People often ask me how do I find fun stuff to do the city. It really depends on what you like to do. What are your interests? And most importantly, you go have fun. So enjoy and get out there.
Here are, however, my useful tips to help locate events yourself. Have a look.
1. Business cards, a must
If you’re going to schmooze, then get cards made. Think of it as if you’re networking for a job. You wouldn’t just write your number on a scrap paper and hope they phone you up. Cards are the easiest way to spread your contact info and get on mailing lists.
Cards also show good etiquette in certain cultures. For example, the Japanese exchange them when meeting for the first time, but professionals in many cultures also do the same. If you’re going to a reception at The Japan Society or the French consulate for example, have your cards handy. This also goes for trade shows, wine / food tastings and especially meet-and-greets.
When selecting a design, choose something attractive, unique and bold. Give basic contact information: including your E-mail, phone number and / or website. Your job title or company is optional. Just remember that you don’t need to put too much info. Easy as hell.
If you’re comfortable using your company cards, then by all means, go ahead.
If you need them made, go to Staples and Fedex, which have cheap online options and you can pick them up on your lunch break. I also included Vista, but if you know of someone else, then go for it.
2. Plug into your local community
Some of my friends are involved with their local church or temple. Others volunteer with their local politician. That’s not really my thing, but my pals who do this taught me local message boards and news bulletins are really good ways to find events in your neighborhood.
The same works for businesses like wine and food distributors that hold frequent events in the city. Sign up to receive their newsletters.
3. Keep tabs on your favorite websites. Sounds like a no-brainer, which is because it is. A lot of the event pages are updated routinely and can send you alerts, but always check up on your sites regularly because you may find something cool that you’d have missed otherwise.
All the websites that I’ve listed here are available as phone apps, which is convenient because you can get your tix sent directly to your smartphone.
Eventbrite.com and Goldstar.com are fantastic websites that many organizations and groups post on. It was through Eventbrite that I found some great foodie events, wine tastings as well as fashion parties. The stuff posted on Goldstar are mostly ticket offers from shows and boat tours, but I found America’s Test Kitchen Live and the caffeine charged Coffee and Tea festival, and the Architectual Digest expo. Both Eventbrite and Goldstar frequently offer early bird deals so act quickly!
Other useful websites and apps are: the skint, Nearify, Viper, and livingsocial.com. Sometimes these websites are so cluttered with things to do that I sometimes feel slightly overwhelmed.
For those who like dance parties, I would suggest checking out Resident Advisor – a really fantastic London-based website that posts info on upcoming DJ shows in the city. You can buy tickets to these shows on RA.
4. Read the paper for crying out loud!
I get the New York Times delivered. You’re probably thinking “Why?”, but it was the best decision ever. When I used to read it online, I would only read a limited number of articles, completely missing the rest of the paper. But in print form, you actually discover more by just turning the pages. If you’re into food, pay particular attention to the Front Burner in Wednesday’s food section. where I discovered the French Cheese Board – an association of French cheese makers that have a pop up shop near Bryant Park. Thursday’s styles edition is a good way of finding fashion-related and promotional events. And finally, don’t forget to read the art and weekend sections, too.
The NY Times has an event listing app as well, but they’re often posted the day of, giving you less advance notice.
5. Museums, galleries, cultural institutions and consulates are event treasure troves.
This is the best way to plug into all things happening in the city. Sign up for their newsletters or become a member of one that interests you. For details check out my section on Associations and Groups, where I put additional info and useful links.
6. Join social groups.
Some of my friends use meetup.com which is great, but I also recommend that you join some more established associations. Certain groups require a member recommending you, but that’s often an easy thing to do. For more info, check out Groups and Associations here:
7. Share your infor with event organizers and PR firms.
Always know who is organizing it and get on their mailing list for upcoming activities. Many PR companies and event organizers need people for their clients’ events and therefore will be happy to add you on their lists.
Personal privacy is sometimes overrated. For instance, last year the Bologna Business School got my name and info and invited me to attend their afternoon talk at Eataly, where they filled us with wine and delicious grub.
8. Fashionistas befriend your department store salesperson
I have a couple of contacts at Saks Fifth Avenue’s flagship store as well as Bloomingdales on Lexington. High end boutiques like Ted Baker also throw invite-only promotional parties for clients as well as people in the industry. This past spring Saks hosted an event the Kooples and Kenzo, which included fashion shows and complementary drinks and snacks. Make sure you’re on their contact list.