For the art opening on January 10th, I didn’t do very much to prepare in advance for networking. There was really only one thing that I was mindful of when getting ready, which was to make sure I had a purse or pockets to hold my belongings so that I had free hands to shake.
My goal for the event was to talk to at least five people I didn’t know, which turned out to be way easier to achieve and less intimidating than I thought it’d be. It didn’t take too long for me to lose track of the number of people I had conversations with. The reason I believe I had so much opportunity to meet so many different people was because of my tendency to linger at pieces, not purposely but just because I was very curious. The most interesting things I’d learn from people was their interpretation of the pieces in the gallery. More specifically, there was this visual art student whose theory on the theme of the gallery really enhanced my experience. After speaking with her, I was able to take more of a lead in my conversations with people since most of us were pretty confused.
I think there are two big things I can do to improve the next time we do this activity: research the opening and introduce myself more. These are both things that I find essential and silly that I didn’t do the first time around. If I research the event more, for instance what is being featured and who is attending (if applicable), then I’ll have be able to have stronger and more educated conversations. The whole point of networking is to make connections, which is hard to fully accomplish without a name to the face. If I did make a lasting impression on someone I’ll just be “that girl at the art opening” if I don’t introduce myself, so I definitely need to be more mindful of that.