Networking in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of the best cities in the world to network. There is an opportunity at every turn, and depending on your personality, you can explore a number of different ways to get connected with the right people, both here and globally.
If you are a confident person, Hong Kong is your stage. Work hours go 24/7 and you will always find someone who is happy to discuss your business, project or connections. If you are more comfortable in an organised situation, Hong Kong has events like no other city. Either way, you will find yourself at the end of the day with a collection of business cards from a variety of people from a number of industries and backgrounds.
First thing to do is make sure you have plenty of business cards printed. Secondly, always carry at least ten. At organised events carry at least 30.
Because it is too easy to get inundated with business cards in Hong Kong, it’s a good idea to start out with a plan so that you can separate out those cards that are a priority, those that are useful, and those that although nice to meet the people, will not be advantageous for your business. It can be too easy to miss a seriously good contact if you have an array of cards in your card wallet from so many people, but you don’t recall which contact was a priority and which was not. Some people like to choose different sections in a hand bag, wallet or suit pocket to place a new contact business card, so that they can straight away access the prioritised ones to follow up.
Every event is a networking event, and you can access these through a variety of organisations. Sign up to your home countrys chamber of commerce. For instance Australia’s AUSCham and the US’s AMCham are very motivated and successful groups, they organise many meet-up events for both business and social engagements throughout the year. There are a vast number of specific networking groups, such as the Business Exchange Club, Int’l Business Meet-up Group, HK Entrepreneurs and Business Owners Club, Asian Entrepreneur Group, and so many more. Registering with these groups means you will be invited to their events, get updates and news on guest speakers, importantly who else is going and who is sponsoring so that you can choose which are best suited for you to attend.
Socially there are many fun ways to network in Hong Kong. You never know who you might be sitting next to at The Mandarin Orientals Captains Bar, or the stylish outdoor terrace at Armani Bar. The major hotels such as Shangri-La, Marriott, Peninsula all play host to a variety of networking events, with specific function rooms and services. Join the Happy Hour Networking Group for a variety of venues and fun roof top bars, where you have a more relaxed way to make new contacts. Junk boat events are also a great way to get to know you people and make some good business contacts in a friendly environment.
Hong Kong has a highly sophisticated yet very natural approach to networking. Most of these events happen during the week from 6pm to 8pm. You will find that business attire is the accepted dress code, no matter the location, unless of course it’s a BBQ or sailing event on the weekends.
Keep your cards always at the ready, make sure they are nice and fresh looking, not crumpled from a pocket, put on your best smile and head out to enjoy meeting some of Hong Kongs best movers and shakers of the business world.