Monday, April 27, 2009

Professionalism for the Brain-Dead

The caffeine has yet to hit my bloodstream, so we'll see how far I get before this devolves into something awkward.

As I said in my previous post, every industry out there may have similarities to other fields, but should be treated like a separate, individual animal with it's own unique quirks and qualities. That's all well and good, but what happens if you're in a situation where you have no clue what to expect?

I received an email from my local IGDA chapter inviting me to a pre-conference kickoff party at Buckhead Saloon Tuesday night. Mostly with the goal of securing my conference passes early, I accepted. Of course, many game industry professionals and other local IGDA members will be there. Being ever the social butterfly, this piqued my interest. However, this isn't just any old party: it will be my first official industry-related event, and the idea of making an idiot out of myself while I'm there scares me half to death.

I have never been to such an event that I wasn't in charge of. I have almost no idea how such events work from the attendee side of things. What's the dress code? What do I talk about? What are the "rules" for handing out business cards? Should I eat before I go so I don't get distracted? My industry contacts are currently incommunicado (understandably so, given that we're less than 24 hours away from TGC), so I'm flying blind here. What's a girl to do?

Naturally, I turned to the Internet God (Google) for answers.

Given that this convention is in its inaugural year, searching for TGC-specific advice is a no-go. Searching for "GDC etiquette" yielded many hits, but articles like this one, while amusing, aren't exactly helpful.

This little gem written by Darius Kazemi, on the other hand, is quite helpful. Even four years after he wrote it, people still point to it (and his business card) as an example of what to do when networking in the games industry.

The gist of all these articles: Keep it simple, be distinctive, and for goodness' sake, wear comfortable shoes. This doesn't help me for the kickoff party, per se, but it helps in general. I guess I'll just have to go with my gut: nice jeans, clean, white sneakers and a printed t-shirt.


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