The Recovery Attorney Wants to Know: “Do You “Cocktail” Well?

No matter your career or business–the legal industry (hello), movie making, social branding creating, interior design placement–it is still necessary for you to get out of the office, away from your desk and computer and get out there and do solid “face” time with the people in your industry.  You need to NETWORK!  However…….

From my perspective, there was a time in the 80s, 90s when networking was all about you purposefully getting out there and introducing yourself to the movers and shakers (do people still use that term?) in your industry.  There was a time when at an event, I would work a room making sure that I extended my hand and chatted up the important people–judges, law firm partners, bar association president and the like.  And if I did not “connect” with at least 5 important people, my night was a bust.

Well those were the old days!  Times have indeed changed.  And you may not agree with my approach, but I now view a networking event and a cocktail party in particular as an opportunity for the movers, shakers and king makers in your industry to get to know YOU.  That’s right.  When you enter the room–the industry cocktail party–these people should be wondering:  “Who is that?”  and “Why don’t I know her?!”

Here’s The Recovering Attorney’s guide (with a little help from A. Fields, author of The Making of a Social Climber) to get you noticed at an industry cocktail party/networking event:

1.  When Invited, Attend!  I don’t know how many events that I get invited to during any given week—legal events, art functions, exclusive grand openings, cocktail party previews for high-end homes new to the market ( 3 million dollar+ homes, really?—what marketing lists are we on?–I am flattered, but really?!), and blogger events are starting to come my way.  Don’t follow my lead–ATTEND these events if you wish to become a known entity in your little corner of the world!

2.  Not Invited?!  So there’s an exclusive (and aren’t they all exclusive–*sigh*) cocktail party/industry event and your name was left off the guest list.  What to do?  Track down the person in charge of press for the event (check website and click on to “press” or “contact” and you may locate a name or the PR agency ) and ask to be included.  If that approach fail, call around to your colleagues and ask to be the “And 1.”

3.  Arrive Looking Put Together for that Particular Event.  If it’s a gala and black tie is suggested—black tie it is.  If it’s an opening of an art gallery–for the most part, black-tie sooooo not necessary!  And if you feel that you can’t pull it off on your own, bring your uber-hip, uber-social friend.  People will be attracted to your area of the room!  Why do you think those celebrities of a few years back never left their homes without their dogs?  Two words–Attention.Seeking!

4.  Don’t Drink!  Yes, it’s a cocktail party but you are not required to drink.  Order a sparkling water with a lime.  Stay focused!

5.  Get Photographed!  Stand in groups of 3 or more.  Laugh.  Gesture.  Smile early and often. Trust me the photographer will find your group.  After all the host is in need of great pictures!

6.  Engage!  Put down the smart phone (and please, I beg you–don’t use your phone to snap your own personal photos–tacky!).  Engage with humans.  That’s why you went to all of the trouble to get invited!

7.  Business Cards!   Enough said.

8.  Don’t Close Down the Place!   Very important.  Arrive fashionably late and leave early.

COPYRIGHT 2011.  The Recovering Attorney Un-Blog(tm).  All Rights Reserved.  And I will sue.  Ha!

*as seen on Huffingtonpost.com

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