the arguments against remote working is that employees don’t get that ‘spark’ of productivity and creativity, only obtained from working onsite. This argument is weak, as inspirational content creation and sensational inbound marketing ideas aren’t all conceived at your company’s desk (we’ve all had those great inspiration hits in the shower!) As an example, many remote workers decide to travel the world as through a combination of traveling and remote working, you can be sure your interests and engagement will increase.

People are more productive when they are happy!

Remote workers don’t work as hard as they do in the office.

This is simply untrue. There is a misconstrued image of a remote worker as a soul-seeking millennial, lusting after a light job that fulfills their holistic satisfaction and who don’t care to work too much. However, according to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report, 43 percent of Americans said they spent at least some time working remotely last year, up from 39 percent in 2012. With regards to workloads, in actuality, the opposite can happen, with people often finding themselves stretching their work out for hours, because getting to work is so convenient.

Remote working means that your business’ general communication will suffer.

When a team makes the transition to working remotely, this does not necessarily mean that the quality of communication suffers. Actually far from it. On the contrary, workers are choosing to engage in impactful co-worker collaboration, over water cooler gossip. Additionally, there are countless virtual workspace programs available for teams to work with and improve productivity. These allow remote workers to feel that they are never alone and can always reach out for advice when needed.

So, what’s next? Remote workers, don’t panic. Many are drawing from experience and cases to show how telecommuting can be as productive as being at one’s on-site desk. The articles and posts on LinkedIn that are so morbidly titled ‘The Troubled Future of Remote Working’ and ‘Why Remote Working Will Die’ have actually prompted many to share their awesome remote working stories to the masses! We love it when a clan comes together!

Are you a remote worker and want to have your say? Comment below!