Willy Wonka-isms for the Eating-Networking Meetings Matrix

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Willy Wonka, F&B, food and beverage, networking, networking how-tos
Willy Wonka; Photo Credit: Lylejk

Gene Wilder in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” still stands the test of time as one of the wisest characters in cult-classic history.

Willy Wonka-isms ring true in just about every aspect of life, even at major events. One of the key areas that attendees could really use some advice is in trying to balance the art of eating and networking. Here are some of the candyman’s best pieces of advice for the next time you find yourself in the eating-networking balancing act.

“So much time and so little to do.”

To make the most of your time at an event, you’re going to have to eat and network at the same time. The best way to do this is to hold any passed appetizers or small plates in your left hand so that your right hand is free to shake the hands of others and introduce yourself.

“Invention, my dear friends, is 93 percent perspiration, 6 percent electricity, 4 percent evaporation and 2 percent butterscotch ripple.”

While Wonka was obviously referring to the hard work and sweat it takes to create an invention, this handy statement can also be a word to the wise about the perspiration on your drink. It’s important to always use cocktail napkins when holding a drink to avoid your hand slipping on any excess condensation.

“Oh! I wouldn’t do that. I really wouldn’t.”

Wonka encouraged creativity and taking chances, but with that, comes the importance of also being mindful of your actions. In this case, his advice can be applied to avoiding saucy, greasy or flaky foods in networking situations. You don’t want to offend a fellow attendee by spreading breadcrumbs onto their hands.

“A small step for mankind, but a giant step for us.”

Being at the forefront when it comes to solving problems is key to success in life as a candy manufacturer or any professional for that matter. To prepare best for the eating-networking scenario, make sure to have a game plan ahead of time on where and how you will dispose of your food in the most polite way.

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