- Posted by Martina Lunardelli
- On 19/05/2017
- 0 Comments
HAPPY HOURS – why are they so important nowadays? (a great deal of motivation inside)
AC/DC sing “have a drink on me”.
Why should we offer someone a drink (or two)? When it comes to business, social gatherings are welcome.
Some years ago I was in Sacramento, California for work, and I learnt that the NCTA (the Northern California Translators Association, a branch of ATA) had organized a happy hour for translators and interpreters in San Francisco. I decided to take part (being such a social and curious person, why shouldn’t have I?). Needless to say it was an amazingly stimulating event. I met many interesting colleagues from all over the world, gathered around a table of a Mexican place at Pier 31 (for those who are familiar with Frisco). It was a novelty to me: professional business people who were willing to share thoughts, business cards and a drink with one another.
I decided I had to organize something similar once at home, in Italy. Wouldn’t that be nice to meet many colleagues and share opinions and keep in touch? Definitely yes.
Therefore, a few months ago I had the chance of organizing a happy hour in one of the most beautiful locations in the world: Venice. At the end of April there were 21 of us, sitting under a beautiful and sunny Italian sky, surrounded by glorious Venetian buildings: our location? The well-known Caffè Florian, in Saint Mark’s Square. The afternoon was juicy and jolly, I felt like a princess among other princes and princesses. We got the marvelous chance of getting to know many fellow interpreters and translators (coming from not-so-close-to-Venice cities, like Florence) and I felt so lucky.
I have also opened a group on Facebook dedicated to professional interpreters and translators, focused on happy hours in Italy and abroad, where colleagues can share their events for translators and post thoughts and pictures.
Adding a little spice to the topic, I had the chance of happy houring (neologism, of course) with Bruno Osimo, one of the most prominent Italian authorities in the field of translation theory (it was a great opportunity to share thoughts, to get precious pills from him and to enjoy a nice sunny morning).
Going back to earth, why is happy hour so important for business nowadays? The answer is not obvious, nevertheless simple: we are social animals, and we need to meet other people, to feel a part of a group, to build up an identity. Additionally, it is of paramount importance that colleagues, or business people working in the same field (or in different fields, this is actually my next step) share information and feel comfortable with one another.
More broadly speaking, happy hour has increasingly become a moment to close deals, to sign contracts and to build (or reinforce) business leads. As stated in Forbes (full article here), the happy hour is an effective way for strengthening bonds and connections and making new ones. More practically, inviting a client (or a prospect client) of yours to have a drink after work does not mean you are bringing your relation into another level. Nope. It means you are willing to get to know *more* about him/her and to ask questions. This does not only lead to a deeper knowledge of who your clients are, but also to give them the opportunity to get to know more of you.