Networking Information


How to Organize a Successful Bad Sweater Party


"Hey Scott, would you like to go to a Bad Sweater Party this weekend?"

"A what party?!" I said.

"A Bad Sweater Party. Wait a minute?you mean to tell me you've never been to a Bad Sweater Party before?" asked Amber.

"Guess not," I admitted.

A Bad Sweater Party is exactly what you think it is: A party at which the guests wear bad sweaters.

Nobody can be certain where this idea originated. It's possible that it came about during the 80's when ALL sweaters were bad sweaters. Nevertheless, my first Bad Sweater Party experience was, without a doubt, one of the most enjoyable nights I have ever had. (And I only knew one person there!)

One week before the party I began to plan out my wardrobe. Looking through my drawers, I couldn't find anything that could have been classified as a "bad sweater." At least, that's what I told myself. I figured that since the bulk of the bad sweaters in the world were worn between 1971 and 1994, a thrift store was my best bet for scoring some particularly heinous gear.

When I went to my local Goodwill I approached the counter and asked, "Hi, I'm looking for the ugliest, most out dated, eye sore of a sweater known to man - got anything like that?"

"You must be going to a bad sweater party, huh?"

"Yeah, how did you know that!?"

"I've been to a few myself - they're loads of a fun. Come on, let's see what piece of crap we can find for you today sir."

After a good 20 minutes of searching, I found my sweater. I was so bad, it was beautiful! It looked like something your colorblind grandfather wore at a holiday Christmas Party in 1972 that, if it were any tighter, might have also doubled as a leotard.

And I loved it.

"I'll take it!" I said.

Two dollars and forty nine cents later, Amber and I arrived at the Bad Sweater Party. She sported a purple, blue and turquoise gem that could have easily been stolen from the wardrobe room of the Cosby Show. And although I was slightly self conscious about the skin-tightness of my snowflake laden top - as well as not knowing anybody there - everything changed when we walked in the door?

"Hey!! What's up guys, come on in!" said the host, "Wow those are the ugliest sweaters I've ever seen! I love 'em!"

"Thanks man! Your sweater sucks too! My name is Scott - I'm a friend of Amber's."

"Well it's great to meet you, thanks for dressing up! I'm Joe, welcome to my house."

When I walked in, I saw sweaters of every decade, every color, every style and every brand. It almost became a game to see who could have the worst sweater of all. But the best part was - the sweaters were horrible, and nobody seemed to care! The crowd was booming with laughter and beaming with positive energy. Everyone talked to everyone. Everyone complimented everyone. And for the next four hours, I experienced the most unbelievable sense of ease, comfort and approachability with a group of complete strangers.

When I got home later that night, I realized that any time you use party themes - especially outrageous ones - they have an invaluable effect on the connectedness of the guests:

Invite Only
How many times have you been invited to a party that didn't sound that inviting?

"Robbie's having a party on Saturday - you should come."

Great, see ya there.

On the other hand, when you hear about a theme party, it entices you:

"Come over to Robbie's on Saturday for his annual Bad Sweater Party!"

Now that sounds like fun!

Preparation Solidifies Commitment
Themes also encourage people to go the extra mile. I remember asking other partiers where they had gotten their bad sweaters. Some told me they shopped at local vintage stores; others said they raided their parents' closets while some even bought them on Ebay! But because they RSVP'ed, and because they searched or even bought a bad sweater, everyone was sure to have fun and stay late.

What Should I Wear?
Think about the big question guests ask before attending any party:

"What's the dress code?"

This always creates ambiguity and often times, improper dress - over or under - can cause guests to feel uncomfortable and therefore unwilling to communicate. But with a theme, you know exactly what to wear, i.e., a bad sweater.

Apprehension
Themes enhance parties and events because they reduce uncertainty, which is one of the major barriers to communication. The reason people often feel so uncomfortable at parties is because they don't "fit in." But when everyone makes the effort to adhere to the theme, everybody fits in, no matter who they are, where they came from or how many people they know.

Breaking the Ice
Think of all the parties you attended where people just sat around and stared at the wall. Exciting, huh?

