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  1. #1

    Networking at gatherings

    So, there are a lot of gatherings out there meant for networking (I know there's a lot of art ones, where they meet up at a bar or some place to hang but also get to know one another, like a meet and greet). Obviously there are also conventions for this (or job fairs). My experience is mainly in the art / vfx industries, so those ones I pay attention to (though I imagine there's other industries with similar stuff happening).

    I want to go to one of these this Tuesday, but I have no idea what to expect or what to say or do or bring. In real life it takes awhile for me to warm up to people, and I'm not the best conversationalist (I'm sometimes like a wall flower lol). I imagine there's going to be some sort of speech, or lecture or something as there's guest speakers listed.

    If anyone has experience with these sort of things, what do you do / say / bring? If it helps this particular gathering is focused on the film industry (vfx, post production, production, etc).
    I want to bring a small snippet of my portfolio, but how many people are going to sit at a bar and look through it? ;>> I might make a mini one or something, maybe business cards. Not sure. I am so lost XD


    Note: I just wanted to post this in "general" because I'm sure these situations apply to everyone in all scenarios like these so I thought I'd just stick this where everyone would look. I have no idea where it'd really belong x.x

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    Toshabi Pronouns Only Toshabi's Avatar

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    Last edited by Toshabi; 04-05-2014 at 05:41 PM.

  3. #3
    I can communicate just fine, but it seems odd to go right up to people and say 'Hey here's my resume / portfolio'. It's the beginning of that, or if that's appropriate to bring up without the subject of jobs being brought up. I suppose it's more of a...'oh lets hang out again here's my card' scenario in that case? This isn't a situation like a job fair with companies lined up. It's like going to a restaurant where you're meant to talk to everyone there. For all I know there could be no one in a hiring position but everyone looking to network like me which is fine, but I don't want to run around passing cds or whatever out like its my only purpose in life.

    I guess I'm trying to figure out how to break the ice? Like what to expect at these sorts of things or should I really even be expecting to hand out this stuff?

    And as much as I'd love for the passing out of cds to work, I am not sure how easy it is for someone to carry it around vs. taking a business card that's easier to carry. I don't want to be one of 20 people offering a cd / dvd with demo reels on it, which probably won't be looked at anyway. I also find them to be breakable.

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    Toshabi Pronouns Only Toshabi's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by insanejoker View Post
    I can communicate just fine, but it seems odd to go right up to people and say 'Hey here's my resume / portfolio'. It's the beginning of that, or if that's appropriate to bring up without the subject of jobs being brought up. I suppose it's more of a...'oh lets hang out again here's my card' scenario in that case? This isn't a situation like a job fair with companies lined up. It's like going to a restaurant where you're meant to talk to everyone there. For all I know there could be no one in a hiring position but everyone looking to network like me which is fine, but I don't want to run around passing cds or whatever out like its my only purpose in life.

    I guess I'm trying to figure out how to break the ice? Like what to expect at these sorts of things or should I really even be expecting to hand out this stuff?

    And as much as I'd love for the passing out of cds to work, I am not sure how easy it is for someone to carry it around vs. taking a business card that's easier to carry. I don't want to be one of 20 people offering a cd / dvd with demo reels on it, which probably won't be looked at anyway. I also find them to be breakable.
    The best topic firestarter is to get them to talk about themselves. It'll open up doors of opportunity to go into what you do. If the meet up is just a networking meet and greet, it shouldn't be too awkward to walk up to someone and ask how they're enjoying the event, which eventually leads to "So what brought you out here/what kind of work do you do?"


    Sometimes, if the networking event is anything like CTN, the exhibition hall is the best place to swap info with people because that's essentially why people are floating around that hall to begin with; to recruit or be recruited. Stay around panels and events that directly deal with your expertise and you shouldn't have trouble locating a potential client.

  5. #5
    That's a good point - the talking about themselves. I think I can do that. It's easier to talk about others than yourself sometimes. I guess this is taking place at a bar (or a restaurant that has a bar, it's a two-story building it looks like, its a weird setup), so maybe everyone will be a bit loopy anyway and it will make things more fun / casual XD

    Yea, the bigger events like CTN aren't as bad for me, because a lot of the times there's 'training' sessions and such, so going to those opens up conversation a lot easier. I haven't gone to CTN itself, but there was a VFX convention / job fair which was neat. Got to see and learn a lot about different methods of mocap, but the job part was sad. It was just recruiters taking business cards / dvds and putting them in piles on the table or shoving them all together in envelopes. It was a bit depressing to see my stuff get shoved in stuff or aside with everyone elses x.x

    Ok, well, you brought up some stuff to help me. thanks!

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    Toshabi Pronouns Only Toshabi's Avatar

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    Np!


    If you can and have the ability to, try to make it to CTN. Tickets are going up in price every year for a reason. If you buy them now, they're 150 for the whole weekend. I think this year's regular price is going to be anywhere from 200-250.

  7. #7
    I definitely thought about going this past year - I'll start saving up for this year though. Kinda tired of my current connections for potential jobs that lead no where - so I'm doubling my effort to get a job on my own and making new connections. I might not have the money for the 150 right now, but 200 still isn't bad, especially if I save up for it now. (that's like...putting aside 5 bucks for 60+ days straight, completely doable). There's really no excuse for me not to go, either, it's literally 10-15 minutes from where I live.

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    Toshabi Pronouns Only Toshabi's Avatar

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    If you end up going, you're allowed to stay in the tent that I set up outside of the convention. Just bring your own toilet paper.


    (not really though, I'm staying at a friend's house, but I'll buy you a can of soda from a vending machine)

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