When was the last time you invited a co-worker or promo industry connection out for coffee? An informal coffee chat can be a great way to build professional relationships and share ideas. If you’re new to the promo world, coffee chats can help you build up your industry presence and grow your network.

A blog post on CoffeePals.com says these meetings may be arranged through mutual connections or professional networking groups. You and the other person get to practice your networking skills and discuss possible collaboration opportunities. Another benefit includes the chance to gain new perspectives and insight. 

So, what should you talk about during a coffee chat? We share some ideas from the blog post in this issue of PromoPro Daily.

Your professional aspirations. What do you hope to achieve in your role? Are you looking for a mentor or volunteer opportunities? Talk about your career goals and interests. The post says you should also ask the other person about their aspirations. You might be able to share some helpful suggestions or a new approach.

Your current job or project. The post recommends sharing some challenges and successes and then asking for feedback from the other person. You can also share your thoughts on what’s going on in their world professionally.

Your industry or job role. Catch up on promo industry trends if you’re meeting with a fellow promo pro. If you’re meeting with someone from an alumni group or professional association, talk about what you do in your role. This can be a great way to identify common ground, the post says.

Your personal interests or hobbies. While coffee chats are about strengthening professional connections, you should also build a personal rapport with the other person. Help them get to know you by talking about what you like to do outside of work. The post says that sharing interests or hobbies can help create a more relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Plus, you might learn you have some shared activities.

Your goals for the coffee chat. It’s good to be clear about what you want to accomplish. Maybe you just want to talk about industry happenings with someone at your level. Perhaps you want to find out if the other person knows about any mentoring programs. Be upfront and see how you can support each other.

LinkedIn and other social channels can be helpful in networking, but don’t overlook the value in a casual coffee chat. Sitting down with another professional, whether in or outside the promo industry, can help you grow your confidence and your professional network.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: The CoffeePals blog. Coffee Pals is a Microsoft Teams app that aims to bring connections to the workplace.