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4 Networking etiquette rules you should never break

(Business News) There are networking etiquette rules that are unspoken, and by following them, you can get the most out of any networking event.

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networking etiquette

Networking etiquette: increase your networking power

There are many professionals that attend networking functions out there. Some people attend events for leads, some to get familiar with what kind of events are going on around town, and others attend to connect with their peers and other professionals for business or partnership reasons.

There are actually quite a few networking etiquette rules that are unspoken at networking events, so I thought I’d share a few tips on best etiquette practices during networking events so you can increase your networking power over time.

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Minding these tips will allow you to network better, and you’ll quickly become more popular with your peers.

1. Whip out the compliments

Compliment other attendants at events – usually when you are attending a networking event, there is some kind of line for nametags. There are other professionals waiting in line to pay or to get their nametags. When you greet someone and make them feel good publicly, other professionals in line see you. Doing that helps you to project your warmth, inviting nature, and most of the time, it gets you into a professional conversation right away before you even enter the event.

2. Be genuine

Sometimes there are people that arrive at networking functions in a suit (that’s good ); however, sometimes those same people are seen reaching out to every person in the room without creating any meaningful conversation. The more people that attend events and do this sort of behavior, the more a group sours quickly.

The best way to network is be yourself, be genuine, thoughtful, helpful, and strategic in thought. You’ll notice that you will build your network a lot quicker when you talk to people, understand their challenges, and give them enough time to feel like they are connecting to you.

The people that like you because you’re willing to stay and chat for a bit are more likely to contribute resources, offer opportunities they see for you than if you got into quick meaningless conversations.

3. Secrets to approaching a host

So there is a right and a wrong way to say hi to hosts of the event. I know from hosting events myself, that saying hi lets a host know you appreciate their hard work for putting on the event. When people see you with the host, it does appear to elevate your perceived value to other on-lookers.

One issue I see all the time is that people say hello to the hosts when they are in deeper conversation with a high ranking professional such as a City Councilman or Business Partner. Interjecting to say hi during these times can be considered rude and sometimes can even put extra stress on the host because of the unexpected interruption.

When you say hello to the host, the best etiquette would be to either stand close by and wait for a pause in the conversation before you introduce yourself, or pick a spot in the group that is further away from the host and would be less of a distraction if you entered the group from that position. If you notice there is one person talking and everyone is listening intently, you should do the same, then say hi at the next opportunity when you have a better understanding of the situation.

Being mindful of the space you’re speaking into will make your host appreciate that you took the time to introduce yourself at an opportune time. Hosts that are pleased with the way you conduct business are more likely to introduce you to people. Hosts are probably the best people to introduce you to exactly who you should be talking to at that event.

You should also keep in mind that hosts tend to not like getting stopped when they are on their way out of a conversation as well. If you see a host leave a circle of people and make a direct line somewhere, that usually isn’t the best time to stop them. Chances are they are either responding to an emergency or they are headed for the bathroom. As a general rule, don’t corner the hosts, but wait your turn and then speak to them or have a mutual friend introduce you.

4. Build your network and give value

One of the best ways to really build a powerful network is by being friendly and helping people, and by giving them value. Value has many forms such as time, expertise/advice, money, entertainment (even telling a joke is valuable).

In each conversation, you gain practice looking for or finding out the reason the person is there at the event in the first place, then contributing in some way to help them achieve their goal or objective. If you can get them closer to their dreams, or even just tell a heartwarming or entertaining story, doing those things will make it more likely that people will introduce you to their friends and make it more likely they will engage you in conversation when you see them for a second time at another event. Over time, those people who remember you will introduce you to their friends which will make your future networking at events go much faster.

Matthew Winters is the owner of Austin Visuals 3D Animation Studio , a Full-Service 2D & 3D animation studio, advertising agency, and video production studio. As one of Austin's movers and shakers, he also founded Speed Friending Events which produces networking mixers and social events in over 14 cities nationally. Matthew is dedicated to providing solutions to social and technology related issues in the industry.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. GhostbloggerMarie

    March 4, 2014 at 8:07 am

    These rules slide seamlessly into our online networking also. Etiquette. Good everywhere! Well done article.

  2. Pingback: Quick trick anyone can use to improve your networking skills - AGBeat

  3. Bharat

    February 25, 2016 at 1:31 am

    Very good article

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Business News

Big retailers are opting for refunds instead of returns

(BUSINESS NEWS) Due to increased shipping costs, big companies like Amazon and Walmart are opting to give out a refund rather than accepting small items returned.

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Package delivery people holding deliveries. Refund instead of returns are common now.

The holidays are over, and now some people are ready to return an item that didn’t quite work out or wasn’t on their Christmas list. Whatever the reason, some retailers are giving customers a refund and letting them keep the product, too.

When Vancouver, Washington resident, Lorie Anderson, tried returning makeup from Target and batteries from Walmart she had purchased online, the retailers told her she could keep or donate the products. “They were inexpensive, and it wouldn’t make much financial sense to return them by mail,” said Ms. Anderson, 38. “It’s a hassle to pack up the box and drop it at the post office or UPS. This was one less thing I had to worry about.”

Amazon.com Inc., Walmart Inc., and other companies are changing the way they handle returns this year, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). The companies are using artificial intelligence (AI) to weigh the costs of processing physical returns versus just issuing a refund and having customers keep the item.

For instance, if it costs more to ship an inexpensive or larger item than it is to refund the purchase price, companies are giving customers a refund and telling them to keep the products also. Due to an increase in online shopping, it makes sense for companies to change how they manage returns.

