Do you know someone who is always booked doing something? Every night of the week there is a gallery opening or cocktail party that he or she is attending. Yep — I have those friends too but I haven’t mastered the art of getting all the invites just yet. Now that we are close to the holidays — everyone is having a party!
Thei Zervak – author of “Get Invited, Don’t Crash It: All You Need to Know to Make the Guest List” has a checklist to make you get get on the guest list so you can meet new people and have a great time. She’s also been kind enough to give away a copy of her book to the person who has the best comment! So make sure you tell us what you think!
How to Get on the Guest List
by Thei Zervak
1. Desire to make the list
Very often individuals think they want something truly but they don’t. If you want to be invited, you will then take all necessary steps to make a number of guest lists. You will open electronic invitations and won’t delete them unopened, note down a new store opening that you saw in your area, accept the breakfast invite from your bank etc. Getting invited is a conscious effort, often a part-time job, not just a random activity that happens here and there.
2. Give up the excuses
Many don’t try even to get on guest lists because they feel they are not glamorous enough, trendy enough or wealthy enough. Anyone can be invited to events, educated or not, tall or short, curvy or slim, funny or serious. If you don’t like your looks or your clothes, don’t complain: take responsibility and therefore, some action. Upgrade your wardrobe, have a haircut or just tone up at the gym. Don’t see yourself as a victim. The most important is to change the way you think of yourself and also your attitude. Do you know that even Hollywood celebrities complain that they don’t get invited?
3. Start locally
Have you ever got one of those freebies distributed every morning? Metro newspaper, AMNY and many other local free publications announce plenty of events that happen daily in your city. Those local guides are awesome especially you first relocate to a new city. Have a look, get an idea of what is going on and decide on which event you would like to go. From book reading to bookstores, to gallery openings, to museum events, you will get familiar with the local social scene. If you start locally, you can easier expand to bigger and high profile events.
4. Don’t forget your employer
Employers organize events, fundraising functions and other social hour parties. Have you ever been to those? Next time you get an invitation for a get-together at the local bar, just go. You never go who is going to be there. Also, some employers are willing to pay for their employee’s networking group attendance on the grounds of client attraction and promotion. Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. It’s good for both your company and you.
5. Join professional and trade associations
I know that it may sound boring but this is the first step to start expanding your networks. Whether you are a consultant or a therapist, an engineer or a teacher, consider joining your professional association. They do organize events, seminars, workshops that can be very useful.
6. Ask your close network
Have you ever asked your cousin to invite you to any of the events she attends? What about your uncle? Very often we are focused on the far reached and difficult to get party than the one which is closer to us. Just make a list of your relatives and friends who have interesting jobs and even more interesting networks. You will be amazed.
7. Approach PR firms directly
For the very advanced party-goers or socialites, this is a nice way to be on guest lists. But I don’t say that is easy. If you are invited once to a nice event organized by a PR firm, make sure that your name and contact details stay with them. Ask them politely to invite you to other events in the future.
8. RSVP please
If you get an invitation, don’t forget to RSVP. This is the only way that your name and contact details will stay with the organizer and you will be able to enter the party. The more RSVPs you send, the more invitations you will get. The downside is to get too many emails but everything comes with a small sacrifice.
9. Be nice, gentle and in a good mood
I admit that social events are not always the easiest thing to do. You need to be in good spirits, polite and open to talk to people you meet. Otherwise, why go to an event if you plan to spend the entire evening on your own? Introduce yourself to a few people, exchange business cards and find a common topic of conversation are a few tips I give when you go out on your own. If you go with a friend, avoid spending too much time with her/him. It’s not healthy and won’t get you to any new territory. You can spend time with your friends in a different occasion or environment. Make the most of the event!
10. Be focused
If you are a newbie to the world of events and invitations, you will go to numerous functions in the beginning before you make up your mind to which ones you should attend regularly and which ones you need to eliminate. After a few months, being focused is paramount otherwise you waste your precious time. The goal is not to be a “serial party-goer”. The goal is to find the events that will serve you in the most beneficial way – socially, professionally and intellectually.
Have fun at the party!
Thei Zervaki is a food, wine and lifestyle writer based in New York. She must be successful in her own fun lifestyle because she published a handy book for fun lovers: Get Invited, Don’t Crash It: All you Need to Know to Make the Guest List. Thei shares her culinary adventures on her blog www.fullybooked.biz, blogs for the Huffington Post, is a regular food contributor for Southern Hospitality Magazines and wets appetites with cultural tastes for her JUST TRY IT column. She loves reading food memoirs and travel magazines and enjoys fully a glass of Riesling in hot and humid New York nights.