The Value of the After Party and Building Relationships

GEC Gala International Table

I know what you are thinking. After party? No thanks. After a long day in conference or at an event, you are tired. You might want nothing better than to curl up in bed and get some much needed rest. Or, you just want some alone time. But, do you realize you are missing the prime time for building relationships?

Whether it is an after party, additional event, tour or dinner – go to it! It is during this more relaxed time where you get to truly know each other and learn about what makes your new contact tick.  You will discover shared passions, opportunities to assist each other and open up conversation to mind-blowing discussions!

Awards Gala
Awards Gala with lots of new friends

And the dancing.

Few things bring a bunch of strangers together better than hitting the dance floor. Laughter and joy drive relationship building. It lets others discover a little of the true you.

Now I was tired and likely jet lagged the entire week I was at #GEC2017 but that did not stop me from maximizing my time with other people. These after party opportunities opened up opportunities, provided education, created strong memories and allowed me to form long-term global relationships.  Our Soweto tour group will always fondly remember the song “This is Africa” by Shakira and the words Waka Waka.

Soweto Tour
Soweto Tour after the end of GEC 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Even more so, meeting amazing people and truly getting to know them means that at the next event you will attend with friends you remember and not simply that person you exchanged a business card with in a crowded room. Who are you likely to remember after an event? A random contact or someone you had a meaningful conversation, shared experience or event?

The after events are opportunities to be yourself, to relax without worrying about giving your “pitch” or exchanging business cards. That is not to say you won’t talk about what you or doing or exchange contacts, it’s simply a more relaxed setting and opportunities here occur on a more genuine level – the level you only reach by building relationships.

So go to the after party, the extra event, the dinners, the lunches. Stay til the end of an event and talk to the amazing people who are still there (hint these are often the organizers and hosts). Start building relationships that last.