by DANNY RUBIN
We like to think awards shows are all about ‘surprised’ winners, shimmering trophies and gushing acceptance speeches.
Yet during the Golden Globes on Sunday night, the real action wasn’t happening on stage; it was taking place in the crowd below.
For Hollywood execs, the Golden Globes are a terrific networking session.
Each time the Golden Globes cut to commercial, we saw mingling and ‘schmoozing’ on full display. There were producers rubbing elbows with actors, directors chatting with photographers and probably caterers striking deals with music choreographers (they need to eat too).
There’s no telling how many people formed partnerships and alliances throughout the awards show on Sunday. For an industry titan or up-and-coming filmmaker, the Golden Globes (or the Oscars on February 24) is perhaps the best chance to take a showbiz career to the next level.
So what does the Golden Globes have to do with you?
OK, maybe you don’t work in film. Doesn’t matter. Your own industry throws banquets, happy hours, award presentations and run-of-the-mill networking sessions. You should go whenever you can.
Why? Because you never know who you might meet.
You’re probably thinking: ‘Networking events are so awkward and uncomfortable. It’s hard to start talking to a random person.’
Yes. Yes they are. It takes courage to make conversation out of thin air but being a wallflower gets you nowhere (tweet this).
In uber-competitive Hollywood, sometimes a life-changing career break is as simple as shaking hands with the right person. That’s why networking is all about taking risks. Just by being in the room, you have a huge advantage over anyone who chose to not come.
Here’s how to maximize the moment:
If you’re standing around in a crowd…
It’s tough to join a group of people who have ‘circled up’ and seemingly fenced off anyone who wants to join. So forget about them. Scan the room for another person who has no one to talk to, walk over confidently, stick out your hand, make eye contact and say, ‘Hi, I’m _____. What do you do?’
Then, ask a lot of questions. The entire time, brainstorm ways you and this person could work together, share ideas or generate new business. If the guy/girl doesn’t have much to offer, no big deal. Say you’re going to get another drink, walk away and try again with someone else.
If you’re seated at a table:
In this scenario, it’s easier to strike up conversation because, for better or worse, everyone at the table is stuck with each other. Turn to your left or right, put out your hand, make solid eye contact and introduce yourself. Then, be inquisitive because it will impress the other person immediately. Curiosity is sneaky confidence.
Think of a networking event like this: every single person is a business opportunity.
Will that always hold true? No.
Do you need that mindset with total strangers? Absolutely.
The Golden Globes might look glamorous, but it’s just a flashy, televised networking session. Still, it’s important to consider your own work events as ‘lights, camera, action.’
The second you step into that room, you’re on.
VIDEO BONUS: Here’s the opening monologue from the Golden Globes. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler nailed it.
What was your favorite moment from the Golden Globes?
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© 2013, Danny Rubin
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