Honestly, I hate networking events but I do force myself from time to time to attend them and make the most of them. It is tough out there especially in the art world; since as we all know, it is about who you know rather than what you know. Yet, if you’re not too confident in your who’s and what’s (like me) here are certain things you’ll have to stop doing if you want to be serious in exchanging your business cards like a boss at your next art event.
1. Drink less booze because you will end up drunk
It is tempting, isn’t it? As a poor young blogger, when free flow drinks or champagne are on offer, it is hard to say “no thanks”. Nonetheless, I do need a couple of gulps of liquid courage to speak to the art entourage present at the scene. The art world is a scary jungle. Still, attending gallery opening nights can help you climb up the professional ladder. Smart rhetorics and witty informal chatter, can just about help you exchange business cards and build helpful relationships. However, looking back on personal experience, overdosing on crappy cocktails will result in an absent drunken face, an overshare of personal anecdotes, and a rapid escape from the other person. Awkward.
2. Stop slacking and dress up
I often have to muster the motivation to attend these “glamorous” parties. But most often than not, I get a case of FOMO and decide to quickly assemble a decent looking outfit. Although, it doesn’t help when 80% of your wardrobe is from H&M and predominantly includes T-shirts and worn out (sometimes torn and not in the places you want them to be) jeggings.
3. Ban intimidation
There is reason to be intimated. Networking is daunting for those with low self-esteem. I remember the many failed attempts to give off a good impression and create meaningful connections. The evening ends with me stuffing my face with petit fours to cheer myself up.
Perhaps with a lower percentage of alcohol in my bloodstream and a colourful power suit, might just help me boost my confidence up. I’ll keep you updated after a shopping spree at H&M.