Locus Robotics chief executive Rick Faulk told the Journal that the biggest expense when it comes to processing returns is shipping costs. “Returning to a store is significantly cheaper because the retailer can save the freight, which can run 15% to 20% of the cost,” Faulk said.

But, returning products to physical stores isn’t something a lot of people are wanting to do. According to the return processing firm Narvar, online returns increased by 70% in 2020. With people still hunkered down because of the pandemic, changing how to handle returns is a good thing for companies to consider to reduce shipping expenses.

While it might be nice to keep the makeup or batteries for free, don’t expect to return that new PS5 and get to keep it for free, too. According to WSJ, a Walmart spokesperson said the company lets someone keep a refunded item only if the company doesn’t plan on reselling it. And, besides taking the economic costs into consideration, the companies look at the customer’s purchase history as well.

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Google workers have formed company’s first labor union

(BUSINESS NEWS) A number of Google employees have agreed to commit 1% of their salary to labor union dues to support employee activism and fight workplace discrimination.

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Google complex with human sized chessboard, where a labor union has been formed.

On Monday morning, Google workers announced that they have formed a union with the support of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the largest communications and media labor union in the U.S.

The new union, Alphabet Workers Union (AWU) was organized in secret for about a year and formed to support employee activism, and fight discrimination and unfairness in the workplace.

“From fighting the ‘real names’ policy, to opposing Project Maven, to protesting the egregious, multi-million dollar payouts that have been given to executives who’ve committed sexual harassment, we’ve seen first-hand that Alphabet responds when we act collectively. Our new union provides a sustainable structure to ensure that our shared values as Alphabet employees are respected even after the headlines fade,” stated Program Manager Nicki Anselmo in a press release.

AWU is the first union in the company’s history, and it is open to all employees and contractors at any Alphabet company in the United States and Canada. The cost of membership is 1% of an employee’s total compensation, and the money collected will be used to fund the union organization.

In a response to the announcement, Google’s Director of People Operations, Kara Silverstein, said, “We’ve always worked hard to create a supportive and rewarding workplace for our workforce. Of course, our employees have protected labor rights that we support. But as we’ve always done, we’ll continue engaging directly with all our employees.”

Unlike other labor unions, the AWU is considered a “Minority Union”. This means it doesn’t need formal recognition from the National Labor Relations Board. However, it also means Alphabet can’t be forced to meet the union’s demands until a majority of employees support it.

So far, the number of members in the union represents a very small portion of Google’s workforce, but it’s growing every day. When the news of the union was first announced on Monday, roughly 230 employees made up the union. Less than 24 hours later, there were 400 employees in the union, and now that number jumped to over 500 employees.

Unions among Silicon Valley’s tech giants are rare, but labor activism is slowly picking up speed, especially with more workers speaking out and organizing.

“The Alphabet Workers Union will be the structure that ensures Google workers can actively push for real changes at the company, from the kinds of contracts Google accepts to employee classification to wage and compensation issues. All issues relevant to Google as a workplace will be the purview of the union and its members,” stated the AWU in a press release.

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Ticketmaster caught red-handed hacking, hit with major fines

(BUSINESS NEWS) Ticketmaster has agreed to pay $10 million to resolve criminal charges after hacking into a competitor’s network specifically to sabotage.

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Person open on hacking computer screen, typing on keyboard.

Live Nation’s Ticketmaster agreed to pay $10 million to resolve criminal charges after admitting to hacking into a competitor’s network and scheming to “choke off” the ticket seller company and “cut [victim company] off at the knees”.

Ticketmaster admitted hiring former employee, Stephen Mead, from startup rival CrowdSurge (which merged with Songkick) in 2013. In 2012, Mead signed a separation agreement to keep his previous company’s information confidential. When he joined Live Nation, Mead provided that confidential information to the former head of the Artist Services division, Zeeshan Zaidi, and other Ticketmaster employees. The hacking information shared with the company included usernames, passwords, data analytics, and other insider secrets.

“When employees walk out of one company and into another, it’s illegal for them to take proprietary information with them. Ticketmaster used stolen information to gain an advantage over its competition, and then promoted the employees who broke the law. This investigation is a perfect example of why these laws exist – to protect consumers from being cheated in what should be a fair market place,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.

In January 2014, Mead gave a Ticketmaster executive multiple sets of login information to Toolboxes, the competitor’s password-protected app that provides real-time data about tickets sold through the company. Later, at an Artists Services Summit, Mead logged into a Toolbox and demonstrated the product to Live Nation and Ticketmaster employees. Information collected from the Toolboxes were used to “benchmark” Ticketmaster’s offerings against the competitor.

“Ticketmaster employees repeatedly – and illegally – accessed a competitor’s computers without authorization using stolen passwords to unlawfully collect business intelligence,” said Acting U.S. Attorney DuCharme in a statement. “Further, Ticketmaster’s employees brazenly held a division-wide ‘summit’ at which the stolen passwords were used to access the victim company’s computers, as if that were an appropriate business tactic.”

The hacking violations were first reported in 2017 when CrowdSurge sued Live Nation for antitrust violations. A spokesperson told The Verge, “Ticketmaster terminated both Zaidi and Mead in 2017, after their conduct came to light. Their actions violated our corporate policies and were inconsistent with our values. We are pleased that this matter is now resolved.”

To resolve the case, Ticketmaster will pay a $10 million criminal penalty, create a compliance and ethics program, and report to the United States Attorney’s Office annually during a three-year term. If the agreement is breached, Ticketmaster will be charged with: “One count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusions, one count of computer intrusion for commercial advantage, one count of computer intrusion in furtherance of fraud, one count of wire fraud conspiracy and one count of wire fraud.”

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