[Student Voices]Parties are serious business
Networking has become a very important part of our lives as the world gets smaller and as we meet more people in daily life and in business. Books about NQ (Networking Quotient) abound, which shows the increasing interest of people in this increasingly important aspect of social and business life.
In my case, building up my Korean network was always my concern when I lived outside of Korea because I always felt that my social network was not extensive enough.
What would be the best way to improve our social networks? How can we make connections in every part of the world?
I’ve always tried to find answers to those questions since I started working in the party industry in 2005. As a marketing assistant at the German automobile maker, Audi-Volkswagen, I learned how valuable a party can be.
I worked together with many party planners organizing countless events, such as product launching parties, promotional events, and celebrating the World Cup, Christmas, the New Year and special gatherings. Based on these experiences, I got to work as a project leader on the New Beetle launching party in 2006.
While managing many party projects, I found out that my company was not the only one spending huge sums of money on these parties and events. Many companies in fact use parties as regular tools for raising brand awareness and cultivating customers’ brand loyalty.
Such parties have in fact been one of the most effective marketing tools, and here in Korea it has been proven to be effective in many ways as parties became part of the culture in contemporary lifestyles.
Just as a party can be used as a productive tool in the corporate world, it can also be as effective in helping us build up our private networks. I learned this when I started to regularly attend a friend’s private parties in Itaewon, Seoul. Almost every month he would have a great gathering for some 200 to 300 people in his network. The parties are always full of people from almost every sector of the business world. Party guests really enjoy the whole night mixing with diverse people.
Organizing a party does not necessarily mean having a luxurious venue and food. A small party with a small budget can still generate a great atmosphere with various people. Sometimes the only thing that the host should do is to set a party-friendly environment.
You could also get some useful tips from the books of David Tutera, one of the most successful party planners in the world. He is a highly regarded event designer whose client list includes such celebrities as Elton John, Al Gore and Kenneth Cole. I’ve started my own annual party with more than 100 people since 2006, aspiring to emulate Tutera’s style.
Creating a party is not easy. It is an art of creation, where you can do everything to make others happy. I have seen this in coordinating many corporate parties as well as many gatherings of my own. You can learn many things from the process of organizing parties and events, and your social network will become much stronger.
University of Delaware / Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
by Benjamin Minsuk Kim