Come Dine With Me

Sharon Heal, 23.10.2013
How to make friends and meet people
We’ve all been there. You turn up at a conference or event where you don’t know anyone, or you can’t find the people you do know, and you’re stuck.

In the wasteland between registration and the event beginning, that delicate game of who to speak to and how not to look like Billy-no-mates, is strewn with potential pitfalls.

Even if you make it through to the end, the awkward question of what to do next looms. 

Bearing all of that in mind, we’re trying something new at this year’s Museums Association annual conference in Liverpool. So if room service doesn’t appeal or if you just want to meet some new (and hopefully interesting) people why not try Come Dine With Me on Monday night?

The concept is fairly simple; a few of us – MA staff and conference panel members – will each suss out a restaurant near the Museum of Liverpool and then host a meal after the evening networking event (we’re going Dutch by the way). 

All you have to do is choose who you’d like to dine with, sign up at the conference registration desk on Monday morning and then turn up at the appointed time and place on Monday evening. 

If you don’t fancy that, there are plenty of other ways to find friends, colleagues and interesting people at this year’s conference.

If you get there on Sunday evening then check out the Tweet-up at the Blue Bar and Grill on Albert Dock at 5.30pm. Tweeters will be able to do some face-to-face interaction and put Twitter names to real faces. 

If Tweeting is not your thing make sure you go to the networking reception at 7pm on Sunday at the Merseyside Maritime Museum. To overcome the awkward silences and outbreaks of phone fiddling our hosts at National Museums Liverpool have promised an ice-breaking game show with David Fleming as quiz-master general.

If you’re still looking for ways to meet people, pop along to one of the Breakfast Tours on Monday and Tuesday morning where you will also be able to see some interesting new exhibitions.

Finally networking is always easier said than done, so if you feel the need for some top tips for getting to know people, come along to the networking breakfast from 8-8.45 on Monday morning. 

The main thing to remember, of course, is that if you come prepared to learn, take part, enjoy and meet people – you won’t go far wrong.