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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Making it at a Media Party

Oh let's face it...

...if you don't know how to drink or look like you're drinking while nursing a cold bevie, you're going to have a tough time in the ad game.

Advertising parties may or may not look like this :)
Before I get to the fun stuff, how about a quick rundown on how to network at events and parties:

  • Put yourself "out there". If you're shy, or a total party nerd, going to a party probably feels like a Game of Thrones wedding. Get that thought out of your mind because your slumped shoulders and wallpaper impression ain't winning friends. 
  • Dress to impress. Good grooming works along with a nice pair of Ferragamos or Pradas (and pul-lease shine them up!). If you're in L.A., by all means go the Media Guy route and rock a black tee, nice jeans and a tailored sportscoat. If you're in New York, you better suit up:
  • Good gawd man, keep on truckin'. When you enter a room, scan the room and pick a target. Don't forget to that the longer you stay in one spot, the the harder it is to get going. Move on if it doesn't work. Don't keep standing there and getting ignored by the Mean Girls flashing you the "you can't stand here" look. Wave at some random punch bowl and parachute out.
  • Body up! Look approachable. Send out those signals that you're friendly and you want to talk.
  • Active listening is better than talking 82% of the time. Use eye contact and nod as they talk, pacing it in time with their speech. Don't look away as this gives the impression that you are getting bored or distracted. Face them front on and make sure your gestures are in pace with theirs. Also, mirror their gestures and this will make you look like a good listener.
  • Smile. Geez, wipe that serious, self-important look off of your face and put the charm into your grill. A smile is the most primitive sign of introduction...and the most effective.
  • Practice your Elevator Speech.
  • Follow-up. Yes, this is the key because unless you have a private plane waiting to fly you to Vegas, you're not going to become friends overnight.

Now you know the basic rules of event networking, so now what? How do you get that edge. If you're a woman, chances are the red carpet is going to unfurl a little faster for you when you enter a room. Guys? Well that's another story. The best differentiation factor revolves around drinking.

You may recall my overview on what kind of coffee you are in last year's popular "Aw Fawk" column. What a woman's choice of drink says a lot about her too. Jessica Klein, writer for the Roosevelts, put together a guide...let's dive in!

Vodka Pineapple
This woman is out with the girls. Though she may step out to perform awkward arm and hip-thrusting movements in a small circle with her other girlfriends, the most she’ll throw any dude’s way is a coy look and an adorable smile. Not totally opposed to meeting a man while out on the town, she’s far less likely to go home with one than many of her differently imbibing counterparts. If you’re lucky, she’ll give you her number, but three other girls will be standing less than two feet behind her, snickering, as she does so. She almost definitely wears something colorful with frills or flow to express an avidly female attitude, and she loves getting greasy food on her way home from the bar while she and her friends discuss how reckless they’re being, calorie-wise.

Red Wine
This girl probably thinks she’s better than you. In fact, she almost certainly thinks she’s above being at whatever noisy bar you’ve found yourself in on this Saturday night. Quite possibly out by herself, the wine drinker will take her perch at the bar, her classic, little black dress draping modestly over the stool, where she’ll wait for you to go up to her. Your pickup lines will fall flat, but you may not know it until fifteen minutes into your conversation because she’s been keeping you around for her own amusement. If there with another female friend (she’ll be with three other women, max), their eyes will all drift around the room until landing on the man who they know will purchase their next glass of Merlot or Pinot Noir.

Practical, fun, and most likely cheerful, the beer drinking woman doesn’t allow her drink of choice to set her apart from the male masses. If she spills her over-full pint glass on you as she shakes with laughter over some crack made by the guy standing next to her, you won’t mind because her facial reaction and genuine apology will make up for it. Not afraid of belching in public, she will probably agree to take shots when all the guys do, and she will keep up successfully. Unfortunately, too many guys pass her by when it comes to sex and romance because they’ve been staring at pineapple vodka girl all night.

Rum & Coke
Honestly, I wouldn’t trust this girl. Something about deliberately ordering a rum and coke on a night out feels like a request for trouble. She may very well get too drunk by the end of the night (at which point you’ve got to respect the girl’s boundaries, i.e. not try and follow her/take her home), but before that she’ll flirt voraciously, which will be harmless and a lot of fun for everyone involved. A rum drinker, also, can dance. Ass-to-the-ground-without-knees-cracking dance. She knows what she wants, too, which is one thing you can definitely trust in her: If she doesn’t get her way, look out.

Why is it that men are always shocked and impressed when a woman orders whiskey? Though possibly viewed as more of a “man’s drink,” whiskey on the breath of a woman indicates maturity, independence, and sexual prowess. The whiskey drinking woman will talk to anybody, from the security guard to the bartender to the guy sitting alone in the corner to the bathroom attendant, and she will fall into each of their good graces by the end of the night (perhaps having made out with one and having smoked a joint with another). She feels right at home in any bar, but it might take her a few sips to get comfortable enough to start bringing the fun.

Gin & Tonic
One part aloof and one part too smart and funny for her own good, a girl drinking G & T’s at the bar will engage men and women alike with top-notch banter but will never get too wild. A classic warm weather cocktail, the G & T will sweep drinkers up in it’s lazy, languid attitude, causing the woman who drinks one to become nonchalant in a possibly irksome manner, if you’ve come out that night to seriously party. This woman’s most surprising aspect may reveal itself when it’s time to go home, at which point she’s been removed enough to have chosen her target for the night–she’s had a good idea of who she wants to bring home with her from two hours back, and now it’s time for her to fulfill it. Any guy will be thrilled to find out he’s the chosen one.

Tequila speaks (and parties) for itself. A woman drinking tequila is out for a) a crazy time, or b) to forever bury the thoughts of a horrible ex or a particularly lame day at work. Obviously the life of the party, this woman will likely make it to the top of the bar at least once during the course of the night. She will also constantly invite the masses to down more tequila shots with her. You will fall in love with her, and she will fall in love with you–or, she’ll slap you very hard across the face.

To be fair, a woman can embody any of these girls on any given night. Depending on mood, the cycle of moon, and a variety of normal human factors, a lady can go from a coy red wine drinker one night to a wild, tequila slapper the next. Regardless of what she’s drinking, she’ll still wake up the next morning with a personality detached from any beverage, so never judge a girl by her drink 100% of the time.