Socially Active through Social Activity, I have a great job, a great wusband, a great life…these are my stories
One of my favorite things to do is host a cocktail party. It’s one of the things I really miss from living in NYC. New Yorkers are GREAT at cocktails. A big difference between living outside of NYC and in NYC is how well people cocktail.
In NYC, we would be at a cocktail party or out for drinks for business or pleasure, most days of the week. In fact, we drank the least socially on the weekends, except for summers in the Hamptons.
So, when I started working on this cocktail party idea for MBFW (more about that later), it got me to thinking what’s the biggest difference between living in NYC and living outside of NYC? Driving: people in NYC don’t have to drive. They are either on public transportation, in a cab or calling a car service. So, you can pop out for cocktails without concern for driving home.
When I was young that meant I drank WAY too much at events where champagne was plentiful and free. It also means that I am an incredibly adept social drinker.
I worked and lived in the fashion industry for 12 of the almost 17 years I lived in NYC. So, I learned from some of the best in the business how to drink and still look good. I learned about leaving long before I got drunk (or those around me did). I learned lessons that keep you from losing you job and/or ruining your reputation; regardless of what industry it is.
I also learned about cocktail conversation.
You must be witty and a bit entertaining. You are better off telling a funny story about yourself instead of one about someone else. You don’t want to sound as though you’re making fun of someone. Otherwise you’re labeled as a bitch, and if this is not a place you want to live all of the time, it’s best not to go down Bitch Road.
A good friend of mine used to call me “Schmoozy Mc Schmoozer”. She said she couldn’t believe how I knew all of the parties happening and so many people. My answer was 9 times out of 10, “we met at this cocktail party the other night. We had such a great chat.”
I find people fascinating, so all of that cocktail chit chat is right up my alley. Things move along at a quick pace and then you can leave and enjoy a great dinner.
That’s the great thing about a cocktail party they are intended to be short. So, an hour is plenty of time to be respectful to the host, get your picture taken, meet a couple of people to follow up with later and then move on. And especially during fashion week, there is always something to move on to. You didn’t get drunk. Plus it’s best to always look like you have other people vying for your time and attention.
Think that constant cocktailing can’t be useful? Consider this. If you go to a cocktail party 5 nights a week and meet 2 new people. In a week you’ve met 10 new people, in a month you’ve met an average of 40 new people, in 3 months 120 new people. So, when you have a need for someone that’s an expert in something, you’ve probably met at least one person that does that in the last month. All from just a simple cocktail party.
Networking events with cocktails are not the same thing. At a networking event, the main purpose is to make business connections. At cocktails the main purpose is being fabulous. Being an impressive business person quickly goes down hill the drunker you get. And people that aren’t great at small talk, drink more to feel charming and witty. This doesn’t work. If you want to be a great networker, go to networking breakfasts and leave cocktails for being your fabulous self.
After brunch, a cocktail party is my favorite thing to host. If you ever get an invite from me, I suggest you accept it and join us. There will be some really amazing people there. Look, I invited you and you’re pretty amazing.
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