Pop quiz hotshot: You’re rolling into party season and you’re ready to get down and dirty. You have one problem – you’ve been invited to a third-party party, most of your wingmen have settled down and your lady friends are watching the Bachelorette finale. What do you do?
You fly solo, gentleman. We don’t mean in a weird Napolean Dynamite kind of way, more like a Maverick after he lost Goose. There’s a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it. So listen up, party guy.
#1 Know Your Party
Research and reconnaissance are your best friends. Never rock up to a party without being familiar with at least one face. By familiar we mean seen, crossed paths with or heard about through another person. It’s your shoe-in to strike up a conversation if you do manage to bump into them at the party.
If it’s a work event, ask the organisers who else will be there. If they sound familiar, Google them prior. You’ll be surprised how helpful the old “Excuse me? Aren’t you XXXX?” line is. Alternatively, if you’re attending house parties or something less formal, you can rest assured there’ll be a Facebook guest list floating around. Use that to your advantage. It’s not stalking if you’re using it for the right reasons.
#2 Dress For The Right Occasion
This ain’t no rave party. Based on the party you’re attending, always ensure you’re dressed appropriately. Being underdressed (or overdressed) can make you stand out from the crowd for all the wrong reasons whilst killing your potential to engage with others.
Remember, cocktail parties require a nice suit and for something less formal, go for the smart casual look to be safe. If the party has a dress code, make sure to ask the host exactly what kind of code. There’s nothing worse than turning up to a wake as Ghost Face from Scream.
#3 Track Down The Host
This is best done early in the night as you don’t want guests to be too familiar with the fact that you’ve been floating around for ages before saying hello. The purpose of this point is to help build your confidence and secure the all-important introductions amongst other partygoers.
It’s always easy to make conversation with a host or event planner by just asking them how’s their night and if they’ve spent all day preparing. Chat about the food, who are the people there, the location and even the awesome man cave if necessary. The room is your oyster – just don’t do a Jim Levenstein.
#4 Prepare An Ice Breaker
#5 Bar Loitering
#6 Reveal A Lighter Side
If you have a weird, hilarious or downright insane story, use it to your advantage and pitch it as your icebreaker. Awkward moment too good not to be shared? Share it. You’ll be remembered for your honesty, sense of humour (hopefully) and confidence. Although, best to read the crowd before you dish the details. If they’re the conservative types, leave out your mate’s unbelievable sexcapade for the time being.