I am relocating to Europe in August. Any recommendations on how to develop business contacts?
I am currently in Australia but moving to Europe for family reasons in August. Although I relocated from Europe to Australia in 2000, I am really in need of creating a wider network in Switzerland, UK and the Netherlands. Do you have any recommendations on how to go about building a new network?
My first step would be to start with who you currently know and review my social media contacts in LinkedIn.com or Facebook. Ask your current contacts on those sites if they know of any good contacts in Switzerland, UK and the Netherlands. Ask them to introduce you to their networks and contacts. Linkedin.com power isn't in staying in contact with the people you already know. It's power is in reaching out to the people you really want to know -- by linking you to them through other people.
I have moved to foreign countries a couple of times in my career. My field of expertise is Management Consulting whereby I reorganize companies to make them more productive and hence more profitable. So I work with Accountants and lawyers who are great referral sources.
When I go to a new area, albeit country, state or city, I find the medium-sized accountants and lawyers and arrange a meeting. They are always willing to talk to somebody new as it can be a win-win solution. I then tell them what I can do, in for words or less, than explain how it benefits THEM and THEIR client. And I leave them a brief brochure (not a highly polished piece) that describes what I just told them.
You have to understand that these professional do not like to be sold - so no high polish. Make it brief and to the point.
In such cases one thing cannot be avoided: presence. Power and connections can only be built by presence. You should be present in the mind and sight of all your targeted professionals and areas. It is very hard and difficult to do this from this distance, but it is not possible. You have chosen three different countries with five different cultures and languages (GB: British; CH: German, French, Italian; NL: Dutch). This makes it more difficult, but still not possible. LinkedIn is a good tool, just as experter.ch. In the first turn I would use my presence in Australia and visit all embassies of the targeted markets. They have strong connections to the local (British, Dutch, Swiss) markets and society, and their chambers of commerce, trade and foreign affairs in Australia. They surely can help you further. There are also some very good programs ran by governments to boost economic relations between countries and continents. You should check this also. And do not forget: Australia and The United Kingdom are both members of the Commonwealth. This will give more uncovered options for you. I hope this will help you :)
I can't help you with Switzerland, but you also mention the UK. If you find yourself over here as an HR/OD professional, it may be worth joining the CIPD (Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development). Lots of lively local groups in each of the regions.
Others have mentioned LinkedIn. For obvious tax reasons, lots of large multinationals are headquartered in Switzerland, but stuffed with English speakers form the UK and US. If you feel comfortable, it may be an idea to use your LinkedIn connections to find people in those communities. I doubt it is for pure tax reasons, but a few large multinationals are also HQ'd in Amsterdam, and of course in the UK.
hi Samantha, I'm a little biased with this suggesiuton. why not investigate joining your local and/or state chamber of commerce. I work with the state chamber here in new south wales. Most cities have a major chamber (e.g. london chamber of commerce) and then a number of local business precinct chambers operating in them. good luck and safe travels!
Europe is a diferent ball game from Australia. The economy there is more volatile and that is somethig you got to factor into your relocation.
IN order to build a network, I suggest you start connecting with your existing friends in Europe and on social media.They will help you create new contacts.It is going to be a longish process but FB and LInkedin will enable you to make a start. Your spouse should also be able to help you in creating new contacts.
I've read most of the replies and they're all good. I just want to mention that every city has a website. You may want to go on their website to look at the business directory. Also it will have additional information as well. If you use Wikipedia, you can find lists or directories of companies by country.
Hi Samantha, You have received some excellent advice in this forum. I am connected to a US based HR company that specializes in programs to help US Corporations set up operations or sales forces overseas. If you see some value in this type of connection, let me know and I will make an introduction for you through LinkedIn. All the best in your new adventure.
First thing that comes to my mind is use LinkedIn. If you need connections I probably have some (not a whole lot but good for a start) since I am a European living in Canada and right now visiting in Europe. Connect with me and I'll help if I can.
Check out local BNI Chapters in the area & I would strongly consider joining. I'd also recommend the local Chamber of Commerce or Board of Trade. See what other networking groups are in the area you are going. I would visit (join?) as many as possible as fast as possible - then consider culling them down as time grows scarce & work starts to take more time.
How exciting--congratulations! I went through this when I moved to Istanbul from the US. I joined Facebook groups specific to my region and line of work; these offer great support and they are great idea-sharing platforms for like-minded folks. There's also an app called "Meetup", which connects you to people/groups in your particular area/interests including networking, support and social happenings. I'm also a member of Internations; they organize events (social and networking) specifically for expats. There is a membership fee but it has been a great resource for networking. And don't forget your own personal and business contacts. Send them an email asking if they happen to know anyone in those regions and post on your social media as well.
Everyone in europe likes it if you speak some lines in their languages. It's a form of showing respect for their language and culture.
Europe is like many said veryyyyy diverse. Switzerland is very formal , netherlands is pretty loose and the english are in general a bit conservative and formal.
Check out http://www.meetup.com/ and http://www.4networking.biz/ - this assumes you are moving to the UK, otherwise Europe is a big place.
Samantha register on a social network portal www.meetup.com
you will find various groups in each country that you wish to build contacts. You may join the group you feel is good for your business. Hope it helps. Good Luck.
For business contact I will suggest you to Go For Social Media Approach. Find contacts associated with your business. Have some discussions with them. The Tool for social media is: FB , LinkedIn , Twitter etc.
What kind of business do you have?
It really depends on where you are going to be and what LOB you are in. I am in Switzerland, so if this is your destination, I may be able to help you. Just drop me a line when you are here.
Europe is a diverse area, with each country and region having it's own language, customs, and mores. That said, it is populated by humans who will respond to the normal business and personal overtures.
I think that the best solution for you it's joining an expat association.
Join online industry forums, and do some Q&A. Find others who do what you do, and get to know them.
I think with this portal for Expats will help you make a lot of contacts, not just in Europe http://www.internations.org . Best wishes ;-)