I just returned from a vacation in Las Vegas with my girlfriends. We all turned 30 this year and decided to celebrate in style. Vegas is a vacuum of excess and I’m amazed by the amount of money people flitter away on gambling and VIP areas at pool parties and nightclubs.
New business generation is an important part of my job at a social media marketing agency and I find whenever I’m in social settings where I meet new people, I can’t help but wonder if they could be prospective clients.
While in Vegas, where strangers naturally talk to strangers, we met some important people in the business world – including owners of multi-million dollar companies – and it reminded me that vacations are an awesome, yet subtle way, to network.
There’s a hard-working culture in the USA where vacation isn’t as valued or encouraged compared to other countries. Yet, there are so many business savvy reasons why vacations should be encouraged, including that they’re a natural way to make new business contacts!
Vacationing solo is actually one of the very best ways to meet people because you’re more approachable to others if you’re not in a group. I spontaneously went to Japan for a week a few years ago and met many kind strangers along the way. And at the same time, escorted group travel brings similar people meeting opportunities (with tour operators, such as G Adventures, where you join a group of strangers and travel with a leader) – you’ll spend quality time with a group of new people who work in an array of industries. This type of interaction is impossible to replicate at an evening networking event, for example.
Serious networkers might want to consider downloading various travel apps that enable you to identify people meeting opportunities on flights, too. For example, Quicket, has a feature that lets you check out the Facebook pages of other passengers on your flight. Slightly creepy, yes, but it could be useful for business travelers going to a conference and wanting one-on-one time with an influential keynote speaker.
So, next time you’re unsure whether to take that vacation because of work demands, just remember it could benefit your business!