“So, I have a bunch of business cards. Now what?”
-Fictional Reader I Just Made Up
The TAPAlooza1 Festival went swimmingly. The place was packed when I arrived, and there were still a few small groups of people when I left a couple hours later. A good time was had by all, and many business cards were exchanged (including mine2).
Whether you were at Residuals or not yesterday, you’ve probably run into this situation. You collect a fistful of cards and then… what? Leave them in a pile on your desk? Consider calling them before thinking it’ll be awkward, and deciding not to? Make tiny paper airplanes?
It’s great that you got along in an environment designed to introduce you to meet new people, but now is the time to solidify a new friendship. Remember, you met them once, in a loud bar, amongst a crowd of people, while you both were maybe a little tipsy.
So when someone gives you their card, you should send them an email, text, or just plain call them in the next day or two. Invite them out to drinks/coffee/lunch. Hang out, talk about anything but the Business.
This is lateral networking. Your new drinking buddy is in the same position as you. You’re not expecting to get a job from this person anytime soon, and they’re not expecting it from you.
But this is a foundation. Years from now, who knows? Maybe they’ll be a producer, and they will hire you. Or maybe you’ll be a producer, and will need someone with a particular set of skills. It’s a good thing you made friends with said someone years ago at a TAPA drinking party.
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Speaking of TAPACon 2014, what did you think? Did you have fun? Would you like me to organize another one? What else would you have liked to see there, besides this group of hotties:
And if you made new friends, let me know about it in the comments section below. I’d like to believe I’m the new cupid of industry relations.