Thursday, January 03, 2008

How to be on the guest list---Everywhere

A few "postings" ago, I was debating the differences between those who get invited and those who don't. I even argued that in order to be invited, you firstly need to ask for it. If you don't ask for it, nobody will ever invite you. You will be all by yourself thinking what others do to go to all those fancy parties that you miss regularly.

Although I don't have recipes about invitations and guest lists, here are a few of my personal observations and whims:

1. Know what you want
Do you have an idea of the events you want to attend this year? Do you know how many events you wish to go to? If you aim to go to at least 2 events a week, that adds up to 104 events a year (counting for 52 weeks annually). Is this the number you really have in mind? Unless we set in advance desires of a specific activity or task, we don't actually know what it will follow or what it will be expected from us. Attending 104 events a year is a huge task, especially for those who do not often go out or are not invited. So, be clear well in advance of your desires. Speak them out, then move on.

2. Decide on the industry or nature of events you want to attend
Individuals have the tendency to attend industry related or industry focused events. If you are in fashion, for example, it is more likely to be invited at most of the fashion shows during the year. If you are in the arts, you are more likely to be invited to museum openings, art galleries and shows. I am not implying that your career or profession should take over your precious evenings. Not at all. Personal interests, hobbies and other leisure related activities should have a say to your event selection. So, if you love the movies, I would expect you to be present at movie previews and focus groups. It does not matter if you are a banker in the morning. Just decide what makes your heart sing. Making choices is easier afterwards.

3. Have at least two clear objectives (of what you want to accomplish by attending).
We often do things without really knowing why. The trend is valid for event participation. Why you are actually going? What do you want to get out of it? Do you have clear objectives? An objective defines the outcome you want to achieve. I was recently talking to a friend who claims to go to a number of parties, events and gatherings and he is happy about the free invites he gets. "Why do you go"? I asked him curious enough to find out. "Do you get any business"? He replied negatively. "I don't really know, I guess I want to have fun"! Having fun is an objective, I wouldn't disagree. But it shouldn't be the only one in my opinion. Although the social aspect of event attendance is *incontestably* a very important factor, it's not the only objective party goers should have. Meeting new people, getting clients, learning something new, being inspired, being the first one to taste a new wine or dish, meeting a successful entrepreneur - they are all some of the objectives you need to define before you go. If don't have at least two, don't go. It's when the event becomes a drudgery or waste of time.

To be continued. Watch this space!