Obviously it's true what Adam Sandler said, "Initiating the conversation is half the battle." The most effective way to break the ice at a party is to discuss your connection to the host - this generates a CPI, or common point of interest.

But with a theme party, the CPI is already established before you walk in the door. It's impossible not to socialize with everyone. You can break the ice with anybody, anytime!

How do You Connect Your Guests?
Incorporating a theme into parties and meetings allows your guests to significantly increase their comfort level, approachability and friendliness. The Bad Sweater Party is merely one of many examples, so begin thinking of some theme ideas for your next event. Do this, and you'll never have to hear the phrase "that party sucked last night," again.

© 2005 All Rights Reserved.

Scott Ginsberg is a professional speaker, "The World's Foremost Expert on Nametags" and the author of HELLO my name is Scott and The Power of Approachability. He helps people MAXIMIZE their approachability and become UNFORGETTABLE communicators - one conversation at a time. For more information contact Front Porch Productions at http://www.hellomynameisscott.com.


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


Free Malaysia Today

Networking: It's about who, not how many people you know
Free Malaysia Today
Let's face it, professional networking is a way of life. Say you've signed up for a networking event and checked out the background of other participants. Yet you still may walk into that party with no clue about whom you want to connect with. As we ...



Entrepreneur

Even Introverts Can Excel at Networking by Following These Steps
Entrepreneur
Networking builds businesses. It brings in clients and partners and helps businesses grow, but networking can be intimidating and seem overwhelming. I understand that because I'm an introvert. Fortunately, that hasn't prevented me from creating my own ...

and more »


CRN

Solution Providers In The Dark On Networking Vendors' Tariff Strategies
CRN
Despite the threat that President Trump's $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods could kick off a full-scale trade war and price increases across multiple sectors, solution providers selling networking gear from the industry's top vendors say ...
Trump tariffs on China could spark Cisco, Juniper price increaseTechTarget

all 2 news articles »


Forbes

Can Artificial Intelligence And Networking Transform The Hospitality Industry?
Forbes
These days we often take finding directions for granted. Easy smartphone apps like Google GOOGL -0.38% · Google · GOOGL. $1186.99$-4.58(-0.38%). As of 09/21/2018, 10:00pm EDT. Maps and Waze all but make paper maps and standalone GPS devices ...



Forbes

This Woman Turned A Humiliating Networking Experience Into A Business
Forbes
Her latest venture, WE Talks, is a monthly event series for women entrepreneurs and professionals – an idea Pozhidaeva came up with after attending "a very intimidating, big-time networking event." Pozhidaeva mustered the courage to ask a question into ...



VMware Leaning Heavily Toward Networking
EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet (blog)
Is VMware poised to become the next networking powerhouse? That's the conclusion many analysts drew earlier this month at VMworld in Las Vegas. The company displayed a wealth of technologies at the event — everything from new virtualization and ...



Forbes

Networking Skills: Six Ways Beginners Can Build Better Connections
Forbes
Networking is the perfect opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals, as well as establish contact with potential partners, investors and more. Doing so, however, can be tricky, especially when you're starting out. As a new entrepreneur, it ...



U.S. News & World Report (blog)

5 Ways to Use Networking to Land Your Next Job
U.S. News & World Report (blog)
The best way to tap into the hidden job market, reduce your perceived risk as a candidate and ultimately increase the chance of getting an interview is through networking. In other words, you want to meet and speak with people who work inside companies ...

and more »


CRN

Linksys Cloud Manager Aims To Disrupt MSP Networking Market
CRN
Linksys Wednesday kicked off a bold bid to unleash a new era of networking-as-a-service offerings for MSPs with the release of Linksys Cloud Manager—a cloud-hosted Wi-Fi management platform built from the ground up for MSPs targeting small- and ...



Access networking layer ready for software-defined reboot
TechTarget
In the world of campus access networking, change has always come slowly. The protocols and paradigms of routing and switching at what we used to call the core and distribution layers -- as well as the wider network interconnects -- haven't seen many ...


Google News

home | site map
© 2007