Tonight I went to a creative networking event in NYC, something I do as often as possible (this was my third this week). While each of these events has their own style and protocal, there are certain consistencies.
The first is to realize who you're dealing with, which is people just like you, just at various levels. This simple fact should make most of the other things I have to say rather obvious for most - but not all.
When I go to these events, my greatest hope is to meet someone rather symbiotic but different from me. If I meet a fashion designer, a rep, an editor, a stylist, a makeup artist... well you get the idea... then I had a successful night. Lately I've been almost exclusively meeting other phtoographers. I'm not sure if they're the hungriest (read most desparate), the most prevalent, or if I've simply been going to the wrong parties. I'll be figuring that out soon. Whatever the reason mostly I meet other photographers and frequently less experienced than myself that are happy for advice or offer to assist for me. I love teaching and helping and I do need assistants from time to time so this result is not unwelcome, and the events are always fun, but it's not ultimately giving what I'm looking for. That said that has little to do with my point here, which I'll move onto now.