Networking: schmoozing, boozing and self-promotion, all while ingratiating the other party.  While I’ve been a brand ambassador for large spirits companies, I feel strange promoting myself at the London Travel Massive party. But the private get-together was a great time to meet travel enthusiasts from all over the world! 

Queueing:  Eager to have been accepted into the Travel Massive Community and to have registered for the exclusive event, I was excited to “network, share ideas and meet fellow travel enthusiasts,” especially the international attendees visiting London for the World Travel Market. Alone, I waited beneath strands of ice blue holiday lights and optimistically hoped to meet lots of interesting people from the travel industry once admitted…

Free Booze: After milling about for a few minutes, I was kindly handed one of many free margaritas by a hostess.  The travel industry kind of kicks ass in that way.  But Thomas Cook was promoting trips to Mexico, and the margarita tasted as if water from the Gulf of Mexico were the main ingredient.  High salinity. But the glass in hand made me feel more comfortable.

Being Approached By Other Non-Networkers: She saw me alone and pounced.  “I’m looking for other people who are standing around by themselves; I am not very good at these things!”  Response: “Erm, I wouldn’t have noticed?”

Getting Dismissed By Better Networkers: She was super friendly when she greeted me, “Oh, you’re so brave coming here by yourself!” And “What do you do now?” Normal networking small talk and then she turned around to sort out her drink at the bar.  I waited around, unsure for a bit, and then she officially rejected me with “So it was nice to meet you. Enjoy the rest of your evening, okay?”  Yup. Okay. Thanks…

Helping An Old Man & Losing My Booze: While attempting to fill out a form for a giveaway, I was summoned by an old mostly-deaf man who couldn’t read the form.  As much as I may have liked, I couldn’t just ignore him.  But he took my margarita out of my hand so I could spend 10 minutes shouting the questions in his ear and acting as his scribe.  Good deed, but I strained my vocal cords and was persuaded to end of my mediocre evening.

Here’s hoping my networking skills and tenacity improve for the next event… I guess that Networking as a Contact Sport book I read a few years ago didn’t rub off on me.