The holidays are here, and that means plenty of opportunities to meet new and interesting people. Here are four easy tips for maximizing your interactions at holiday parties this year:
  1. Have a plan of action before you leave. First, think about which contacts are the most important to you, and make a point to speak to each of them during the event (instead of hiding behind the dessert bar the entire night). Find out who will be attending the event. Do some research online or on social networking sites like LinkedIn to learn about attendees. You may even want to consider asking the host for a guest list. Pick five people with whom you definitely want to speak while you are there, and don't avoid the big names.

  2. Let others do the talking (you ask the questions!). There's nothing worse than coming away from a great networking opportunity realizing that you didn't capitalize on the situation. Coming up with a list of questions to ask your fellow holiday party guests. Here are a few great ice breakers to get the ball rolling: