When I first went to journalism school (oh, didn’t I tell you? Why don’t you buy me a drink and I will?) we all thought we were going to be fast-tracked onto the free drinks circuit. All the movers and shakers and people who wanted to influence people were bound to want thirty 18 year olds swigging their free champagne and stuffing vol-au-vents in their pockets for supper while we practised our T-Line shorthand and forgot people’s names, starting on the fifth free champagne and an empty stomach, with our own. Bound to. Somehow the 46th Annual Bread, Cake and Confectionary Exhibition at Cardiff City Hall didn’t quite go that way and nor did I.
But today reminded me what ligging was really about. Not scoring free drinks and some nibbles instead of buying your own lunch, but getting your face about and keeping an ear to the ground, although now not drinking so much that you do that literally.
I was walking down the street, like you do, when I saw a friend of mine walking towards me. Where are you going? Off to a press launch. Invites only. Mind if I come? No, if you like.
It’s that simple. Like many things in life, the hardest thing is believing you can do it. And not acting the arse when you do. I met a few interesting new people. Made some contacts. They might come to something, they might do later. Might have some new guests for the Lifeboat Party radio show at www.radiocastle.com. Gave them my card (thank-you Vistaprint, £6.59 well spent) and something might come of that. Who knows?
Even if it doesn’t it reminded me of two things. More people usually want to meet you than you think. And you don’t always have to buy your own drinks.