It occurred to me that I haven’t written about events in a while and as I have many networking events coming up, I thought it might be good to touch base with the “events” side of my life. Furthermore, last week I attended a networking event and thought it was a great event. For the first time in my post-grad experience, however, I felt like “that guy” at a networking event. Why, do you ask? Well, because I spilled MY WATER glass at the bar which enticed looks from both the bartender and one of the ladies working the event. I reiterate – I SPILLED MY WATER GLASS. Still, I started to feel self-conscious that they thought I was tipsy. Now, ordinarily I couldn’t be bothered with stares from complete strangers. But, I was at a networking event representing the business, and so no matter how much I don’t care what people think about me personally, I certainly care what they think about me professionally.
Over the next few days, I re-played the incident in my head and would do a slight head shake with a cringe at the thought of other people thinking I would be dumb enough to get tipsy at a networking event of all places. But then I thought, there are a few people who are dumb enough to do certain things (including getting tipsy) at a networking event. So, here’s my humorous take on all our favorite guys at networking events. (FYI – I use “that guy” to refer to both genders…shoot me.)
Kovie’s MEET “THAT GUY.” (ALL OF THEM)
1. THAT GUY who is Tipsy. (haha) Okay, I have to start with this one. This is just my personal rule, but especially if you are a “light weight” like I know I am, cut yourself off after two drinks. No excuses. Whether you are representing yourself as a freelancer, your employer, a service, etc, you’re there for business, and business etiquette applies. (Tip – if you do happen to accidentally SPILL YOU WATER GLASS, don’t try to prove anything to anyone by ordering more drinks; continue your networking as discretely as possible and when you get a window of opportunity, walk out of there with your head held high…)
2. THAT GUY who is Pigging Out. You are not at an all-you-can-eat buffet no matter how much food they are serving or how hungry you are, control yourself. Eat as if your current or future employer is in the same room as you. There is just no excuse for this one.
3. THAT GUY who thinks they’re on Dr. Phil. I understand that sometimes it feels great to just talk about your feelings especially after a hard day at work. But talking about your life problems when you first meet someone is not a good way to make business connections. Period.
4. THAT GUY who believes it’s LIVE Match.com. Now, with respect to the fact that people meet people to date anywhere and everywhere, I don’t want to tell you not to “look for love” at a networking event. Still, remember that your professional self is being represented and would your professional self be checking people out and flirting like you’re on a dating show? (If you answer yes to this question, we may need to have a chat about your professional self.)
As someone who has inadvertently been “that guy,” it’s not fun at all. So do try and remember what you want to portray when you are at a professional event. Still, sometimes you just have to laugh things of. Speaking of, does anyone have any good stories about “that guy” at a networking event? I would love to add to my list.