From Lederhosen To Lederhosen – The Oktoberfest As A Career Booster

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O’zapft is – it's tapped! Oktoberfest fans are eagerly awaiting the famous starting shot for the world's biggest beer festival. It all kicks off again on the 16th of September with liters of beer and cheese, roast chicken, and roller coaster.

But it is not only the fun and the calories that reach dizzying heights here. The beer festival can also function as a catapult in business terms. Networking is the magic word. But how do you find the winning ticket among all the people celebrating in the beer tent? Harald Lais, National Director of BNI in Germany and Austria, the world’s largest corporate network for business referrals, gives five tips for effective networking at the beer festival.

#1 Mingle!

Even in the beer tent, it can be worthwhile leaving your familiar environment from time to time. A stroll through the tent, an open look, and suddenly you are meeting new people. Networking is a contact sport – if you become active yourself instead of just sitting around and waiting until someone speaks to you. For shy types: it is easier to approach others if you are with one or two people.

#2 The Alcohol Limit

Set yourself a time limit by which the networking should be completed. Make a round at the very start and speak to people before your glass is empty. This gives you the best chance that your new acquaintance will also remember the conversation the next day and that you have actually gained a contact and not lost in respect and reputation.

#3 Softly, Softly!

If you are looking for new business contacts, it is better not to communicate this in the first sentence. Be open and interested and, above all, stay relaxed. Effective networking requires great sensitivity because you first have to deepen the contact.

#4 You Should See Me On The Roller Coaster When I’m Drunk!

Be honest and authentic. Contrived show stunts can often be embarrassing, and usually, people quickly see through them anyway. If you are looking for genuine, serious contacts, you have to convince people with your true personality. This is the only way you have a chance that a casual contact can become a solid business partnership.

#5 Looking Over The Rim Of The Glass

Good networking involves a give and take, and this has to start with the first contact. If you actively speak to other people, then you should also be an attentive listener. Show an interest in other topics and offer your support.

The Day After – Without The Hangover

A good network cannot be built in a day. This is why a second contact should be made within 24 hours. If personal details have already been exchanged, a brief call or e-mail is no trouble. This is why you should always have your business card with you. If you don’t have exact details, it is worth doing some more research. Due to the wide range of social networks such as Xing or Facebook, this is usually successful.




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