I just got back from SXSW Interactive, and for those who attended I hope you were able to get some sleep because I didn’t get much.
Most people do business between the hours or 9am to 5pm. Most people.
However, for those who attended SXSW (or who attend conferences in general) know that most of the business happens right around 2am.
Depending on the city, this is the time most of the parties are winding down, and the bars close. And this is also the time people open up to others the most.
Here is common example of what would go down during a night at SXSW:
We all bond together and take our last drink or rush to the bar to order one last shot. We pay for each others tab, stumble out the venue door with sore feet from the long day of walking at the conference and non-stop dancing. We get really close when speaking to one another because our ears are ringing from the thumping techno beats, classic rock, and 80’s greatest hits.
We grab a slice of pizza from that shady street meat vender with crazy tattoos. Then we share cab rides or walk back to the hotel lobby and tell tales of the nightlong journey to the other conference mates who missed out on “the best party of the evening”.
We rally the troupes and lounge around in smelly, sweaty clothes acting as if we have known each other our entire lives. Then as the first person starts to fall asleep in the middle of the hotel lobby, we take our last picture of the night and post it to Twitter, and Facebook for everyone to see.
We watch as others rush to the bathroom to throw up their $113 bill of Coyote Ugly’s finest alcoholic beverages. And after this, we realize it’s time to go to bed so we can wake up for another long day of panels, networking, and partying.
We tell each other how much fun we had, how much of a blast it was getting to know one another, and mention how we look forward to hanging out with that person in the future.
This is when business happens.
When we start having experiences with one another outside of the working mindset, and in an environment that breaks down walls and allows for a more light hearted connection.
Remember, we do business with those we know, like and trust. One night with someone at a party gives you the best opportunity to get them to like you, know the “real” you a little better, and trust you even more.
I generate business deals all of the time at 2:00 am. Do you?
Please share one experience where you connected with someone late at night and how it translated into a joint venture, new job, more sales, or more business opportunities. I would love to hear your story.