Behind Sundance – Day 2 & 3

Hello, again, from Sundance!

In case you didn’t know, there are three primary objectives people seem to have at Sundance:

1)    Movies

2)    Networking (i.e., events and parties)

3)    Slopes

Between seeing and reviewing movies here, like Two Mothers, I am trying to stop by sponsors’ events – such as the Stella Artois and AFI parties on Friday.

The Stella party, featuring their new campaign shot by Annie Leibovitz, was pretty well-lit and not only had free Stella on hand (and water for thoseof us with altitude sickness – even though I got some confused looks), but also delicious appetizers, like short rib sliders and homemade Belgian waffles. They also had a great band playing, and a station where you could get your name engraved on a Stella Artois glass (which was a nice touch, I think).

Here’s a picture of me with some friends and the new face of Stella, Noah Huntley.

Then we swung by the AFI party (my alma mater) at Tao, which had a darker, more lounge-y vibe, featuring many Patron and Ultimat Vodka-based drinks.

Several AFI alums have films at Sundance this year, and video screens highlighted each one.

So what did we do at these parties aside from eat and drink?

Network.

But what if you don’t like approaching strangers?

If you are standing alone, I find you can get away with this, as someone is likely to approach you.

But if you’re with friends, please don’t just stick by your friends. Here’s why: Don’t you want to meet new people?

Nat’s Networking Tips (in six easy steps):

1)    Don’t be shy — talk to new people.Even if you go to an event/party with a group of friends, branch out and talk to new people, even if it means stepping away from your friends (your comfort  zone). It’s easy to just talk to the people you came with, but then why are you there? The free food? The drinks? The venue? The music?

2)    Play a networking game.My friend and I play a game each time we go to an event. We take turns choosing a person or group of people to talk to, and then the person who did not choose the group has to initiate the conversation. Even if we don’t feel like it, we do it. And in no time, we have met several new people.

3)    Ask questions.I used to write people’s dating profiles (yes, that’s a real job!) and we’d always tell our clients to remember to ask their dates questions, engage in a conversation, don’t just answer theirs. So while networking, answer a question, then ask one. (Don’t just talk about yourself, either.)

4)    Meet new people… but don’t talk to them too long.I know it’s good to put quality over quantity, but since you’re trying to network, network. Make a goal to talk to “x” number of people at each event – perhaps one to start, then three-to-five at the next place, and so on.

5)    Have business cards on you.You can get them FREE at Vistaprint.com, so there is no excuse not to have any!

6)    Exchange information.This sounds like a given, but even just being here at Sundance a couple days now, you wouldn’t believe how often I’ve been hearing, “I don’t have a card on me.” Yes, you can use pen and paper, but that’s easier to lose. Plus, you may not be taken as seriously without a business card.

Okay, that’s it for now. I have to run off to another movie.

In the meantime, feel free to check out some of our Sundance movie reviews.

Until next time…