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7 Tips for Attending an Event Solo

An essential component to most young professional lives is the ability to network. Luckily, our cities offer no shortage of events that provide seemingly limitless opportunities for both personal and professional networking. The thing is, sometimes you may have to show up solo… so you had better be able to handle yourself

As Drake says, sometimes you just gotta’ “do me.”

Even if you don’t want to.

But you may as well skip out on going solo to an event if you don’t know how to handle yourself all by yourself.

So here are 7 things to keep in mind the next time you roll in without your +1…

1. Take Extra Time with Your Wardrobe
Take a few extra minutes to plan your outfit when you’re attending an event alone. Confidence is key, and looking good is a huge part of that. Not to mention, compliments about your outfit make perfect conversation starters.

2. Stay Occupied
Even if you don’t know anybody at an event (when everyone else seems to be best friends) remember that the last person you want to channel is that kid in the corner during the school dance. Just because you’re alone doesn’t mean you have to stay on the sidelines with nothing to occupy you but your phone and drink. Whether it means checking out an art installation, live performance, or a new cocktail at the bar, stay engaged at all times.

3. Take Pictures
Even if they remain inside your phone, never to see the light of day, one of the best ways to be engaged – and look engaged – is by taking pictures of all the event details (not of other people, obviously – that’s just creepy). It gives you something to do other than awkwardly look around the room and gives the impression that you’re truly enjoying the event. And who knows? You may get some great Insta material in the process.

4. Be Confident or Pretend to Be
Not that we need to say it again… but we do. You absolutely need to be confident (or at least pretend to be) when you’re attending an event alone. Otherwise, the whole experience will be nothing short of torturous. This means walking with purpose, making and maintaining eye contact, and being able to be “on” enough to engage others in conversation.

5. Force Yourself to be Social
Think of it as a social challenge. Walk up to a stranger and strike up a conversation. Safe conversation-starters could involve what the other person is wearing, the cause or purpose of the event, or the event details – from the food to the length of the bathroom line. You never know where a conversation could lead (as in, potentially to the alter or to that corner office you’ve been daydreaming about).

6. Have a Drink in Your Hand…But Don’t Drink too Much
By all means, grab a drink when you get there. Not only will it occupy you a little (even if it’s non-alcoholic), it will loosen you up a tad, which may help in the confidence department. Plus, odds are it’s an open bar… so really, you kind of have to have at least one. Just don’t let the whole liquid courage thing get the better of you – it’ll defeat the purpose of looking confident if you end up embarrassing yourself after trying so hard not to. 

7. Don’t Be the Last to Leave
It’s never a good look to be among the final handful of guests remaining at a party. But – no matter how much fun you’re having or how many new “friends” or connections you make – it’s an even worse look if you came alone and leave last still alone. Just trust us. 


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