People do a lot of glad-handing and make a lot of empty promises at social events, from holiday parties to network events.
“We have to go dancing sometime.”
“I’ll definitely send you that reading list.”
“You’ll have to come over for dinner next month!”
Not so with you. You are going to follow up.
I’ve attended many parties and social gatherings over the last year, and I’ve tried a few different ways to record notes and action items. A simple solution is just to jot down notes as you go through the evening.
Yes, it may seem strange to carry around a notepad with you at a dinner party. Only a special level of weirdo like me can pull that off. If you want to be more discreet, use a note-taking app like Evernote.
Let me give you some examples from the company holiday party I attended tonight. Here are some of my to-do’s.
- Invite _____ and _____ to dinner
- Send a copy of the first Wheel of Time book to ______
- Invite ___ to 80s night dance party
- Speak at _____’s club (and just hang out with him more – he’s cool)
You can also jot down thoughts, observations, and phrases you hear over the evening. Especially if you’re a creative, parties are usually bursting at the seams with interesting observables.
For instance, I heard a hilarious way of rephrasing the experience of being “the fifth wheel” to a pair of couples (I was one of the single dudes there):
- “I’m not the fifth wheel. You’re the four wheels to my unicycle.”
It may seem weird to build a list of to-do’s at a party. But the human memory sucks, and lists will help you take action on the cool things you want to do to further the friendships which a party celebrates.
You wouldn’t fail to follow up with a potential client you’ve had a phone call with. How much more should you not fail to follow up with your friends?