Last week I attended ‘Mingle Bells’ with a couple of my PDM favorites. The tropical holiday themed event was put on by SDX and SD AMA, so the majority of event attendees were employees from other San Diego agencies; think of it as a cross between a networking event and a holiday party.
This being my first Mingle Bells, I was pleasantly surprised by the busy turn out. However, I know much of that could be contributed to the reputable industry sponsors (each holding several board members from local agencies.)
SDX is San Diego’s oldest continuously operating business organization and the city’s premier media, technology and marketing association. SDX is committed to advancing the community by creating an environment that allows the influential groups of the industry – agencies, brands, publishers, and startups – to intersect. They leverage the collective strength of the industry along with the innovative entrepreneur community to make San Diego one of the best places for marketing and advertising in the nation.
Ad 2 is the junior chapter of SDX that focuses on the young professional demographic in San Diego. All members are 32 years or younger, and are invited to any Ad Club event, at an Ad 2 discount. Ad 2 members mingle with SDX at social events and learn with them at educational ones. Essentially, Ad 2 is the younger counterpart and has the opportunity to learn from their experience and knowledge of the SDX community while growing with peers.
The San Diego chapter of the American Marketing Association (San Diego AMA) is a professional organization for high-performing marketers who are serious about furthering their careers. San Diego AMA is the only education and networking-focused organization that provides information, resources, an international presence, and valuable connections in a fun, approachable environment where members can achieve their personal development goals.
This year, Mingle Bells took place at Fluxx, a local nightclub in San Diego. Although some venues might scream “party,” it’s always important to keep the type of event you’re at the top of mind. Like most holiday parties you’ll attend this season, Mingle Bells was a mix of all ages.
Lucky for you, I’ve put together a list of things to keep in mind while navigating the holiday party season. Take a look around at the next party you go to; I guarantee there will be a few people who seem to have forgotten the following.
DO: Pace Yourself
Don’t skip out on dinner and remember to pace yourself at the open bar. Holiday parties typically take place after a busy work day, and when you’re scrambling to change, get ready, and coordinate with your plus one, it’s easy for dinner to be forgotten. Plan ahead and have a premade meal waiting; your stomach will thank you.
DON’T: Invite A Plus One Who Will Represent You Poorly
Although you’ve earned your peers and colleagues respect in the office, your plus one is still a representation of you. Make sure your significant other has eaten a substantial dinner and is ready for a night of mingling.
If you’re single and second guessing your prospective plus one option, fly solo! Chances are there will be others without a plus one, and you can relax without worrying about if they’re feeling entertained. Arriving solo is always better than bringing a date who could potentially embarrass you in front of your boss or coworkers.
DO: Work The Room
Don’t get stuck with your date or one person in the corner the whole time; there are plenty of people who want to see you or meet you, and this is the time to make your rounds. I could have easily stayed in my comfort zone and chatted in the corner of Mingle Bells with one coworker last night, but that’s not the point of the event.
Related: 2016 SDX Member Mixer Recap
By mingling around the venue, I was able to have great conversations with other agency folk about their companies, strategic partnerships, and current initiatives. I even left with a friend or two from Grizzly.
DON’T: Forget Your Business Cards
Business cards are useful in many social settings, and there is nothing worse than making a great connection only to announce that you forgot yours at home and will need to provide your information in a different way. Business cards are especially necessary if you’re a guest at a party other than your own or are attending a networking party. Throw a few extras in your wallet, you’ll be thankful you did!
DO: Have Fun!
There’s nothing more infectious than someone genuinely having a good time, be that person! Holiday parties are a great opportunity to bond with your team, meet the person supporting them, and celebrate a successful year. This night is for you – have fun & enjoy it!