Throughout childhood, themes of ‘togetherness’, ‘teamwork’ and ‘friendship’ are deeply embedded into our everyday lives. In school, college and university, we are forced to group together with a bunch of people you probably don’t ever talk to on a normal day, in order to create the most mediocre project ever. I remember seeing this quote on Twitter, which pretty much sums it up:
“When I die, I want everyone I’ve ever been in a group with to carry my coffin … so they can let me down one last time.”
As comical as that is, there’s definitely more than a little bit of truth in it. Don’t get me wrong, friendships and networking with people is absolutely amazing and I will forever be a preacher and strong advocate of the term:
‘Your network is your net worth.’
However, we live in the real world and in the real world people will let you down sometimes, but thats okay. I’m sure you are aware that people lead busy lives, have families, jobs and commitments that doesn’t always enable them to be at the ready. That should NEVER EVER stop you from doing the things you want to do, or attending the events you want to attend.
So here are some of my top 5 tips for attending events on your luxurious lonesome
1) ARRIVE EARLY
Anyone who reads this and knows me personally, will be able to tell you that unless it’s work, punctuality is not always my speciality. I am probably the embodiment of CPT (Coloured people timing). IN FACT On a free day, if you want me to come somewhere, it is probably best to tell me it’s 2-3 hours before the actual start time. And MAYBE then MAYBE … I’ll be on time.
No but seriously, if you are going to an event alone, try to arrive early. Dependant on the event, a good 15 minutes before the doors open is advisable. If you are anxious or nervous about your solo venture, especially if this is your first rodeo, arriving early will enable you to mentally prepare for the event and to take in your surroundings.
2) BREATHE … THAT’S RIGHT INHALE … EXHALE
2) PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY
Unless you live under a rock, I think every single person on this planet has been guilty of phone attachment. When situations get uncomfortable or a little unfamiliar, I am definitely guilty of scrolling through my phone, checking notifications I have already seen and discovering new options in my iPhone settings menu? (WTF?)
At the RichMix event, I definitely did this. I guess I had the excuse of making notes on my phone, but in doing so I isolated myself and blocked opportunities for meeting new people. Putting your phone away forces you to take in your surroundings and actually live in the moment. We live in such a digital media reliant age that often we find that if we didn’t document it, or provide live updates, it didn’t happen. But have you never heard of the phrase, the best things in life happen off camera? Whoever said that was not lying, the best things in life do happen off camera. Why? Because you’re too busy enjoying them!
3) NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK
Chances are you are not the only person who has attended the event alone. Recently I went to an EP Launch of artist ‘Nia Ekanem’ (Click < here to hear some amazing music btw). Prior to this I had been cinema twice before on my own and it really was a liberating experience, something I recommend everyone to do. So really, I should have felt invincible on this occasion. However, on that day I honestly wrote in my group chat “Who convinced me to do this”.
Fortunately, I met some amazing creatives people this day and had some very fulfilling conversations – and just like that after 5 minutes of arriving, I had completely forgotten why I was even worried in the first place.
4) PLAN AHEAD AND BE SAFE
Be sure to plan ahead especially if the event ends late, make sure you know the fastest and safest route to get home, inclusive of the last train and bus times. Google Maps and TFL Journey planner are fab for this purpose.
5) GO TO MORE EVENTS
And last but not least go to more events. Once you’ve gotten through your first solo event and survived, you’ll see there was nothing to worry about.
The interesting thing about going to similar types of events like open mic nights, live music events or modern art exhibitions etc, is that you are likely to see people from previous events you attended anyway. There’s nothing like spotting a friendly familiar face from across the room, of whom you did not expect to see. But my dears, the more events you go to alone the more confidence you’ll have do be the complete and utter badass you’ve always been before the world convinced you otherwise.
Go forth and conquer lovelies!