I figured out today that if you want to meet people and socialize for future friendships and business partners a watch party is the place. I met so many people and bonded over yelling at the screen during a goal or penalty. What better way to watch matches than with fellow supporters.
As I walked in NBC Sports Lawn had a variety of games going on. You were able to win prizes and even play corn hole with others with a similar team preference. Walking into this social lounge by myself taught me three things:
- Do not be afraid, someone might want to approach you to interact but they might be afraid too and then nobody makes the first step. You make that FIRST STEP.
- Avoid being on your phone. This was really hard for me to do because when I am uncomfortable I tend to look at my phone so I look less awkward standing by myself. But do not, you will thank me later.
- Pace yourself. Yes there are free drinks but you do not want to be the one that does not handle her beer. So pace yourself to just feel a little bit more comfortable with yourself and your networking ability.
Before I walked into this lounge I put my phone up and walked straight to the bar. As I was looking around and trying to engage while in line, I realized I was one of a handful of girls there. By handful I mean one of 3 and there were at least 45-50 men if I had counted. Normally, I would of left but I took the bull by the horn and used that to my advantage. A different perspective in conversations and a ‘women’ in the room.
Right from the start I approached a group of guys talking about the soccer game that was airing. We connected on a league level and turns out that we were studying abroad in Spain during the same time, so we bonded over that. There were a lot of games which allowed people to loosen up in a different environment. After they left because they were headed to a panel, I just stood there and looked around wanting to get my phone out to avoid the awkwardness but told myself to continue interacting. So I did.
I walked towards another group of people and introduced myself. They were so welcoming and chatty. So I continued this for about a couple hours. Stepping out of a comfort zone is very beneficial. You not only learn about you as a person but about other people. Walking into this lounge helped me build a start to some awesome friendships that I would of not made otherwise.
“Well this is not so bad, it is actually making it a lot more fun,” I told myself.