Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ten Tips on Finding Cool Things to Do

It's Monday morning and you roll in to work and people are chattering. About their weekends. And you realize, that you missed an interesting opening, party, performance, whatever. Or you log onto Facebook and scan the dozens of photos of people laughing, hugging, and mugging for the camera. And you think, I wish I was there. So then, how do you keep abreast of the interesting happenings in Philly? I have a few ideas that I use to keep you immersed in what's going on.

1) Says yes, often. The best way to get invited to things is to show up for things. And the best way to learn about cool stuff is word of mouth. If somebody tells you about something, just go. At the very least you get to build a relationship with the inviter, but more often you get to meet awesome new people and try things. Once you show up once, people will LOVE to invite you back. Really simple advice that works.

2) Ask people about their plans. Bloggers do this routinely. PhillyWeekly and the Citypaper are constantly asking for event listings. I'd never be able to write for One Fine Philly if I didn't hound people about their plans.

3) Crash the party. This tip works, but it gives me agita. I get nauseous when I show up something where I don't really know anybody. Three things happen when I do this: 1) I meet people or see someone I know, 2) I meet nobody, but have a good time being one of the crowd, or 3) I flop majorly and leave early with no harm done.

4) When nobody will go with you, go anyway. Let's face it. Everybody is busy. And many people are broke. If you have the courage to follow this tip, you will never, ever have a boring night in front of the computer or tv again. I have a whole slew of tricks for having fun and not looking out of place being alone at an event. But I'll save that for another blog post. Seriously, I do this. Often.

5) Network for a social life. I network for my social life mostly online (plus my coworker/friend knows the awesomest stuff in town). On Twitter and Facebook, I follow/friend about 200 people who are event planners, DJs, scenesters, artists, musicians, geeks, or generally people who have a good time. Probably in a given week, I get at least 50 invitations of interesting stuff to go to. I only wish I could go to everything. For example, there are several outdoor film showings in Philly this summer. And I haven't been able to make one yet. Bummer.

6) Follow the "experts" in your interest area. I'm not the person in the know. Definitely not, but I follow people who are. On my Facebook, I routinely check the invites of several people whose taste is similar to mine. These are people who have 1,000 friends and seem to go to the coolest parties. You can RSVP to an invite that you didn't receive personally- just click the link of their RSVP.

7) Don't neglect traditional event listings. What I love about the Citypaper and Philly Weekly is they highlight events off the beaten track. They have a knack for knowing what events are worth attending. I'm partial to Citypaper's DJ Nights, but that's because (as you all know by now) I am fanatical about dancing.

8) Share and promote other people's events. When you hear about something, spread the word. In kind, they will do it for you. Underneath event attendance is relationship building.

9) If you can't make an event, follow up on it anyway. I have to miss several events each week, but I'll read the reviews, look at the pics on phrequency.com, and ask people to tell me stories.

10) Ask One Fine Philly contributors to give you ideas. We share info to each other privately because not everything is worth publishing. Or we don't have time to post it up because we're too busy going to stuff. Post a comment asking about stuff-- we all get notifications via email and will get back to you quickly if we can.

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