Last night I had my first ever work event … yes first ever, apart from when I worked at the wacky warehouse, but I’m sure conferences where they imitated what a kids party should be like – you playing conga, musical chairs, dressing up games and eating buffet food doesn’t really count as a proper work event.
Last night I attended the SmartCookie party at the Covent Garden Hotel – Very swanky location, gorgeous place to have an event!
When I first left the office, I felt nervous. I didn’t know how well I’d perform at a networking event, all I could do is think POSITIVE, CONFIDENCE and cross my fingers (and toes!! Which, just to let you know, were freezing..silly weather).
Me and my other colleague, Alice, turned up a little later than the other half of our team (Work can’t just stop at 5:30pm because we have a party to go to). When we got to The Covent Garden Hotel we put our coats and bags in the cloakroom and made our way into the room where the get together was being held.
We were greeted with cocktails (Yes, there were non-alcoholic versions…No, I didn’t go for those – would you after a hard day at work?!). The canapes being served were amazing, tiny little renditions of meals; fish and chips, shepherds pies, curry followed by bannoffee pie and scones – all tiny so you don’t have to feel guilty about eating dessert.
At the beginning things did feel a little awkward. I met a few people through Alice, and then went and stood with the other half of the team who were chatting with one of our clients. It was all quite interesting, and I joined in when I could.
We were soon all ‘shushed’ and the organiser of the party made a speech. He introduced the band who were playing in the other room – little, cosy space. Such a nice set up!
Everyone moved into the little room to discover this new band. After a short while listening to the music, we moved back into the main room. We got talking to one woman from one of the other companies, and had a great conversation about the difference between English and American culture and travel (She was from America..), and she soon introduced me to other people in her company, and others she had met that night. It was great! I was ‘flying all by myself’. So happy that I was making the most of the night, speaking to other people, and hopefully making a great impression to help with my career.
I really enjoyed last night, and we even came away with some amazing goody bags!
Tips I would give for anyone coming up to having their first/one of their first work events:
- Confidence is everything! Even if you aren’t confident, act confident. SHINE!
- Look interested, make conversation, and if you get talking to one person they might just introduce you to others – great way to make your way around the room for a beginner.
- Take cards – (check your card holder beforehand- don’t forget to fill it! I know someone who has done this, it is quite funny at the time)
- Don’t get drunk. The cocktails may taste great, BUT always stay less drunk than the others. Keep on top of the ball and make the best impression you can.
- Anyone can do it…Just believe in yourself!